Los Angeles Welcomes Karen Bass

It was a close race to the finish line, but Democrat Karen Bass has officially defeated fellow party hopeful and businessman Rick Caruso to become the new mayor of Los Angeles, according to the Associated Press. Results took over a week and half, because mail-in ballots needed verification. Karen Bass is the first woman and second Black Angeleno elected in the city’s 241 year history. Preliminary results teetered on election night, with Rick Caruso grabbing a thin lead by Angelenos who voted in person. However, votes by mail were processed and put Bass in the lead. Bass was backed by both current and former Democratic presidents, Joe Biden and Barack Obama, respectively. 

“The people of Los Angeles have sent a clear message: It is time for change, and it is time for urgency,” Bass declared in a public statement on Nov. 16. “This is my home, and with my whole heart, I’m ready to serve, and my pledge to you is that we will hit the ground running on day one.”

Bass said she plans to address affordable housing, rampant crime and homelessness in her time in office. Homicides in Los Angeles are the highest rate seen in 15 years, according to ABC7 news. On day one Bass declared homeslessness a state of emergency, a hot topic in Los Angeles, with over 60,000 people unhoused, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Rick Caruso had similar plans to fix the broken city, but drew criticism as a former Republican. Caruso spent over $104 million of his own money in advertising, breaking records.

Karen Bass was born in Los Angeles. She has been serving as the representative for California’s 37th congressional district since 2011. In 2018, she was elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 116th Congress. Bass studied philosophy at San Diego University and earned a degree in health sciences from California State University.   

Rick Caruso was also born in Los Angeles. His father, Henry Caruso, founded Dollar Rent-A-Car. Caruso graduated from University of Southern California, with a Bachelor of Science and a J.D from Pepperdine University Of Law.  

Sarah Klubov can be reached at [email protected].