In Los Angeles,
U.S. Representative Karen Bass,
was chosen as the new mayor of Los Angeles on Wednesday. She will take the helm of the country’s second-largest city during a period of deep introspection as it deals with a racism crisis and looks for new solutions to issues like homelessness and corruption.
Following her victory, Karen Bass issued a statement in which she stated that “the people of Los Angeles have sent a clear message: it is time for change and it is time for urgency.” “Los Angeles is the world’s best city. I am confident that if we band together, hold each other accountable, and concentrate on the best aspects of who we are and what we can accomplish, we can improve our communities right now and secure a better future for our kids.
Karen Bass positioned herself as the progressive candidate in Los Angeles, a liberal city that hasn’t elected a Republican mayor in more than 20 years. She received support from Democratic heavyweights including Vice President Harris, President Biden, and former President Barack Obama, but she also bore the seal of the party establishment. By Wednesday night, Karen Bass had a commanding lead of just over six percentage points and was expected to win, according to the Associated Press.
The Democratic congresswoman defeated fellow Democrat and millionaire real estate tycoon Rick Caruso to win the election and become the city’s first female mayor and just the second Black mayor. The event, which was the most expensive competition in Los Angeles history, was tight until the closing days of a week-long count when Bass pulled clearly ahead and never looked back.
Bass was praised by fellow Californian Harris, who spoke at a rally the day before the election, for “fighting for the people whose voices aren’t in the room but must be present.”
He would have defeated anyone but Karen Bass, according to Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. “She was being outspent 10-to-1, but her reputation, connections, experience, and base of support turned out to be too much for him to overcome,” Sonenshein said. In addition to widespread local discontent over the situation of the city, “her coalition held against what could have been viewed as an insurmountable task.”
Long plagued by scandal, the city’s politics have recently made headlines around the world and shattered the city’s self-described reputation as the ideal multiethnic metropolis. A leaked recording of four of the city’s most influential Latino leaders insulting fellow leaders and making racial remarks about a Black child, indigenous immigrants, and Jewish residents surfaced last month.