On Sunday, Karen Bass became the city of Los Angeles’ first female mayor when she took the oath of office. At Los Angeles City Hall, Kamala Harris, the first female vice president and the first woman of color, administered the oath of office.
On Sunday, Bass centered her remarks on how she intended to address the city’s housing issue, which has led to about 40,000 people living on the streets. Bass claimed that too many Angelenos nowadays are forced to house several families together and work numerous jobs to make ends meet.
Tragically, Pico-Union, South L.A., East L.A., and the East Valley are among the most congested areas in the country, according to our city, she continued. And Angelenos, we are aware of our mission: homes must be constructed in every community.
She stated that the state of emergency on homelessness will be declared as her first official act as mayor. Even though the state, city, and county are spending billions of dollars on temporary and permanent housing, progress has been slow. According to the most recent count, there was a 1.7% increase in homelessness since the 2020 count.
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By the end of a year, Bass’ plan aims for sheltering 15,000 people and putting a stop to tent encampments. She stated that to link people with housing and mental health assistance, the city would devote additional funds to specialized “neighborhood service teams.”
The six-term congresswoman has stated that additional money for Los Angeles to address the city’s housing crisis will result from her longstanding connections with local, state, and federal officials.
Additionally, Bass has pledged to use her contacts in the Biden administration to find solutions to issues like the shortage of federal housing vouchers. She has declared that if elected mayor, she will also work to obtain federal waivers that will enable the construction of centers for substance misuse and mental illness that have more beds.
Because she pledged to increase police manpower at a time when the city has struggled to find new officers, Bass, whose home was broken into earlier this year during the campaign, has also promised to address concerns about crime. She has suggested reassigning at least 250 police officers from administrative duties to patrol, and she has promised to hire more civilian staff members to free up more cops for patrol duty.
Rick Caruso, a real estate tycoon who spent more than $104 million to defeat Bass in November, mounted a vigorous battle against her. She will succeed Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose tenure is up soon. Bass, who was chosen to serve in the California State Assembly in 2004, made history when she became the first Black woman to hold the position of speaker of any state legislature four years later.
Eric Adams of New York City, Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, and Sylvester Turner of Houston will all be Black mayors when Bass takes office. The four biggest cities in the US will also all have Black mayors.