U.S. Rep. Karen Bass scored a major victory Wednesday (Nov. 16) evening when she was declared the winner of Los Angeles’ mayoral race.
Bass beat out businessman and Republican Rick Caruso. According to The Associated Press, Bass was projected as the winner with a total of 403,427 votes and just over 75 percent of precincts reporting.
The win makes her the city’s first female mayor in its 241-year history. She is also only the second Black person to lead the city. The congresswoman’s win is expected to be certified on Dec. 5 by the county. She succeeds Eric Garcetti, the city’s 43rd mayor.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 16, 2022
Bass hails from South LA and has represented the city’s 37th district since 2013. Her opponent is a billionaire real estate developer who poured millions of his own money into his campaign in hopes of edging out a win.
However, in the end, Bass’ tenure as an activist and politician who has chipped away at issues in LA’s underserved communities made her victorious.
One of her top priorities as she takes office is tackling the issue of homelessness. By the end of her first year, she hopes to get 15,000 people off of the streets.
“You have to address why they were homeless to begin with. We need to pull out all the stops and get people off the street because people are dying on those streets every day,” she said in a special edition of “LA Stories With Giselle Fernandez” in October.
Other items on her agenda include getting upwards of 300 officers off of desk duty and back into the community. “It is very important to double down or triple down on community-based programs that prevent crime, that get young people out of gangs,” she noted.
When asked about the prospects of making history if she were to become mayor, Bass said the win would be meaningful, but she is focused on addressing issues. “I always want to be there as a role model for younger women to show them that the glass ceilings can be broken, but that will not be my focus,” said the LA native. She continued, “What they need to see from me is that I can deliver, is that I can see a problem, seize the problem and solve the problem. That’s what they need to see from me more than the symbolism.”