Decision 2022: Rep. Karen Bass on why she wants to be your mayor
By LA Stories Staff Los Angeles
PUBLISHED 10:00 PM PT Oct. 21, 2022
With the upcoming Los Angeles mayoral election, host Giselle Fernandez sat down with both Rick Caruso and Rep. Karen Bass for a special Decision 2022 edition of “LA Stories.”
In these two separate, one-hour exclusive interviews, each candidate dives deep into the issues that matter most to Angelenos.
In Fernandez’s interview with Bass, the U.S. representative explained why she wants to leave her position in Washington, D.C., in order to serve as mayor of LA.
“It’s bittersweet to leave D.C. This was not an easy decision,” she said. “But the reason why I decided to gamble everything and to come home is because I’m so deeply concerned about the crisis that our city faces.”
Bass went deeper into the issues LA is facing and discussed her plans for tackling them if she were to become mayor. When discussing homelessness in our city, she said she feels she has a realistic approach to addressing the tens of thousands of people living on the streets. In her plan, she wants to house 15,000 people by the end of her first year, with a focus on mental health and substance abuse treatment.
“You have to address why they were homeless to begin with,” she said. “We need to pull out all stops and get people off the street because people are dying on those streets every day.”
On crime and policing, Bass’s plan is to take 200-300 officers off of desk work in order to put them on the streets. She also plans to expand the Community Safety Partnership Program.
“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 said.
In addition to discussing the issues in LA, Bass shared some insight into who in her life has helped guide her, crediting her parents for providing her with direction in different areas throughout her life. She also recognized her colleagues John Lewis, Barbara Lee, Charlie Rangel and Jim McDermott as her personal mentors.
If elected, she would become the first woman mayor of LA and only the second Black mayor. While she said she realizes the importance and significance of that, she wants to focus on being the best mayor she can be.
“It’s very meaningful to me, but my focus is solely on addressing our issues,” she said. “And 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. 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.”