On Sunday, Karen Bass was sworn in as mayor-elect of Los Angeles, California, becoming the first female mayor of the country’s second-largest city. After calling her Ms. Bass “Mayor Madam,” Vice President Kamala Harris took her oath of office to thunderous applause. The city’s homeless epidemic, which Ms. Bass specifically addressed in her speech, influenced her activism that day. Her first commitment as mayor was to address the homeless problem. Addressing a group of California dignitaries, Ms. Bass said, “Making history with you today is a big deal for my life and for Los Angeles.” State, Federal and Private Sectors , and all other stakeholders,” Bass said. “If we bring in the Angelenos and lead our town in a new direction.” Homelessness was a key issue in the mayoral election that sparked the campaign. Caruso, who ran on a platform highlighting crime and homelessness, spent $104m (£84m) on the campaign. That’s more than 11 times his $9 million for Mr. Bass. Billions of dollars have already been spent in California to combat homelessness across the country. In April, Los Angeles pledged $3 billion to address problems within its borders.
The homeless were voted a top priority by voters during the mayoral election, but despite the massive cash injection, the Angelenos believe little has been done to mitigate the crisis. Further referring to the affordability dilemma facing coastal cities, Ms. Bass noted, “Too many Angelenos squeeze too many families into one property and work multiple jobs to pay rent. Current disputes in California over zoning and development are preventing much-needed housing from being built, say opponents. During his extensive political career, Mr. Bass has achieved a number of historic records. She made history by becoming the first black woman to hold the position of Speaker of the House in the state legislature during her tenure in the California Legislature. She served her sixth term in Congress on behalf of parts of Los Angeles before announcing her historic candidacy for mayor in September 2021. Bass joins a list of black women in leadership positions in major US cities, including Lori Her Lightfoot in Chicago and Muriel Bowser in Washington, DC.