Hundreds turned out for the official launch of Karen Bass’ mayoral campaign on Saturday held at Los Angeles Trade Technical College in downtown Los Angeles in a show of support for the Congresswoman whose very presence—and growing support—has energized the race just as her words electrified those in attendance.
“I am a Democrat who will work to support and strengthen the business community because I care about income inequality, and we need to make LA attractive to businesses, large and small, that provide living wage jobs so people can afford homes,” Bass said. “And we need to ensure that minority- and women-owned businesses are included and fully participate. We need to use the platform that the Mayor has, the bully pulpit and formal Mayoral authority, to celebrate our city, recruit employers, clean neighborhoods and cut red tape, so that we can attract good jobs to LA and rebuild our middle class…so that we can attract jobs that pay for mortgages, that pay for college savings, that pay for retirement and that offer dignity and stability. And in the midst of this pandemic, we have to fight for these jobs more than ever.”
Speakers and special guests at the event included Congresswoman Judy Chu, Actress Tiffany Haddish, Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Community Coalition CEO Alberto Retana and members of Rep. Bass’ family.
The Congresswoman also discussed how her career has uniquely prepared her for this moment: first as an organizer, then as a Physician Assistant working in one of the largest Emergency Rooms in Los Angeles, and finally as an elected official serving Los Angeles at the state and federal level.
“When neighbors, store owners, non-profits, teachers, parents, tenants, homeowners, activists, and City Hall work together, and work in partnership with the business community, we can change our neighborhoods — each and every neighborhood,” said Rep. Bass. “And as a former healthcare provider, I know we can reach out into and reassure even the hardest hit communities about the need to protect ourselves against COVID-19. I’ve seen it. I’ve done it—-we’ve done it together.”
Bass has pledged to make homelessness a priority.
In 1994, we treated the emergency [of the earthquake] as an emergency,” she remarked. “We mobilized local, state, federal governments, the private and non-profit sectors. Neighbors helped neighbors. We found temporary shelter and rebuilt our city. In record breaking time. We can fix our city again. 40,000 people on the street is an emergency. Solving this emergency — solving homelessness — will be my overwhelming top priority as Mayor. The humanitarian and public health crisis of homelessness has been decades in the making. But we can’t wait decades to solve it. It’s up to us to solve it — right now. If you elect me as Mayor, the status quo on homelessness will not stand… Los Angeles you have called me home and I am ready to serve.”
The congresswoman said she hopes her campaign will become a movement that people together from all over the city to confront the crisis at hand.
“What we showed today was a diverse coalition of leaders — public officials at every level of government, business leaders, community leaders — that are all ready to face this moment together.”
A growing list of endorsements include the daughter of former L.A. Mayor, Lorraine Bradley.
“I have no doubt that Karen Bass is the right choice to carry on my father’s legacy,” said Bradley. “And she’s going to win in the exact same way he did: by building a strong coalition of support across the entire city of Los Angeles. We’re watching history being made.”
“I have lived here my entire life, Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told NBC4’s NewsConference host Conan Nolan. “I have never seen this town so dirty, I’ve never seen crime go up so quickly… the spread of homelessness… I think there is a lack of clear leadership in this town.”
“We need somebody like her to bring us together,” he said of Congresswoman Karen Bass. “To take on these challenges. To treat the issues facing this city with a sense of urgency.”
Proof positive that the excitement and hype surrounding the campaign is real and tangible is news from campaign manager Jamarah Hayner, that in just 20 days the campaign had raised more than $1 million, more than half of it from donors contributing $100 or less.
“In less than 3 weeks, this campaign rallied hundreds of supporters from every corner of the city in person and raised more than $1 million. We actually raised more than $100,000 on the first day we announced. The overwhelming enthusiasm from voters and donors across the city is clear — Karen Bass is the clear choice to be the next Mayor of Los Angeles.”