‘Let’s do this’: Democratic Rep. Karen Bass enters Los Angeles mayoral race

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FILE - In this June 25, 2020, file photo Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on the House East Front Steps on Capitol Hill in Washington ahead of the House vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. California Congresswoman Bass has emerged a leading contender to be Democrats' vice presidential candidate. Allies say her reputation as a bridge-builder would make her a strong partner to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) ORG XMIT: WX202

LOS ANGELES — Democratic Rep. Karen Bass has entered the race to become Los Angeles’ new mayor. 

Bass, a high-profile member of the Democratic caucus who represents parts of Los Angeles, is one of the most notable figures who have entered the race since current Mayor Eric Garcetti was appointed by President Joe Biden to be the U.S. ambassador to India. The race is set to be decided in November 2022, with a primary in June. 

“With my whole heart, I’m ready. Let’s do this — together. I’m running for mayor,” Bass said Monday announcing her decision. 

The city is dealing with a series of impounding crises that mostly center a lack of affordable housing and an increasing homeless population living on city streets — a top priority that Bass highlighted on her website

“Our city is facing a public health, safety and economic crisis in homelessness that has evolved into a humanitarian emergency,” Bass said. “I’ve spent my entire life bringing groups of people together in coalitions to solve complex problems and produce concrete change — especially in times of crisis.”

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Bass is viewed as a major player on Capitol Hill. She was considered as a possible vice presidential candidate for Joe Biden, previously led the powerful Congressional Black Caucus, and was even eyed as a possible contender to run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., several years ago.

She’s played a key role in attempts to change federal policing laws after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year and was considered for a U.S. Senate seat vacated by Vice President Kamala Harris, which ultimately went to then-California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Others running to replace Garcetti include: City Councilmen Kevin de León and Joe Buscaino; City Attorney Mike Feuer; downtown business group leader Jessica Lall; and real estate broker Mel Wilson.

All have similarly made homelessness the central issue of their campaigns. 

Los Angeles is the second-most populous city in the county and has the second-largest economy among cities in the U.S. The city’s economic output topped $941 billion in 2018. F

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