Democratic Rep. Karen Bass broke a barrier for women in Los Angeles and politics when she was projected to win the election for mayor. Bass has defeated real estate investor Rick Caruso, making her the first woman to hold the position, as reported by The New York Times.
The mayor posted a photo on Instagram thanking the city of Los Angeles for supporting her and making this victory possible.
“THANK YOU, LOS ANGELES,” she captioned the post.
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In addition to being the first woman to hold the position, she is also the second Black person following Tom Bradley, who was mayor for 20 years. Bradley held the position from 1973 to 1993.
Bass is currently serving her sixth term in the House of Representatives for the 37th district in California.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Baldwin Hills resident has been a community leader and advocates for human rights and justice for minorities. In 2008, she was the first Black female speaker of the state Assembly.
In September 2021, Bass put in her bid for mayor and shared that one of her main priorities in the role would be improving homelessness in LA. She’s also revealed that becoming the mayor of LA has been a childhood goal of hers.
Bass was born in South LA and raised in the Venice-Fairfax area.
“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,” Bass said last year when she announced her mayoral campaign, as reported by NBC News. “With my whole heart, I’m ready.”
According to the Victorville Daily Press, Bass was working in her congressional office when she was informed of her victory by an aide.
“The people of Los Angeles have sent a clear message: it is time for change and it is time for urgency,” the 69-year-old said in a statement, according to the outlet.