Caruso, Bass make final push in LA mayor's race ahead of Election Day
LOS ANGELES - Election Day is almost here, and with that being said, the race for Los Angeles Mayor is heating up as candidates Rick Caruso and Karen Bass make a final appeal to voters ahead of the big day.
The race has become so close it's now down to four points, so these final hours of the campaign could make all the difference.
The latest poll shows Congresswoman Karen Bass at 45% and businessman Rick Caruso at 41%. There is a margin of error of 4% for that poll and 13% of voters still remain undecided.
FOX 11's Christina Pascucci took to the streets Monday to interview both Bass and Caruso supporters to get their takes on why they're voting for their respective candidates.
"I believe in the actions that Caruso has already shown us. I believe in the change that he's going to bring to our community. I believe in the development that he's going to be able to do for our community," said Ana Ortiz.
Markus Bishop-Hill said Caruso's beliefs and plan to combat the growing homeless crisis is a driving factor.
"Rick Caruso says day one that he plans to declare a local state of emergency to help get these people off of the street. And that's what they are. They're not these zombies that we make them out to be. They're human beings and they need help and they need homeless services. And we need to get them off the street whether they realize they need the help or not. And that's exactly what Rick plans to do. And I just think that Karen has been a part of this growing problem within the city for at least a decade, and there's no change and enough is enough. And that's why my husband and I are throwing our support behind Rick Caruso."
During a sit-down interview, Caruso told FOX 11 his final appeal to voters.
"My final appeal is really simple. I mean, this is a time where the city's in trouble and I'm running because I believe I can help the city. And I love the city and I want to fight for those that frankly can't fight for themselves. This is really about do you want change if you're happy about the community today, if you feel safe, if you like the homeless situation, I'm not your candidate."
Caruso said the first issues he plans on tackling are homelessness, crime, and corruption.
"I love this city dearly. I know all of you do as well. We need to change and I know I can lead that change. And I would do it with sincerity. Humility, and I would work very hard for you. We need to get the homeless off the streets in a compassionate, dignified way and give them the services they need. And it's going to take a builder who knows how to build to get enough shelter, homes and apartments for people. I've stepped into positions at critical moments. I stepped into the chair of USC at a critical moment. I stepped into LAPD at a critical moment overseeing the operation. This is a critical moment in L.A. So at least I understand business, I understand management, I understand governance. I understand building a team."
In her final appeal to voters, Bass said it's time Los Angeles sees "a new day, a new direction and new leadership."
"In Los Angeles, we have to get big things done. I do believe we can get people off the streets and house. We can make L.A. safe, and we can also make L.A. affordable so people don't have to move out of town."
If elected, Bass would become the first woman and the first Black woman to become Mayor of Los Angeles. She described what she envisions Los Angeles to look like four years from now.
"Oh, it looks like the beautiful rainbow that it is today. But a united rainbow, not a divided rainbow where the city is much more beautiful. The city is also more affordable and you don't see encampments."
Bass supporter Najee Ali said it's "critical" that Bass be elected as the next mayor of Los Angeles.
"We want to have a city that can help end homelessness. Public safety needs to be increased. Karen Bass is the right messenger, the right mayor, to make sure that L.A. is safe and can help solve the problem with homeless the city wide" said Ali.
Ali said Bass is a better candidate compared to Caruso because of her lifelong fight for social justice, calling her a "warrior" who "has spent decades to try and improve the quality of life in our community, not just for black people, but for Latinos, for Asians, for everyone in the city. She's the right person at the right time to bring racial solidarity in our city."