LA mayoral candidate Karen Bass reiterates pledge to make solving homelessness top priority

Rep. Karen Bass used the kickoff event for her campaign for mayor of Los Angeles Saturday to reiterate her pledge of solving homelessness her top priority if elected.

Congresswoman Karen Bass

"In 1994, we treated the emergency (of the earthquake) as an emergency," Bass, D-Los Angeles, said at Los Angeles Trade Tech College. "We mobilized local, state, federal governments, the private and nonprofit sectors. Neighbors helped neighbors. We found temporary shelter and rebuilt our city. In record-breaking time.

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"We can fix our city again. Forty-thousand people on the street is an emergency. Solving this emergency -- solving homelessness -- will be my overwhelming top priority as mayor."

Bass also pledged to "work to support and strengthen the business community because I care about income inequality, and we need to make L.A. attractive to businesses, large and small, that provide living wage jobs so people can afford homes."

"We need to ensure that minority- and women-owned businesses are included and fully participate," Bass said. "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 L.A. 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."

Emmy- and Grammy-winning comedian Tiffany Haddish, also spoke, recounting her upbringing in foster care and being homeless.

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Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who announced his endorsement of Bass Friday, was among the other speakers, along with Rep. Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park.

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