Rep. Karen Bass announces plans to run for Los Angeles mayor

U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, a prominent figure in national Democratic politics who was on President Joe Biden’s short list when he was considering a vice presidential pick, announced Monday she plans to run for Los Angeles mayor.

She released the following statement Monday:

"Our city is facing a public health, safety and economic crisis in homelessness that has evolved into a humanitarian emergency. 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. Los Angeles is my home. With my whole heart, I'm ready. Let's do this -- together. I'm running for mayor."

Bass’ entry into the race immediately reshapes the 2022 contest that already has attracted a slew of candidates. She also could provide historical milestones as the city’s first female and second Black mayor.

The first Black mayor, Tom Bradley, also was the city’s longest-serving. He ran LA from 1973 to 1993.

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Bass, 67, was a physician’s assistant and community organizer who became the first Black woman speaker of the state Assembly in 2008. She is close to Biden as well as to her fellow Californian who leads the House — San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi. Bass, serving her sixth term in the House, previously headed the Congressional Black Caucus.

Bass grew up in the Los Angeles area she now represents. Her district includes the historically black neighborhoods of South Los Angeles and Crenshaw, along with the University of Southern California and Mid-City section of LA.

She would take charge of a deeply troubled city that has been trying to deal with not only an out-of-control homeless crisis but soaring housing costs, spiking crime rates and its notorious traffic.

The city’s current mayor, Democrat Eric Garcetti, is barred by law from seeking a third term. He has been nominated by Biden to serve as ambassador to India.

Those seeking to replace Garcetti include city Councilmen Kevin de Leon Joe Buscaino, City Attorney Mike Feuer and business leader Jessica Lall.

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