Kamala Harris swears in Karen Bass as mayor of Los Angeles

Ms Davenport said she does not usually attend political events but made an exception this time.

“I wanted to help celebrate and commemorate this momentous occasion,” Ms Davenport said. “I really feel like she’s signaled that she’s ready to tackle the really tough issues, not just deal with them.”

Although voters said they were frustrated and cynical about the possibility of a course correction, thousands of people gathered at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday to celebrate the election of the city’s first woman leader and second black mayor after Tom Bradley, who retired in 1993 as the longest-serving leader in Los Angeles history. Ms Bass is the latest of a growing number of women to be elected to local leadership positions.

The ceremony featured musicians including Stevie Wonder – whose performance of “Living for the City” brought the new mayor to her feet – Chloe Bailey and the duo Mary Mary. The event also included a reading by poet Amanda Gorman, which ended with a phrase that drew a standing ovation: “Where there is a will, there are women, and where there are women, there is always a way.

Attendees wore raincoats and carried umbrellas while waiting to go through security. Some were decked out in costumes, others in sequins and Santa hats. As queues made their way through the LA Live complex, guests held out their phones to take selfies in front of the theater marquee, showing Ms. Bass’ smiling face and her motto: ‘A New Day for Los Angeles’.

Earle Charles, a professor at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., approached the frontlines for his first inauguration for mayor of Los Angeles, where he has lived for nearly four decades. He said he was a longtime supporter of Ms Bass and trusted her to deliver on her campaign promises.

“One of the first things, of course, is to deal with homelessness,” said Charles, 69, who lives in Granada Hills in the San Fernando Valley. “For me, that’s the main problem.”

Other participants agreed that homelessness should be at the top of the new mayor’s agenda. Bertha Scott-Smith, 54, said she felt Ms Bass’ predecessor Eric Garcetti hadn’t had the easiest time to make any real progress on the issue.


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