New Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass says first decision will be to declare ‘state of emergency for homelessness’
Karen Bass was sworn in as the 43rd mayor of Los Angeles during a historic inauguration at the Microsoft Theater, CBS Los Angeles Reporting.
The ceremony was originally scheduled to take place outside City Hall but was moved indoors due to rain.
Bass took the oath ceremonially administered by Vice President Kamala Harris, a longtime friend and former California attorney general. The official oath was administered privately by the town clerk.
Ready to get to work, Bass said she would spend her first day in office declaring a state of emergency over the homelessness problem plaguing the city.
“I will start my first day as mayor at the city’s emergency operations centers, where my first act as mayor will be to declare a state of emergency for homelessness,” he said. she said, noting that she will “recognize the severity of our crisis and break new ground to maximize our ability to urgently move people indoors, and do it for good.”
She plans to house 17,000 people in her first year in office, hoping “to accommodate housing in all neighborhoods”.
“We know our mission: we have to build housing in every neighborhood,” she said. “We cannot continue to overcrowd neighborhoods that are already overcrowded.”
Bass also addressed another pressing issue she faced on her first day as mayor.
“Of course, we have to stop the ongoing crimes and hold people accountable,” Bass said. “Some neighborhoods have requested additional officers, and we will deliver. But what neighborhoods are asking for and what they need is as diverse as our city.”
Dozens of prominent politicians were present for the inauguration, including Governor Gavin Newsom.
“Making history with each of you today is a monumental moment in my life and for Los Angeles,” Bass said during his speech.
Additionally, Stevie Wonder performed “Living for the City” and “Keeping our Love Alive.” Chloe Bailey and Los Cafeteras also performed.
Bass, 69, was a social worker and community activist before representing Los Angeles in the state assembly for six years, where she was also the first African-American speaker.
In 2010, she was elected to Congress and served Los Angeles before returning home and becoming the city’s first black female mayor.
“I believe moments of inflection require reflection — I believe it’s time for Angelenos to remind us of where we came from and who we are,” she said.
She takes over in a time of turmoil, as the Los Angeles City Council struggles to conduct business through a racist scandal involving several prominent membersbut also at a time of hope, as the council will hold more women than before.
Council Chairman Paul Krekorian spoke at the event, predicting that Bass is just the leader the city of Los Angeles needs to bring people together.
“It’s a time of unprecedented challenges in our city, but today, as I watch this audience and see the people with us, I know it’s also a time of unprecedented opportunity,” did he declare.
Bass will replace fellow Democrat Eric Garcetti, who served two terms on Saturday. His nomination to become United States Ambassador struck a snag due to opposition from some in the Senate who say they are concerned about allegations of sexual misconduct against a former Garcetti staffer.
The bass was appointed mayor elected in November after a close race against Rick Caruso, the billionaire developer who spent over $100 million on his campaign.