Among the November midterm results of Governor Gavin Newsom’s reelection and Senator Alex Padilla’s election to Congress, allowing him to shed his “appointed” status, comes the high-tension race between candidates Karen Bass (Democrat) and Rick Caruso (Democrat) for the position of LA County mayor.
From the beginning, Bass and Caruso were slated to be opposites, both in terms of history and demographics.
Bass, a black woman with a long history of public service jobs and community activism, has built her reputation as a politician known for coalition-building skills and her ability to reach compromises and cooperation with her peers of opposing views through her six-term past as a member of Congress and as the former Assembly Speaker.
Caruso, a white man, is known for his billionaire status and unique past as a candidate with an extensive real estate empire that has overseen major privately-owned establishments in LA, like the Grove shopping center and the Promenade at Westlake. He also has a tumultuous past in his identification towards a specific party, being currently registered as Democrat for a year, nonpartisan in the period before, and Republican for the rest.
In the end, Bass was projected to win with 54.8% of voters supporting her, making her the first female mayor in LA County’s history, and the second black person to serve as one. Her term is predicted to focus heavily on addressing the unhoused crisis through her plan to increase master-leasing of buildings to make it easier to use federal emergency housing vouchers and turn motels/hotels into housing, which was a main contention during the election.
Bass also has plans of following through with already planned policies, such as the aim for 100% zero emission cars to be sold in California by 2035 and the protection to the right of abortion, as well as advocating for reformation to the LAPD, including shifts to de-escalation training, and enforcing control on fire arm owners. It is likely that the Los Angeles area will be undergoing many infrastructure and transportation reforms too, in preparation for the 2028 Olympics to be held in the city.