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Saturday, April 13, 2024

First act as Mayor of Los Angeles by Karen Bass: Proclaiming a State of Emergency Regarding Homelessness

On Sunday, Karen Bass became the first woman to be sworn in as Mayor of Los Angeles, and she has committed to develop agreement among elected officials at a time when Angelenos are dealing with racial tensions, a spike in the number of people living without homes, and a fresh increase in coronavirus infections.

Ms. Bass was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris at a ceremony that recognised the historic nature of her victory but also highlighted the challenges that she would confront in her new role. Ms. Bass said that on Monday, her first official act as mayor will be to issue a state of emergency declaration about homelessness.

During Ms. Bass’ inaugural speech, which was at one point disrupted by protesters, she stated that “we must have a single strategy to unite our city and county and engage the state, the federal government, the private sector, and every other stakeholder.” In order to “bring Angelenos inside” and “move our city in a new direction,” Ms. Bass said that “we must have a single strategy to unite our city and county.”

Ms. Bass, a former Democratic congresswoman who was on the shortlist to be President Biden’s running mate in 2020, won the election against Rick Caruso, a billionaire real estate developer. She defeated Caruso in a race that remained too close to call until a week after the election.

A rise in post-pandemic homelessness as well as an increase in violent crime have shaken the city of Los Angeles, which has a population of four million people. This has prompted an uproar from residents, who claim that their quality of life has deteriorated significantly over the last few years. The Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University carried out a survey across the city at the beginning of this year, and the results showed that for the first time since 2012, a majority of Angelenos believed that the city was heading in the wrong way.

The coronavirus itself continues to be a problem, as shown by the fact that officials at the event ordered guests to wear masks in response to the concerning increase in the number of cases reported in the city.

Ms. Bass, who is 69 years old, said that she decided to run for office because the increased racial tensions and civic discomfort reminded her of the turbulence that occurred in the city before to the riots that tore it apart in 1992. In the month of September, her house was broken into. During her campaign, Ms. Bass, who has been a supporter of liberal approaches to crime prevention for a long time, made a vow to increase the number of police officers who patrol the streets.

She has also pledged to announce a state of urgency regarding homelessness and to locate housing for 17,000 individuals who are now without a home during her first year in office. In order to put any comprehensive plans to improve social assistance programmes into action, she will need to depend on a wide coalition of local government leaders from both the city and the county. In the county of Los Angeles, there are around 69,000 persons who are currently suffering homelessness, as stated in a study that was released in September by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

Ms. Bass’s inauguration was seen by Fesia Davenport, who is now serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Los Angeles County. She expressed her optimism that the next mayor will work together with the county to find solutions to the issue of homelessness.

Thousands of people gathered at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday to celebrate the election of the first woman to lead the city and the second Black mayor after Tom Bradley, who retired in 1993 as the longest-tenured executive in Los Angeles’s history. Voters have said they are frustrated and cynical about whether a course correction is possible. Ms. Bass is the most recent example of the increasing number of women who are winning elections for positions of authority in their communities.

While they waited in line to go through security, attendees protected themselves from the weather by donning raincoats and carrying umbrellas. Others were decked out in Santa hats and sequins, while others were dressed to the nines in suits. Guests held out their phones to take pictures in front of the theater’s marquee as the lines wrapped across the L.A. Live complex. The photographs included Ms. Bass’s smiling visage and her catchphrase, “A New Day for Los Angeles.”

Professor Earle Charles, who teaches at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California, moved closer to the head of the line in preparation for his first mayoral inauguration in Los Angeles, where he has resided for over four decades. He said that he has been a fan of Ms. Bass for a long time and that he has faith in her ability to fulfil the commitments she made throughout her campaign.

Other participants reached the conclusion that addressing the issue of homelessness should be the future mayor’s top priority. Bertha Scott-Smith, who is 54 years old, expressed the opinion that she believed Ms. Bass’s predecessor, Eric Garcetti, had not had the easiest job achieving significant progress with regard to the problem.

Ms. Jackson, who is 48 years old and has spent her whole life in Los Angeles, said that this was her first time attending the inauguration of a new mayor. According to her, the presence of the vice president increased the allure of attending the event in person.

Chris Matthews
Chris Matthews
I am a Political News Journalist of The National Era
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