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HomeWorld NewsKaren Bass makes history as LA's first female mayor - BBC

Karen Bass makes history as LA's first female mayor – BBC

Karen Bass was sworn-in as mayor of Los Angeles, California on Sunday, making her the first woman to lead the second-largest city in the US.
Vice-President Kamala Harris administered the oath of office and set off raucous applause after she proclaimed Ms Bass "Madam Mayor".
Looming over the day's events was the city's homelessness crisis, which Ms Bass addressed directly in her speech.
She pledged to tackle homelessness as her first act as mayor.
"Making history with each of you today is a monumental moment in my life and in Los Angeles," Ms Bass told the assembled crowd of California leaders.
She declared she would issue a state of emergency on Monday to address the estimated 40,000 unhoused people living in the city of Los Angeles, which will release funds to address the crisis.
"If we are going to bring Angelenos inside and move our city in a new direction, 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," Ms Bass said.
Homelessness was the definitive issue of a bruising mayoral campaign, which featured a David-and-Goliath showdown between Ms Bass and the billionaire developer Rick Caruso. Mr Caruso spent $104m (£84m) on his campaign – nearly 11 times more than Ms Bass' own $9m in expenditures – and ran on a platform that put a spotlight on crime and unhoused people.
California has already spent billions of dollars to address homelessness state-wide.
In April, Los Angeles pledged $3bn over five years to alleviate the issue within its borders. Despite the enormous infusions of cash, Angelenos believe there's been little progress on addressing the crisis; voters named homelessness as a top issue during the mayor's race.
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Ms Bass also addressed the coastal city's broader cost of living crisis, saying that "too many Angelenos have no choice but to crowd multiple families into one home, and to work multiple jobs to just barely pay the rent".
The solution, she said, was to "build housing in every neighbourhood," an allusion to California's ongoing fights over zoning and development that critics say prevents much-needed housing from getting built.
This is not the only historic first Ms Bass has claimed throughout her lengthy career in politics.
In her time in the California state assembly, she became the first black woman to serve as a House speaker in any state legislature.
She most recently served six terms in Congress representing parts of Los Angeles, before announcing her historic bid for mayor in 2021 September.
Ms Bass joins a growing roster of black women who lead major US cities, including Chicago's Lori Lightfoot and Muriel Bowser of Washington DC.
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