Los Angeles, CA – Rep. Karen Bass released her first video for her Los Angeles mayoral campaign today. The direct-to-camera re-introduction of her life of service in Los Angeles highlights her leadership experience and how coalition building can bring the city together to tackle the homelessness crises.
Homeless encampments have proliferated in record numbers across all areas of the region, from Downtown L.A. and Hollywood to Venice Beach and beyond. A challenging housing market continues to fuel skyrocketing rents, alarming many more constituents whom statistics say are one-paycheck-away from being on the streets as well.
Watch the video here and/or read her full remarks below:
I was born and raised in Los Angeles; I grew up in the Venice/Fairfax neighborhood. It was a safe and diverse community.
I received a great public education with caring, dedicated teachers and parent activists who told me I could change the world. So, from a very young age, I tried to do just that.
After college I worked in Los Angeles hospitals and emergency rooms as a nurse and as a Physician Assistant. I saw the suffering people experience when they don’t have health care—when they can not access drug treatment or when they were victims of crime.
So, I started the Community Coalition, bringing neighbors together with City leaders and young people to prevent crime, addiction, and poverty.
When thousands of entertainment jobs were leaving L.A., I led the effort to increase local film production through changes in state policy — I had just become the first African American woman in the nation to serve as Speaker of any state house.
I also fought to bring support for children in the foster care system, because many former foster youth become homeless or incarcerated, and they needed a voice.
I’ve spent my entire life bringing diverse and sometimes conflicting groups of people together to solve problems and bring about concrete change. I was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for my role in making tough but necessary decisions in California. And in Congress I always stood up to Trump.
Today, our neighborhoods are facing a public health, safety, and humanitarian crisis: homelessness. At least 41,000 people sleep on the streets of L.A. every night.
Throughout my career I’ve stepped forward at times of crisis – and this time is no different. I’m running for Mayor because I know that solving this crisis means addressing the causes. There are no simple answers, but we have the resources.
Now we need the leadership to bring the City together.