Vice President Harris swears in Karen Bass as Los Angeles’ first female mayor

Karen Bass was sworn in as Los Angeles mayor Sunday after she last month became the first female and the second Black person elected to the role.

A former community organizer and Democratic member of the US House of Representatives, Bass was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris in a ceremony that was attended by other California leaders, including Governor Gavin Newsom. She officially takes office on Monday.

“The people of Los Angeles have asked me to serve at an inflection point in our history,” Bass said in a speech Sunday, pointing to the pandemic, a changing economy and climate, as well as the rising cost of living and a homeless crisis. “When life is this hard for some Angelenos, it affects all Angelenos.” 

Bass defeated billionaire Rick Caruso at the Nov. 8 election, winning with 53.1% of the vote, compared with 46.9% for her rival. Both candidates had campaigned on the top two concerns for voters in the US’s second-largest city: a spike in violent crime and a worsening homeless crisis, with roughly 42,000 people living on the streets. 

The ceremony on Sunday featured performances from singer Stevie Wonder, who celebrated the event as a key milestone for people of color, as well as National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. 

–With assistance from Brian Eckhouse.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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