Rep. Karen Bass Becomes Los Angeles’ First Black Female Mayor In Its 241-Year History

Rep. Karen Bass has defeated Rick Caruso in Los Angelesmayoral race, according to an Associated Press projection Wednesday (Nov. 16). The historic announcement makes Bass the city’s first woman and second Black Angeleno elected as mayor in LA’s 241-year history.

Despite the businessman outspending the congresswoman 11 to 1 with over $100 million of funds allocated for his bid, Bass won the race with a six-point lead. Thousands of votes, however, remain to be counted and results are expected to be certified by Dec. 5 with the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office.

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Nonetheless, Bass, 69, took to Twitter with a message to her beloved city. “THANK YOU, LOS ANGELES,” she tweeted. “To the people of our city, my message is this: We are going to solve homelessness. We are going to prevent and respond urgently to crime. Our city is no longer going to be unaffordable for working families. And know this—that work has already begun […] We will get big things done together.”

While she didn’t explicitly state that Caruso conceded, Bass shared that she received “a gracious call” from him following news of her win. Her official statement also read, “The people of Los Angeles have sent a clear message: it is time for change and it is time for urgency […] This is my home, and with my whole heart, I’m ready to serve and my pledge to you is that we will hit the ground running Day One. I am honored and humbled that the people have chosen me to be the next Mayor of Los Angeles.”

The first Black mayor of LA was Tom Bradley, who held the position from 1973 to 1993.

Before making history as mayor, Bass became the first Black woman to lead a legislative body as California Assembly speaker.

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