Karen Bass becomes the first female mayor of Los Angeles

At 69, Karen Bass finds herself at the head of the second largest city in the country, which is preparing to host the 2028 Olympics.

Karen Bass was elected mayor of Los Angeles on Wednesday, November 16, according to US media, making her the first woman to lead the second largest city in the United States.

A fervent Democrat, Karen Bass won against real estate developer and former member of the Republican Party, Rick Caruso, who invested 100 million dollars of his personal fortune in this electoral race. After the counting of three-quarters of the votes, Karen Bass had a lead of around 46,500 votes, according to the tally published on Wednesday. An advance that local media described as“insurmountable”. The final results will be certified on December 5.

Tens of thousands homeless

Originally from Los Angeles, Karen Bass enjoys a solid reputation in her hometown. Very involved in local community life, she was elected to the California State Parliament, then to the United States House of Representatives. She succeeds Eric Garcetti, who had held the position since 2013. At 69, Karen Bass finds herself at the head of a city facing a large homeless population, where tens of thousands of people, often suffering from mental health or addiction issues, sleep in tents or in motorhomes. This problem is compounded by some of the most expensive housing in the country, in a state and city with a high cost of living and taxes well above the national average.

But she will also take the helm of a city preparing to host the 2028 Olympics and home to a thriving cultural industry, all in the film capital of the world. Karen Bass will be the first woman to serve as mayor in Los Angeles, but not the city’s first black mayor. Tom Bradley, elected in 1973, remained in office for two decades.

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