November 17, 2022

Congresswoman Karen Bass has become the first woman elected as mayor of Los Angeles with more than 53% of the vote. Via the New York Times:

Ms. Bass survived a bruising contest against Rick Caruso, a billionaire real estate developer, that had remained too close to call for more than a week after the election. Mr. Caruso had pumped roughly $100 million into his campaign as a law-and-order candidate, hoping to appeal to a frustrated electorate.

[...] Ms. Bass’s election comes at a tumultuous moment in Los Angeles, a city of 4 million people that emerged from the pandemic to a landscape of tent camps, debris, economic anxiety and spiking violence. Although matters have gradually begun to improve and crime rates remain far below the city’s peaks of the 1990s, Los Angeles residents have expressed fury and exhaustion, particularly at the city’s epidemic of homelessness, according to surveys, focus groups and pre-election interviews.

In an interview last year at her hillside home — a ranch house in the Baldwin Vista neighborhood that was burglarized in September by thieves who stole two handguns — Ms. Bass, 69, said that the main reason she ran for mayor was the familiarity of the current civic unease. She said the city’s mood reminded her of the fear-stoked distrust and divisiveness that preceded the 1992 riots.

“That’s what is frightening to me now — the anger,” she said. “And my concern is the direction the anger can move the city in.”

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