California Democratic Rep. Karen Bass is preparing to launch a 2022 campaign for mayor of Los Angeles, and could make her announcement as soon as next week, according to a person familiar with her plans.
“Los Angeles is facing a humanitarian crisis in homelessness and a public health crisis. … She does not want to see these two issues tear the city apart, Los Angeles has to come together,” Bass spokesman Zach Seidl said in a statement. “That’s why the Congresswoman is considering a run for mayor.”
Bass told reporters Friday that she was in the “final stages” of her deliberation. The Washington Post first reported Bass’ decision.
The six-term congresswoman, 67, was born and raised in Los Angeles and has been politically active since an early age, canvassing her neighbors on behalf of Robert F. Kennedy in the 1968 Democratic presidential primary. She later became a physician’s assistant and in 1990 founded the nonprofit Community Coalition to help African-American and Latino communities in South Los Angeles. She then was elected to the state Assembly and rose to become the first Black female speaker in any state legislature in the country.
In Congress, she led the Congressional Black Caucus and was on Joe Biden’s shortlist for vice president in 2020. She was a top negotiator in Congress’ bipartisan negotiations to overhaul policing laws, which ended without a deal this week.
Biden has nominated current Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve as ambassador to India. The Los Angeles City Council has the power to appoint an interim replacement if the Senate confirms Garcetti’s nomination.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and two members of the City Council — Kevin de León and Joe Buscaino — have already announced campaigns for mayor.