Karen Bass is preparing for her second term as mayor

Endorsement: Karen Bass for Los Angeles mayor, second term

When Karen Bass was sworn into the Los Angeles mayor’s office on this day 17 years ago, she was a 32-year-old, married mother with four children. Her husband of 12 years was working a nine-to-five job. She was living in the Belmont-Bethlehem neighborhood of south Los Angeles, in a house without a garage or a driveway.

The couple’s only two cars were parked outside their home.

Bass was, in fact, living in a makeshift homeless shelter that was about to close. The night before she was sworn in, she received a notice of termination from her landlord after failing to pay rent. The family lost their jobs. They couldn’t afford bus fare to their jobs in Westwood. They fell into debt. They became homeless.

There was no immediate plan to move the family to another house, another job or a more permanent housing solution, but the couple did make the effort.

“I’m going to do everything I can to make you and your children a better life,” Bass said.

“This is going to be my second term as mayor of Los Angeles,” Bass said in 2011, referring to her first seven years as mayor, when she created or strengthened programs that are key to building a strong economy in this diverse city.

Now, 13 years later, Bass will start the fourth year of her second mayoral term on Monday.

As she prepares for the fourth year of her second term, Bass is preparing for a second run for mayor but with a clear path to victory, unlike when she lost her first run for mayor in the 2010 general election.

It’s one of the reasons she told me that she’s more confident than when she was sworn in as mayor in 2004, when she ran with a message from the left – “One Los Angeles, One City” – and she lost by a margin of 12,000 votes.

Even though she didn’t win the election, Bass feels she is going to campaign for her first term, as she says she always did when she was elected two years ago. Bass’ message this time is going to be different: “Bass for the people of Los Angeles.”

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