Karen Bass victory in Los Angeles mayor’s race is a referendum on division

That’s right – $100 million to run for LA mayor. And he failed. Congresswoman Karen Bass was declared the winner on Wednesday.

I have personally witnessed the impact of politics and law enforcement on local elections and the importance of these issues in black and brown communities. As a native Californian raised in Los Angeles, specifically in the Central and South areas, this has brought back many unpleasant memories. Instead of keeping the promises made by Caruso to toughen crime policies and expand the police department, funds could have been used for important causes like addressing homelessness.

For decades, marginalized individuals of color have experienced discriminatory policies and divisive politics, as witnessed by Black and Latino young people who endured mass incarceration and the militarization of the LAPD, which were justified by the Reagan and Bush administrations’ rhetoric. These young individuals also observed how the crack-cocaine epidemic, intensified by the war on drugs, devastated communities in South Los Angeles. Having personally lived through the 1980s and ’90s, I have seen the impact firsthand.

She has been instrumental in fostering multiracial harmony and mobilizing the local community to advocate for civil rights for an extended period of time in South LA. Throughout her tenure in both the state Legislature and Congress, Bass has consistently championed the interests of Southern California and the electorate, demonstrating astute judgment by rejecting Caruso’s agenda and embracing a unifying figure.

After founding the LA South Brown and Black Community Coalition, she worked with neighborhoods to empower residents, challenge the status quo, and ensure that overlooked communities were given the respect and resources they deserved.

They cynically attempted to pit brown and Black communities against each other. The infamous leaked audio recording exposed how local labor leaders and city council colluded for power, thus exacerbating race relations in Los Angeles politics.

Rather than dividing the city, these recordings united and galvanized communities, as efforts were expanded to establish solidarity among ethnic and racial voter groups and capitalize on the moment by seeking real commitments on the trail campaign to serve the marginalized needs of people. The views of these so-called leaders do not represent the values of Angelenos.

Additionally, taking the lead is a suggested levy on costly property transactions in order to fund the construction of affordable housing. The majority of voters expressed strong support, leading County supervisors to include Measure A as a voting option, aiming to establish much-needed oversight for the Sheriff’s Office. Given the increased focus on Los Angeles politics, the emphasis shifted towards forming alliances and partnerships. Efforts are being made to tackle the ongoing and worsening issue of homelessness.

The building of togetherness is a fundamental aspect of the history of Los Angeles. The progress of the city is only achieved when multiracial coalitions work together. If we take a closer look at the coalitions built by former mayors Antonio Villaraigosa and Tom Bradley, we can see that they were successful in working and organizing together. They were able to successfully build and organize support from every ethnic and racial group.

The outcome of this year’s election will reignite the people’s movement in Los Angeles, as Mayor-elect Bass is poised to pass important ballot measures and a referendum, which were a mandate from the division and the people.