Los Angeles is a huge city, and its challenges – climate change, homelessness, pandemics – are increasingly nonexistent. Still, more than a dozen people are looking forward to the chance to try to resolve him as the next mayor.
Recently, we explored how growing frustration with the magnitude of these problems is already shaping race. Today we will introduce you to some such candidates.
First, though, the basics of the election: The primary will take place on June 7, and if no one candidate receives a majority, the runoff will take place on November 8. For the first time, it is on the same schedule as major state and federal elections, and a ballot will be sent to each registered voter – a system that is expected to increase turnout especially among Latino, Asian and young voters.
Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Garcetti, who cannot run again after serving two terms, awaits confirmation as the US ambassador to India. He can go by election, provisionally. He told us that he was “between two worlds”.
So who is the first to replace him? Experts say Representative Karen Bass, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus who was on President Biden’s shortlist for vice president, is a formidable force.
Bass is famous in Los Angeles, where she was a community organizer in the 1990s. He has received support from both progressive activists and members of the city’s political establishment, including former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Jeffrey Katzenberg, entertainment and tech mogul; and Representative Adam Schiff.
He has long been considered a potential mayoral contender, but said he didn’t seriously consider the job until midsummer. That said, she was initially hesitant, because an old friend, Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was on the city council at the time, had long-standing mayoral ambitions, and focused most of her efforts on uniting California’s black elected officials. Focused on career.
But then Ridley-Thomas told him during dinner that he wouldn’t run. Weeks later, in a development that stunned many Angelinos, he was indicted on federal bribery charges, making a deal with the University of Southern California to benefit his eldest son, who had sexually assaulted him. Resigned from the California Assembly amid allegations of “He said absolutely nothing about his legal issues,” he said. “It was just a question of not having a fire in his stomach that he wanted to do this.”
By August, she said, “there was this drumming and it just went up,” along with polls that helped show her far ahead of other potential candidates. The mayorship, he said, appears to be a natural extension of his decades-long representation of southwest Los Angeles.
When he launched his campaign in October, his rally was attended by hundreds of supporters. “Los Angeles, you’ve called me home,” she told the crowd through tears.
Another high-profile Progressive candidate is Kevin De Leon, a city councilor and former state Senate leader who rose through organized labor. De Leon, a son of Guatemalan immigrants – including a father he said was of Chinese descent – told us that the demographic groups are, of course, not monoliths, that it is important that the city is 49. The percentage is Latino. Historically, Latino voters have been under-represented in LA’s mayoral race, but next year’s election rule changes are expected to increase turnout significantly.
“I think the City of Los Angeles wants a mayor who leads the entire city, not just parts of the city,” he said.
Two other candidates are currently elected officials in Los Angeles, including Mike Feuer, the city’s attorney and former state legislator. Feuer has emphasized his experience in government and vowed to visit all of Los Angeles’ 101 neighborhoods to make his pitch.
“People are hungry for specific, workable solutions and they want to know that you really have the ability to deliver,” he told us.
The other is Joe Buscano, currently a city councilor and formerly a Los Angeles police officer, who is stepping up his campaign with a ballot measure to ban tent camps altogether. He calls the recent election of New York’s next mayor, Eric Adams, a former police officer, a personal inspiration and perhaps a recipe for Los Angeles.
“Yeah, we’re different skin colors — let’s be honest — with different lived experiences,” Buscaeno, who is blonde, told us recently. “But how I see it, you need first responders driving cities today, as we lead with urgency. Eric Adams, like me, knows the importance of moving quickly, as we call 911. are answering.
Several types of local businessmen have also jumped into the fray. These include Jessica Lall, who heads a downtown business group and has served as a consultant to other public officials; Ramit Verma, an entrepreneur who founded an online tutoring firm; and Mel Wilson, a real estate agent.
Two more business figures are in the running, though neither is officially underway: Rick Caruso, the billionaire developer of Grove Outdoor Mall, has hired a team of top political advisers and hasn’t ruled out a campaign. Is. And Austin Buettner, a wealthy investor and former Los Angeles school superintendent, has considered a run.
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where are we traveling
Today’s travel tip comes from reader Harold Bass, who lives at Porter Ranch:
“The Great Wall of Los Angeles is a labor of love inspired and directed by sleek artist Judith Baca. This half-mile-long mural depicts the history of California along the western wall of the Tjunga Flood Control Channel in the North Hollywood section of Los Angeles. The mural, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is divided into 81 sections. It stretches along Coldwater Canyon Avenue between Burbank Boulevard and Oxnard Street.”
Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions at [email protected] We will share more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.
what we are recommending
Holiday gift ideas for the vegetarians in your life.
And before I go, some good news
Last August, fires in the Mojave Desert cut down one of the world’s largest Joshua tree forests and killed more than a million iconic trees.
What is left is a shambles sight: trees are bent, or reduced to a heap of ash. Some are still standing but the blacks have been sung.
This year, volunteers began planting Joshua tree saplings in the Border Dome Joshua Tree Forest, to help replace what has been lost, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Volunteers say that although their efforts will undo only a fraction of the damage, nurturing new life feels hopeful at least.
“It really pulled to my heartstrings,” Mark Sandoval, a New Mexico firefighter, told the newspaper. “As a firefighter, you don’t often get involved in rehab after a fire. To see all the scorched trees, there’s really a lot to do.”
Thanks for reading. We will come back tomorrow.
ps is here Today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Gadgets banned (5 characters) in all US national parks.
Soumya Karlamangala, Jack Kramer and Mariel Wemsley contributed to California Today. you can reach the team [email protected],
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