Alumna Karen Bass begins mayoral run

Karen Bass stands behind a USC podium and speaks at an event in the USC Village.
Karen Bass, who announced her candidacy for mayor Monday, spoke about the impact the University Village would have on the surrounding community at an event in 2016. (Joseph Chen | Daily Trojan file photo)

Congresswoman and USC alumna Karen Bass announced her candidacy for Mayor of Los Angeles Monday, pledging to address the homelessness crisis by focusing on “root causes,” including affordable housing, health care and mental health service, according to her newly launched campaign website.

Bass, who graduated from the USC Keck School of Medicine physician assistant program and received her masters of social work from the USC School of Social Work, has served in congress for more than 10 years, representing CA-37 — the congressional district that includes University Park Campus — since 2012.

“With my whole heart, I’m ready. Let’s do this — together. I’m running for Mayor,” wrote Bass on Twitter Monday.

Bass grew up in the Venice/Fairfax area of Los Angeles, co-founded Community Coalition — an organization dedicated to improving economic conditions in South L.A. — and served as a state assembly member representing L.A. from 2005-2010. She delivered USC’s 136th commencement speech in 2019.

The congresswoman currently serves on the House Committee of Foreign Affairs, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism and the House Judiciary Committee. Bass was previously Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

If elected, Bass would become the first woman and second Black Mayor of L.A.