Barely in office, Bass gets a plum post
Leadership role in Congress
After just a few unofficial weeks on the job, Los Angeles politician Karen Bass, who was sworn into office Wednesday to serve the 33rd District of the United States House of Representatives, has hit the ground running.
Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed her to the Steering and Policy Committee, which according to a Bass spokesperson, is the place where the Democratic leadership meets to develop the party’s direction. Being selected for this committee as a freshman congressperson is a key recognition of Bass’ leadership capabilities.
Bass had not yet been appointed to any other committees by the beginning of this week, but her spokesperson said she will continue her legislative focus on strengthening and improving foster care, and addressing criminal justice issues. But this time, instead of being in the position of implementing federal policy on a statewide and local basis, Bass will have the ability to work with other legislators to develop policy.
Although she is at the other end of the country. Bass also intends to continue holding districtwide public forums and other events. In fact, at the end of January, she will hold another swearing-in ceremony in Los Angeles, which will be open to the entire community.
The 33rd District has been represented by Diane Watson for nine years and is an ethnically diverse area where African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans account for more than 75 percent of the population. Latinos comprise the single largest segment.
Geographically, the district stretches from about one mile inland of Venice west to Figueroa Avenue on the east, and Koreatown on the north. It also includes the neighborhoods of Baldwin Hills, Ladera Heights, Mid-Wilshire, Hollywood and Silverlake.
According to a new visualization pre-map published last weekend by the California Redistricting Commission, (CRC), South Los Angeles and Malibu have enough in common that they should be lumped together into one voting district.
That bombshell was released last weekend on the web site www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov, and has the African American community reeling and fuming.
After four years as a state legislator and at the beginning of his first full term as a state senator, Inglewood politician Curren Price was unanimously elected chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus and among his top priorities for his two-year term are first to monitor all the legislation that comes before the state government for its impact on African Americans. Then the eight-member body will place special emphasis on health, education and economic development.
The African American Redistricting Collaborative (AARC) will hold a press conference today at 10 a.m. at the California African America Museum in Exposition Park to discuss the latest developments in redrawing legislative boundaries. The AARC’s press advisory notes that it “... is convening a press conference to declare the African American community’s refusal to accept any reduction in political representation.”
Next week, America will celebrate its most hallowed of holidays, its July 4th Declaration of Independence. One hundred forty-five years after the ratification of the 13th amendment legislation that ended legal slavery in America, 143 years after the ratified 14th amendment made Black Americans citizens of the USA, and 141 years after the 15th amendment (with a lot of help from the civil rights-era Voting Rights Act, 1965, with amendments) enfranchised us, do the vast majority of us finally feel real about being free and independent in America and that July 4th is our favorite holiday too?
Karen Bass is sworn-in during a special Los Angeles ceremony by former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Bass, Pelosi and Diane Watson—whose congressional seat the newly installed lawmaker won, enjoy a moment together.