Inglewood, CA — If anyone ever says to you that Black people aren’t concerned about local and state politics send them to Our Weekly Publisher Natalie Cole. This past Sunday the Savoy Entertainment Center, in Inglewood, California played host to Cole who had the pleasure and responsibility of interviewing the most powerful woman in the State of California, Speaker of the California Assembly Karen Bass. A packed audience of concerned citizens of all ages were in attendance, most in their Sunday best.
Cole’s first question regarding the rash of shootings by Inglewood Police of supposedly unarmed citizens set the tone for the rest of their conversation. Bass did not hesitate in expressing concern over the matter, and voiced her support of local officials, and the ensuing investigation that will surely get to the heart of the matter. Without placing blame on either party, Bass, in her very soothing way, assured the audience that she believed justice would be served.
Bass discussed her position as Speaker of the California Assembly with humor and humility. She alluded to the fact that her challenge was more a gender issue than race because the Assembly is so diverse. Speaker Bass says the gender issue sticks out when it comes to press conferences, where male reporters dominate. Bass says she makes it a point to call on female reporters.
She also stated that she does not hesitate to exercise her authority and power to get the job done.
Another point that Bass made clear was that our state representatives have a fight before them.
The governor is threatening to cut more jobs in education, children’s health care, and other sensitive areas to make up the deficit and it is their job to stop him or compromise.
One of the problems Speaker Bass cited is our outdated tax code which requires a two-thirds majority vote which means the minority vote can hold the state hostage when the vote does not appear to work in their favor. There are only two other states with this kind of law on their books, Rhode Island and Arkansas. Their population and economy in no way compares to California’s which is the 8th largest economy at over $1.5 trillion, yet the legislature is in a stranglehold because of outdated tax codes that work in favor of big business.
Speaker Bass also made it clear that she remains a community activist, focusing on social issues.
The foster care system is one of her major concerns. It too, faces dramatic crippling in the fight to reform the program.
Bass is also fighting for a tax on candy and snack food. The proceeds would go directly to the foster care program.
And, with the government and private businesses going “green,” Bass wants to make sure African Americans get their fair share of the jobs and opportunities presented by this very lucrative new resource.
Clearly, Speaker Bass has a great deal of challenges before her. Even while she’s celebrating her first year anniversary as Speaker of the California Assembly, she recognizes that she has but another year to get a long list of goals accomplished.
Cole asked Speaker Bass persistently, if she would consider running for mayor or governor next.
Bass danced around the question, only saying that she will continue to fight for the people. And after taking several questions from the audience, Bass was back on the road to the State Capital gearing up to fight the good fight.