Judging by the spurt of new TV commercials and ads, the next Mayor of Los Angeles may also need to be the next Police Chief or Sheriff. The ads all seem to focus on what is called “a new Los Angeles crime wave,” and one particular candidate, Rick Caruso, (former head of the L.A. Police Commission) says he can end that problem. He even has former L.A. Police Chief and former New York City Top Cop Bill Bratton going to bat for him in the ads.
Earlier, Mr. Caruso said he also had the answer to L.A.’s other vexing problem—the homelessness issue. Maybe, if those were the only two major issues in today’s Los Angeles, he’d have a point.
However, Los Angeles, the second most populated city in the country, is not lucky enough to only be snake-bitten by those two issues.
The next mayor must also be a top negotiator for climate change issues like eliminating single-use plastics that are causing a gigantic pollution problem, and halting the onward march of the loss of a major fresh water supply for L.A. residents. Though the pandemic has reduced its hold on the Southland, it has not yet gone away, either, and there may be new mandates needed in the recent future.
Some residents even describe typical L.A. today as a recurring disaster movie. “It’s like, what are we going to die of in L.A. now? Too many ricocheting bullets? Too many robberies gone wrong? Heat? Drought? The sinkhole that ate L.A.? An 8.5 Earthquake? Omicron? No water? This has all the makings of a never-ending disaster movie,” said one.
But, as important as all these are, and though some longtime Angelenos are only seeing L.A. as a series of existential crises, the crime rates in the city currently are far below the historic peaks of the 1990s, that great water crisis of the future is not yet here, and coronavirus infections are only a fraction of where they were at the end of 2021. And, though it may be hard to see right now, there has been steady progress under the current mayor dealing with the intractable homelessness crisis, thanks to federal and state pandemic funding.
So, whoever the new mayor will be, he or she should not inherit an ungovernable albatross of a city. Of the current aspirants, Angelenos must elect a genuine leader unafraid to tackle the crises of the future.
I’d place my bet on Congresswoman Karen Bass. She’s been truly tested and has matured into the type of mayor L.A. needs right now. She’s not a cowboy, but she is a seasoned negotiator, team leader and finisher. Just what L.A. needs as the 2028 Olympics, an event she helped secure for California, is on the way.
Though it is sometimes confusing about who does and doesn’t live in the city of Los Angeles, as opposed to L.A. County, or Inglewood, etc., registered and active voters in the city are all to receive mailed ballots for a June primary (according to a new state law).
Unless one candidate gets over 50 percent of the vote then, there will be a runoff for the mayoralty in November of this year. Though the Latino population and vote has increased this year, according to the national census, it is still widely expected that the two candidates still standing in November will be Ms. Bass and probably Mr. Caruso.
Let the best woman win !!!
Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.
DISCLAIMER: The beliefs and viewpoints expressed in opinion pieces, letters to the editor, by columnists and/or contributing writers are not necessarily those of OurWeekly.