It’s time to pick the best mayor!

… And the best U.S. Senator; U.S. Representatives; Governor; Secretary of State; Attorney General, Treasurer….  If it all seems a bit overwhelming, OurWeekly (OW) is here to help. The OW Voter Guide and endorsement list is located on pages 6 through 12. 

Polls show that Rick Caruso’s $80 million in campaign spending have him and Rep. Karen Bass (D-37) (who has brought in $8 million) in a dead heat for mayor of Los Angeles. OW has endorsed Bass to make history on Nov. 8 as the first Black woman mayor of L.A., and although she won the primary, every vote is needed for her race to be successful. Indeed, many have said Democracy is on the ballot along with the L.A. mayor’s race.

“This campaign is not just about the right of women to control their own bodies, it’s not only about the crisis of climate change. It is about — and I never would have thought that as a U.S. Senator I’d have to say this — It is about whether or not this great country remains a democracy,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (i-VT) said to the Bass rally crowd chanting his name: “Bernie!” “Bernie!” 

The Bass campaign held that rally last Thursday and as the crowd gathered in Playa Vista, they were entertained by a mariachi band, young artists from the Inner City Youth Orchestra’s drumline and the main speaker, Sanders, whose supporters sold popular “Feel the Burn” T-shirts and hats nearby.

It was as if he was back on the presidential campaign trail.

“And I don’t have to tell you what’s going on in this country and in the world,” he added, noting the drought, floods and extreme weather disturbances. He then turned toward the few hecklers in the audience.  “And speaking of disturbances, we are not going to allow a handful of people to disrupt this city.”

As the hecklers were silenced by the crowd, Sanders went on:

“I am asking you in the next 12 days to work as hard as you can to elect Karen and other progressives,” he said. “But I’m asking you to come back the day after the election and continue to struggle to make sure that in America, we have the economic justice we deserve.”

Endorsements for Bass

Congressmember Adam Schiff, one of the leaders of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, has also endorsed Bass, along with former President Barack Obama.

“I know Karen. She was with me in supporting my campaign from the beginning, and Karen Bass will deliver results,” Obama said. “Make no mistake, there is only one proven pro-choice Democrat in this race, and Karen Bass has devoted her life to serving her community.”

Other endorsements include that of President Joseph R. Biden; Vice-President Kamala Harris; Secretary Hillary R. Clinton (ret.); several members of the senate and House of Representatives; Supervisor Holly Mitchell, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; Supervisor Sheila Kuehl; Supervisor Hilda Solis; Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke (ret.); and civil rights Leader Dolores Huerta.

Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price, along with the Los Angeles Democratic Party, numerous labor unions and other  elected officials and groups also support Bass. (See karenbass.com/endorsements.)

“At a time when Los Angeles and cities across the country are facing major challenges, we need bold leaders who will stand up to big money interests and put the priorities of working people first. For that reason Karen Bass, a long-time leader in the struggle for economic, social and racial justice, is the clear choice for Mayor of Los Angeles,” said Sanders in an earlier endorsement.

“She is taking on a billionaire developer who is way out of touch with the challenges facing low-income and working families,” he added. “Karen will work to end homelessness, make housing more affordable, create good paying jobs, lower the crime rate and build a diverse coalition that brings people together to take on the challenges that the city faces. I’m proud to endorse Karen, and am confident that she will be a great mayor.”

The Chicano Latino Immigrant Democratic Club of Los Angeles County recently announced their endorsement of Karen Bass for Mayor. This follows endorsements from the Korean American Democratic Committee, Armenian National Committee of America Western Region and more than 115 Jewish community leaders. 

Addressing the homeless issue

Recently, Bass addressed Los Angeles’s homelessness crisis with the Southwest Carpenters and Urban Awnings, and spoke on how Urban Awnings’ innovative housing concept will be part of the solution. 

Urban Awnings is an affordable solution set to create hundreds of jobs for local residents while being adaptable to numerous locations. Currently, the structures are being built at the Southwest Carpenters Training Center in Whittier. Bass’ plan to identify available city owned properties is designed to save taxpayers the cost of land while providing innovative and cost effective housing for the homeless. She wants to confront the root causes of homelessness to put an end to the rising statistics. 

Today, the city spends up to $800,000 per unit and takes years to build housing for the homeless, which Bass calls unacceptable. 

Urban Awnings is an innovative solution that makes it possible to build permanent housing on city owned lots within months and at a much lower cost. According to Urban Awnings, 115 units can be built per acre of land. These units can range from ADA compliant studios to 2-bedroom homes.

“On day one, I will declare a state of emergency. That will give me greater land use power so that we can take a lot like this one and get housing built affordably and faster,” said Bass. “Urban Awnings will be a key part of housing more than 17,000 Angelenos in my first year in office. 

“We’re standing here on a city-owned lot, with specific renderings for this site, with the workers who are ready to get it done. These are real solutions and real plans with real people ready to build. Angelenos are rightfully frustrated at how expensive and time consuming it is to build housing. Urban Awnings is cheaper, faster, and real,” she said.

 “Dialogue is important, but it is critical that dialogue serve as the first step towards action,” said Bass.”We can use this moment of pain to build a new path — to create equity and transparency in our government and in our city—so that we can come together and move Los Angeles in a new direction.”

Redistricting and voting trends

After the national census (conducted in 2020), the California Citizens’ Redistricting Commission updated district boundaries across the state. Some voters may be living in new Congressional, State Assembly, State Senate, and State Board of Equalization districts. Voters will see contests and candidates for their new district on their ballots.

“People, aged 50 and over are the largest voting block in the country,” said Lisa Simpson, spokesperson for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which recently hosted a webinar with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). 

“In fact the majority of Black Americans, aged 50 plus — 69% — say they always vote in national elections,” Simpson added.

Matt Hogan from Impact Research conducted a poll of the 56 most competitive House districts across the country and found Democrats with a large lead in the congressional ballots.

“But while that may seem encouraging for Democrats, it’s actually a bit of a warning sign for the party, as that margin is significantly lower than the democratic margin with Black voters 50 plus in 2020 and 2018,” he said, noting the current high level of economic anxiety.  

For these midterm elections, county Vote Centers will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Nov. 7 and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day. Voters can use Ballot Marking Devices, or drop off completed ballots at Mail Ballot Drop Boxes there. For a list of vote centers, visit locator.lavote.gov.

Visit LAVOTE.GOV or call (800) 815-2666 for more information.

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