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Veteran Democratic congresswoman, Karen Bass, made history on Wednesday by becoming the first woman elected as mayor of Los Angeles.
With more than 70% of the vote totaled, Bass had amassed a lead of nearly 47,000 votes, per AP News. Bass had 53.1%, with Caruso trailing behind with 46.9%.
“The people of Los Angeles have sent a clear message: it is time for change and it is time for urgency,” Bass said in a statement. “I ran for mayor to urgently confront the crises our hometown faces,” Bass said. “Tonight, 40,000 Angelenos will sleep without a home — and five will not wake up. Crime is increasing and families are being priced out of their neighborhoods. This must change.”
Bass defeated billionaire businessman Rick Caruso, despite him pouring more than $100 million into his campaign-outspending the Democrat more than 11-1. Providing resources to the less fortunate was at the top of Bass’ campaign agenda. Her priority, she says, will be to declare a state of emergency on homelessness as soon as she takes office. There are approximately 42,000 homeless residents, with 28,000 unsheltered.
Caruso was quick to concede.
“I’m proud of the work we did to engage long-neglected communities, giving a voice to the unheard and to the light we shined on the biggest challenges facing our great city,” Caruso told a crowd of supporters. “There will be more to come from the movement we built, but for now, as a city we need to unite around Mayor-elect Bass and give her the support she needs to tackle the many issues we face. Congratulations, Karen, and God-speed.”
Bass will be sworn in to succeed Eric Garcetti as Los Angeles’ 43rd mayor on Dec. 12.