On Monday, 4/18, I was invited to an event, in which mayoral candidate, Karen Bass, would be speaking. It was a lovely event, where Congresswoman Bass shared her philosophy, approach and plans, should she become the next mayor of Los Angeles. I had never before had an opportunity to meet with a candidate at this level. In many ways it was fascinating to observe our political process at work. This is where the work of the candidates happens, as they meet the people who they are hoping to serve.
I had the pleasure of meeting several people, who Like Penny Lane, are in the field of social services, mental health and housing. I spent some time talking to Michael, who shared about his work with the homeless population, and Nicole discussed the founding of a non-profit aimed at mentoring young Black women. Additionally, there was wonderful representation from the AAPI community. It was inspiring to hear about all the great work that is being done in our city and I was proud to represent Penny Lane and share what we do each day.
As people gathered the questions for Congresswoman Bass touched on how she, as mayor, would be able to support these organizations. The people wanted to know what she would be able to do to support our marginalized communities.
While we had come together for Congresswoman Bass, I soon realized that the concerns and issues of the people would be the same regardless of the candidate who was placed before them. There are a whole host of mayoral candidates and all need to be asked the same questions. How will you support the needs of the underserved?
•Karen Bass, U.S. Representative from California's 37th congressional district and former Speaker of the California State Assembly
•Joe Buscaino, city councilmember from the 15th district and former LAPD officer
•Rick Caruso, CEO of Caruso Affiliated, developer of The Grove at Farmers Market and The Americana at Brand, president of the University of Southern California board of trustees, former president of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, and former member of the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power and the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission
•Kevin de León, city councilmember from the 14th district, candidate for the US Senate in 2018 and former President pro tempore of the California State Senate
•Mike Feuer, Los Angeles City Attorney and former state assemblyman from the 42nd district
•Craig Greiwe, business executive
•Alex Gruenenfelder Smith, Echo Park neighborhood councilman
•John "Jsamuel" Jackson, business owner
•Andrew Kim, lawyer
•Ramit Varma, co-founder of Revolution Prep
•Gina Viola, community organizer/activist
•Mel Wilson, real estate agent and former Metro board member
I debated writing this article because I did not want to imply who the right candidate is. The truth is, that is a decision that only you can make. What I did want to share is a little bit about the process, but also to encourage you to ask these candidates the hard questions. If they want to be mayor, they need to be a mayor for all of us . . . not just a few. The right candidate will want to serve our marginalized communities and will support the efforts of Penny Lane and other similar organizations, whose aim is to transform lives.
The election is scheduled for November 8, 2022, with the primary being held on June 7, 2022. Please be on the lookout for your ballots, fill them out and mail them in or drop them off at a polling place. Let your voice be heard.