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What to Know About the Historic Inauguration of Karen Bass as LA Mayor

What to Know

  • The inauguration of Karen Bass as LA’s next mayor is scheduled for Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.
  • The former Congress member and state Assembly speaker is the first Black woman elected to the LA mayor’s office.
  • Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver the oath of office.

Karen Bass will be sworn in Sunday as the 43rd mayor of Los Angeles in a historic moment that will mark a new era for a city facing several challenges.

The former member of Congress and state Assembly speaker who was on President Biden’s short list for vice president is the first Black woman elected to the office, currently held by Mayor Eric Garcetti who is in his final term. Bass overcame a significant spending gap to defeat Los Angeles businessman Rick Caruso in the November election.

Garcetti’s two terms as mayor of the city of 4 million people come to an end with his nomination to become U.S. ambassador to India stalled in the Senate. He leaves office with the city facing a staggering homeless crisis, anxiety over crime and a scandal that led to the resignation of a City Council president and calls for two colleagues to step down over a recorded discussion that included racist remarks about another council member’s young Black son.

Another layer was added to that City Hall scandal Friday when LA Councilmember Kevin de León, one of the council members heard on the recording, showed up at a council meeting for the first time in months before leaving amid shouts from activists. Later Friday, video captured de León involved in a fight with an activist at a Christmas tree lighting.

He said he will not attend Sunday’s mayoral inauguration.

Bass has positioned herself as someone who can build broad coalitions who can rally resources and attack large-scale problems. In a speech after last month’s election was decided, Bass sounded an optimistic tone.

“No matter who you voted for, no matter who you are or where you live, I will be a mayor for you,” Bass said. “The crisis we face affects us all, and all of us must be part of the solution.

“We’re going to solve homelessness. We’re going to prevent and respond urgently to crime. And Los Angeles will no longer be unaffordable for working families.”

Bass, a member of Congress since 2011, grew up in the Venice-Fairfax area of LA. In the 1990s, she helped gather a group of African-American and Latino community organizers to found Community Coalition, or CoCo, in an effort to improve social and economic conditions in South Los Angeles neighborhoods.

She became the first Black woman in the country to serve as speaker of a state legislative body when she became California Assembly speaker in 2008.

Here’s what to know about the inauguration.

When is the LA mayor inauguration?

The inauguration is scheduled for Sunday with events starting at 11:30 a.m. and continuing until 3 p.m. Bass is expected to take the oath of office sometime early Sunday afternoon and will likely deliver a brief speech.

Other elected city officials also will take their oaths of office at Sunday’s event.

Where is the LA mayor inauguration?

There’s been a location change due to widespread rain expected through the weekend. The inauguration was initially scheduled for outdoors at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles, but the mayor-elect’s team announced Thursday that it will move indoors to the nearby Microsoft Theater.

Light rain starts Saturday night in LA before heavier rain on Sunday.

Who will swear in of Karen Bass as LA’s next mayor?

Vice President Kamala Harris will swear in Bass at the Microsoft Theater. Harris, California’s former attorney general and U.S. Senator, still has a residence in Southern California and appeared twice with Bass during the mayoral campaign.

When will Karen Bass take office?

Bass will be sworn in Sunday as the 43rd mayor of Los Angeles, but she won’t officially take office until the next day on Monday.

How can I watch the inauguration?

The ceremony will be livestreamed on top of this page Sunday morning. Refresh the page for full coverage.

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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