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Los Angeles Gets A New Mayor And At Least 3 New Councilmembers

Karen Bass, who is Black, is surrounded by diverse supporters carrying signs with her name.
Karen Bass speaks on stage at the L.A. County Democratic Party's Election Night party at the Palladium in Hollywood on Nov. 8, 2022.
(Brian Feinzimer for LAist)
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The day after we learned Robert Luna would be the next Sheriff for Los Angeles County, we got another huge announcement: a new mayor for the city.

Karen Bass Wins

In a razor-thin race, U.S. Congresswoman and former Vice Presidential hopeful Karen Bass defeated Rick Caruso, the billionaire real-estate developer, to be the city’s next leader. The Associated Press called it Wednesday after a new ballot count showed her to be leading by more than 46,000 votes, about 53% of the votes tallied.

It was an extremely close tally that had Caruso in the lead when votes were counted on Election night — with hundreds of thousands more still to be added. Voters were invested in the outcome. The number of overall votes is on track to be the highest ever in Los Angeles for a mayoral race. And turnout has rebounded since a low of just 23% in 2013.

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Once Bass starts her term in January 2023, she will be the first woman and only the second Black Angeleno in the city’s 241-history to hold the mayor’s seat.  

So how does Bass, the Congresswoman with a long history in social work and community activism hope to govern the second largest city in the country? My colleague Josie Huang wrote a story about what this might look like. On the top of her agenda: housing, homelessness and public safety. To address these issues, she’ll have to work with an L.A. City Council that has some newcomers in the seats.

But there’s been some criticism from local community activists when it comes to some of her proposals for the city, most notably how she intends to budget a police department with a long history of racism against Black and Brown Angelenos.

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Rick Caruso tweeted a statement about his loss expressing his “deepest gratitude” for the city’s “continued support”.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(after you stop hitting snooze)

*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

  • A new report has found that kids in Los Angeles County juvenile halls are still being pepper sprayed, despite orders to stop almost 4 years ago. The county’s Probation Oversight Commission reports it has actually gotten worse. Between June 1 and September 30 they were sprayed at almost twice the average rate of the previous year.
  • Now, three candidates for L.A. City Council seats have declared victory. The race to fill the seat in District 11 – currently filled by Mike Bonin – is still undecided. 
  • More than two dozen trainees for law enforcement agencies – many for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department – were injured when a car going the wrong way hit them early Wednesday morning. They had been on a morning run. Five of the trainees are in critical condition. 
  • As you’ve likely heard by now, Alex Villanueva conceded to Robert Luna in the race for L.A. County Sheriff. However, you may be wondering how did Villanueva, a once progressive candidate turned controversial leader, get to this point and what are the implications? Tune in to the fifth episode of Imperfect Paradise: The Sheriff to see how it all unfolded.
  • Orange County Election officials are taking extra care with transparency as they count the ballots. Final results must be certified by Dec. 8.
  • The U.S. Education Secretary visited a Bell Gardens middle school along with Arnold Schwarzenegger to highlight the state’s push for after school programs that the former actor-turned-governor championed during his term in the early 2000s. 
  • Good news! You can now buy an annual pass to Disneyland once again, after they paused the program sporadically this past year due to overcrowding and pandemic-related issues. 
  • Backed by bipartisan support, the senate advanced a bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriage under federal law.
  • NASA’s new rocket Orion was launched off Florida’s coast early Wednesday morning with the intention to orbit the moon, bringing NASA closer to their goal of returning humans to the lunar surface. 
  • Backed by bipartisan support, the U.S Senate advanced a bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriage under federal law.
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Wait! One More Thing...

We Need Your Gift Giving Advice!

This is a picture of a rug shop and a bright teal colored gift shop in Los Angeles.
Leanna Lin's Wonderland on Eagle Rock Blvd., selling small gift items like stationary, jewelry, and home decor.
(Adriana Pera

It’s that time of year again, my friends! The holiday gift-giving season. That may bring about feelings of panic and confusion considering A) it feels like we were just in Halloween costumes yesterday B) it was 70 degees yesterday in Los Angeles and C) we haven’t even made it to Thanksgiving yet.

But while we may not be having a white Christmas, one thing we do have is a strong sense of community here in the city of L.A. 

Have you thought about what you want to give your friends, family, and other loved ones in the community this holiday season? With all the little ones in my family crew, I can honestly say I am not there mentally. They just all get a book (Auntie Aaricka loves to see kids reading!).

So why don’t we help each other out, Angelenos? Early birds and creative minds who want a head start on your Christmas shopping list, this is for you! Tell us some of your favorite gifts to give that you can find locally. It could be anything from seasonal jam at the farmer’s market to holiday show tickets or even a potted native plant. If you have an idea, we want to hear it! Click here to share your go-to gifts for fellow Angelenos!

Special thanks to our intern Olive Bieni for helping us out every week!

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Corrected November 17, 2022 at 9:05 AM PST
An earlier version of this newsletter incorrectly said that L.A. was on track for the highest turnout for a mayoral election. Turnout is currently projected to be about 44%. While that will be the highest since 1993, it falls far short of the 76% turnout in 1969. L.A. is on track for the most ran number votes ever cast for mayor.