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LA Mayor Bass On Kevin De León’s Refusal To Resign And Unhoused People Sleeping On Public Transit

Karen Bass, wearing a light blue suit jacket and blue blouse, stands at a podium with the city seal of Los Angeles. She is smiling and gripping the podium with both hands. Behind her is a floral arrangement with bursts of orange.
Karen Bass speaks after being sworn in as the 43rd mayor of the City of Los Angeles at the Microsoft Theatre at L.A. Live on December 11, 2022.
(Brian Feinzimer
for LAist)
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L.A. Mayor Karen Bass joins LAist’s radio show AirTalk each month. This week, she shared her thoughts on Kevin de León refusing to resign from the L.A. City Council, the city’s homelessness problem, and more.

Bass on de León’s refusal to resign: “It has presented a challenge for our city, but it also raises a weakness in our charter. That there is basically nothing that the City Council, the mayor, the city attorney — none of us have any power to do anything about this. The only power is with the voters, and that’s a recall. I will say that he’s up for re-election next year, so the voters have two bites at the apple, but it does raise an issue: What happens if a member of the council is compromised? What authority does the council have to discipline or expel a member? And right now, pretty much the only power is if a member of the council is indicted.”

Bass on homelessness on public transportation: “We’re looking at some best practices, especially at the end of the line. At night, there’s nowhere for people to go, and there needs to be services right there. But I absolutely saw it myself — when I was doing the [homeless] count, it was very early in the morning, and on the trains, I could see there were a number of people on the trains that were just waking up. And they clearly were sleeping on the train from the minute the train started up again.”

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Go deeper: Listen to the full interview below for more:

Listen: L.A. Mayor Karen Bass talks homelessness, policing, and more

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