Karen Bass elected mayor, becoming first woman to lead L.A. city hall
Karen Bass says she can’t wait to put her energy to work and to help make her city a better place.
The Los Angeles Times
February 21, 2013
LOS ANGELES — Karen Bass says she’s ready to take the city on.
The L.A. City Council’s first African American woman and first female mayor-elect welcomed her successor, Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa, on Monday and said she looks forward to working with him as he begins his first year in office.
“I feel like I’m a new person,” Ms. Bass said of the transformation from a city administrator and businesswoman to mayor. “I’m ready to come over here and be in your shoes. I’m ready to change the way things work in your city and be your mayor.”
Ms. Bass is becoming the first woman and first African American to serve as mayor of Los Angeles.
Ms. Bass’s election, and the four-year term that the outgoing mayor is expected to serve, marks a major step toward becoming one of the most influential elected officials in the nation, after decades of exclusion. She replaces the outgoing mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, who is leaving office after five terms to become president of Yale University.
At 73, Ms. Bass is the oldest of the three mayor candidates, and the only one who grew up in the city.
“I don’t know that I’m old enough to be a mayor,” she said. “I do plan on being a first-time mayor, so I’m not ready to be mayor yet.”
Ms. Bass said she is taking a break from the West Coast to make the transition easier, and the city is in good hands with her successors.
“I have a lot of confidence in (Mr. Villaraigosa) and in his team,” she said. “He’s going to have the experience that we all have working together, and I don’t have to do it alone.”
“We’ve got a beautiful thing here,” Ms. Bass added. “You’ve got all these incredible people in this city.”
Ms. Bass, an advertising executive who also served on the Los Angeles City Council, said she ran as a reformer and a new kind of leader.
“We can go