Who will be the next mayor of LA?: 6 candidates in the race to replace Garcetti

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti durings a news conference while he signs his 2021-2022 budget, in the Tom Bradley room of Los Angeles City Hall on June 2, 2021. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Antonio Gonzalez Jr

Eric Garcetti, the two time mayor of Los Angeles cannot run again in 2022 due to term limits. Garcetti will be termed-out Dec. 22. As of now, six candidates have announced their run for mayor.

The next primary election will be on June 7, 2022 while the general election is Nov. 22, 2022.

If no candidate reaches 50% of votes in the primary, the top two candidates will advance to the general election.

The candidates are congresswoman Karen Bass, former state assembly member Kevin de León, City Attorney Mike Feuer, city Councilman Joe Buscaino, business leader Jessica Lall and real estate broker Mel Wilson.

Who are these candidates; what have they addressed in their campaign?

The most recent nominee to run for mayor is Karen Bass. Bass is a U.S representative for the 37th district of California. She addressed the issue of homelessness as the main concern in her campaign.

Bass wrote that solving this crisis means “addressing the root causes of homelessness: lack of affordable housing, healthcare, job training, mental health services, and drug and alcohol counseling” according to the LA Times.

Former state assembly member and current council member of district 14, Kevin de León also addressed the crisis of homelessness and mentioned his own experience in the campaign speech.

“I know what housing insecurity feels like. Growing up in crowded basement apartments, sharing houses with strangers, and sleeping in my car” he said. León plans to build 25,000 new homeless housing units by 2025 if elected.

City Attorney Mike Feuer emphasized homelessness and affordable housing as his top issue as well. He also plans on doubling the number of city council members.

Fuer said “it would make the city government more accountable, causing each council member to represent half as many people allowing them to know the neighborhoods in their districts more intimately” according to the LA times.

Joe Buscaino, city councilman, said “he will use his background as a police officer to tackle the city’s urgent issues of homelessness and rising crime” according to the LA times.

Buscaino has favored restrictive rules ensuring that sidewalks will remain passable. He recently pushed to resume cleanups at homeless encampments.

Jessica Lall, CEO of a non profit organization, had also addressed the homelessness, housing and humanitarian crises as her top concerns.

In her speech she gave seven different ideas on how to solve homelessness. One of the strategies she mentioned is to rehouse people and provide them with substance abuse programs and other help.

Does the next candidate address the same issue? Well, to some degree.

Businessman Mel Wilson said he wants to tackle homelessness, help small businesses, and create “smart transit and affordable housing corridors.”

What are some of their accomplishments or positions held by each candidate?

Bass is 67 years old with so many great accolades. She is in her six term and became the first Black woman speaker of the state Assembly in 2008. She serves on the White House committee on foreign affairs, subcommittee on Africa, global health and global human rights.

She also serves the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism where she is pushing for criminal reform.

León is 54 years old, who learned English as his second language growing up. He has spent more than a decade representing Los Angeles in the California State Assembly and as the first Latino to lead the California Senate in over 100 years. He has helped many young immigrants thus far.

Feuer is just 63 years old but has been one of California leading lawyers and lawmakers. In 2017, the American Bar Association presented its top award in the nation to Feuer. This was the first city attorney office ever to receive the Hodson award which recognizes outstanding performances by a public sector.

Fuer started a Neighborhood Justice Program which gives non violent offenders and other individuals opportunities to change their life around by helping the city.

Buscaino is a 15 year police veteran with a great background of other positions. He has served as the Chair of the City’s Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee since 2017. Buscaino also serves as Vice-Chair of the Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee and as a member of the Public Safety Committee, Transportation Committee, Homelessness & Poverty Committee. He also served on the San Pedro YWCA’s Racial Justice Committee as well.

Ever since Jessica Lall became CEO and president of Central City Association, she served as Executive Director of the South Park Business Improvement District in Downtown Los Angeles which provides cleaning, safety and other services

Lall also held the roles of Senior Policy Director in the Department of Economic and Business Policy for former L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa.

Despite being a real estate broker, Wilson served on the Metro Board of Directors. He was appointed by two different mayors, Richard Riordan and Antonio Villaraigosa.

Mel is the approved broker for units in the Los Angeles Community Investment Department. He also stabilized a $142 million program called the National Stabilization Program which is program to assist low and moderate income households.

All six of these candidates want the best for Los Angeles but might have different approaches. Everyone should go out and research these candidates to determine who is the best candidate to help solve this crisis.