Karen Bass (born Karen Ruth Bass) is an American politician who has served as the United States Representative for the 37th congressional district of California since 2013.
She represented California’s 33rd congressional district in the United States Congress. She was a member of the Democratic Party in the California State Assembly for six years, the final two as Speaker.
Karen Bass (Democratic Party) represents California’s 37th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. On January 3, 2013, she took office. On January 3, 2023, her present tenure will come to an end.
Bass is a candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles in the state of California. On November 8, 2022, she will be on the general election ballot. On June 7, 2022, she advanced from the primary.
Bass was elected head of the Congressional Black Caucus in 2019. Bass served in the United States House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013, representing California’s 33rd Congressional District.
Bass got her start in politics by serving in the California State Assembly from 2005 to 2010. She was the majority floor leader of the assembly from 2006 until 2008.
She then served as a speaker for the last two years of her term. Bass was the first Black woman to serve as speaker of a state legislative body in the United States.
Bass launched her candidacy for mayor of Los Angeles, California on September 27, 2021.
Bass is an average Democratic member of Congress, according to numerous outside rankings, which means she will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of measures.
Education and Early Life
Bass is the daughter of Wilhelmina (née Duckett) and DeWitt Talmadge Bass and was born in Los Angeles, California.
Her father worked as a letter carrier for the US Postal Service, while her mother was a stay-at-home mom. She was up in the Los Angeles areas of Venice and Fairfax and graduated from Hamilton High School in 1971.
Her interest in community action was ignited when she saw the civil rights movement on television with her father as a child. Bass began volunteering for Bobby Kennedy’s presidential campaign when he was in middle school.
She moved on to San Diego State University to study philosophy before graduating from the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.
She went on to California State University, Dominguez Hills, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in health sciences. She also graduated from the University of Southern California with a master’s degree in social work.
The Crack Cocaine Epidemic and the Community Coalition
Bass experienced the impact of the crack epidemic in South Los Angeles while working as a Physician Assistant and clinical instructor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC Physician Assistant Program in the 1980s. After attending a Rev. Cecil Williams-hosted conference in San Francisco.
Bass and other local community organizers founded Community Coalition in the late 1980s with the goal of transforming the social and economic conditions in South Los Angeles that foster addiction, crime, violence, and poverty by creating a community institution that involves thousands in influencing and changing public policy.
Since its inception, Community Coalition has worked to prevent liquor store building while encouraging the development of small businesses, affordable housing, and organizations.
The Community Coalition has also obtained financing for low-income children in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s middle and high schools. Activists from the Community Coalition spoke during the March for Our Lives demonstration in 2018.
Assembly of California
Bass was elected to the 47th Assembly District in California in 2004. She was the first African-American woman elected to the state legislature when she was sworn in.
Before her term limit expired in 2006 and 2008, she was re-elected. Culver City, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Cheviot Hills, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, View Park-Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, the Crenshaw District, Little Ethiopia, and areas of Koreatown and South Los Angeles were among the cities and communities served by Bass.
Prior to the Election of the Speaker, the Leadership
Bass was named Majority Whip for the 2005–2006 legislative session and Majority Floor Leader for the 2007–2008 legislative session by Speaker Fabian Nez.
She formed and chaired the California Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care during her first term, enacting a slew of new laws to strengthen the state’s Foster Care System and spearheading the charge to gain $82 million in increased funding for the state’s child welfare system.
The Select Committee, led by her, drew together bipartisan and broad-based community support, as well as the voices of children and families, to pass legislation aimed at improving the lives of California’s most vulnerable children.
Bass has campaigned for tax breaks for small firms that hire new employees, increased credit flow to small businesses so they can expand and generate employment, and extended the research and development tax credit, which stimulates innovation and job creation.
She also proposed the Local Hire Act, which would empower towns and counties to hire local residents first for infrastructure projects. Los Angeles gained new jobs as a result of the rule.
Bass and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) proposed the Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, an omnibus bill that, if passed, will help Black families achieve upward socio-economic mobility and secure equal protection under the law.
The Rights of LGBTQ People
Pro-gay marriage organizations have given Bass, a social liberal, a 100 percent approval rating. The Los Angeles Stonewall Democratic Club named Bass “Public Official of the Year” in 2018.
She voted in favor of the Equality Act in 2019, which assures that LGBTQ persons have an equal chance to achieve and contribute to their communities by prohibiting discrimination against them in housing, employment, education, credit and financing, and other areas.
Life in a Personal Context
Bass was married to Jesus Lechuga from 1980 to 1986. Bass and Lechuga raised their daughter and four step-children, Scythia, Omar, Yvette, and Ollin, together after their divorce.
Karen Bass’s Net Worth
As of 2020, Bass’ net worth is predicted to be $102 million USD. This includes her property, funds, and earnings.
Her principal source of income is her political profession. Bass has amassed wealth from her multiple sources of income, yet she likes to live a humble lifestyle.
Since 2013, Bass has served as the United States Representative for California’s 37th congressional district. She represented California’s 33rd congressional district in the United States Congress.
She was a member of the Democratic Party in the California State Assembly for six years, the final two as Speaker.
Jesus Lechuga, who died in 1986, was Bass’s husband. Emilia Bass-Lechuga, the couple’s only child, was born to them.