CALIFORNIA (June 8, 2022)— Representative Karen Bass may regret that she did not finish off billionaire developer Rick Caruso in Tuesday’s primary.
Caruso received a majority of the vote, but the interesting factor in the race wasn’t just votes, but the Black votes versus the endorsements of movie star greats like Samuel L. Jackson. This race wasn’t about the Oscars and Grammy awards, but about homelessness, crime, high gas and food prices.
Caruso provided voters with a roadmap to address homelessness. Caruso vowed to declare a state of emergency to address the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles.
“Let’s finally call the homelessness crisis what it is, an emergency of epic proportions that deserves a true FEMA-level response that comes with federal, state, and local coordination and funds to quickly house those who are living on our streets,” said Caruso.
Caruso’s is not part of the old Democratic regime, “no more wasting precious time allowing thousands to suffer while politicians and bureaucrats fight over failed policies that have produced just a handful of shelter beds. We must demand help from federal and state governments immediately, and we must demand assistance in getting people off the streets and into housing and addiction treatment centers today,” added Caruso.
Representative Karen Bass is focused on making history as the first Black woman to hold the office of Mayor, but Black voters are suffering. Blacks aren’t seeking history, but results. Bass failed to provided working men and women an insight in how she would end high gas and food prices. Bass failed to provided a specific plan in how she would end homelessness and crime in California.
Bass’ campaign focused on her career as a longtime Democratic lawmaker who was on President Joe Biden’s short list for a running mate during the 2020 campaign, could make history in California.
Bass offers the voters her history serving in the California State Assembly prior to her time serving six-terms in Congress. “In 2008, she made history as the first Black woman to serve as speaker of a state legislature, according to her congressional biography,” wrote CNN.
What has Bass Accomplished?
Representative Karen Bass “has championed efforts to shape public policy in areas such as child welfare, foster care and prison reform. She chaired the Congressional Black Caucus for two years and helped to lead policing overhaul efforts after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in 2020,” wrote CNN.
Bass Plans To Use Past Job Experience To Combat Crime
According to CNN, Bass’ “highlighted her early work as a physician assistant in the emergency room and her experience bringing together Black and Latino community organizers in South LA in the early 1990s to address the root causes of crime and the crack epidemic through the nonprofit she founded, Community Coalition. She has also pointed to her role as a dealmaker when she led the California State Assembly after the 2008 financial crisis — making budget decisions that earned her a John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2010.”
Bass has been a champion for advocating for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, while crime continues to increase in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York City and other urban and rural areas across America.
Bass’ crime plan “includes provisions to set up a national registry of police misconduct, a ban on racial and religious profiling by law enforcement and an overhaul of so-called qualified immunity for police officers — was passed by the House in March 2022.”
Bass supports the old regime’s response to crime by seeking to revive the Obama-era panels to review policing practices and investigating police agencies in more cities. Bass’s plan has been implemented, but failed the Black and Latino communities.
Caruso’s Plan To Combat Homelessness
Caruso said “declaring a State of Emergency will give us the ability to expedite sheltering decisions by creating a single point of accountability in the Mayor and getting City Council politics out of the way. We can’t solve this problem with 15 career politicians catering to the loudest special interests — we need a single point of accountability who answers only to the voters. Rick Caruso has the fortitude to tackle these problems head on and focus on them until the job is done. He won’t fixate on what office to run for next. Rick Caruso will Clean Up LA.”
Bass has not introduced a specific plan to combat homelessness.
“We’re all having discussions in good faith,” Bass said. “Everybody knows that holding officers accountable is one of the most important things we can do. We are tired of seeing video after video” of police killings.
Caruso To Address Mental Health And Addiction
In 2019 the LA Times found that more than 76% of the homeless population had substance abuse or mental illness issues. This was contrary to the 29% reported by LAHSA, the Homeless Services bureaucracy. The good news is we don’t need a report or newspaper article to tell us what we already know: drugs and mental health issues are ravaging our homeless population and every police officer in skid row will tell you, the dealers and criminals are preying on the homeless as a disposable source of customers. We must intensify efforts to crack down on illicit drug manufacturing and dealing that makes our mental health crisis worse. WE MUST END THE CYCLE.
Caruso said “it’s time we created our OWN MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION TREATMENT DEPARTMENT to fund and implement critical services that our residents need.”
Caruso to Address Los Angeles Problems Head On
Caruso plans to:
- Create a Department of Mental Health and Addiction Treatment. Rick won’t wait for the County or the failing bureaucratic process as we know it to deliver the services those suffering on the street need. As Mayor, Rick will create a City-run Department focused on mental health and addiction services, the primary mandate of which will be speed.
- Hire 500 Mental Health and Addiction Caseworkers. Hire and allocate the largest mental health and addiction treatment workforce this state has seen to get people treatment quickly and efficiently. Rick’s goal will be to have 500 people on the streets working to intake those who need help the most.
- Compel People Suffering Mental Illness into Care. Amend laws to make conservatorships for the homeless population streamlined and accessible. It is truly a travesty that someone as cognizant and aware as Britney Spears can be in a conservatorship, but a homeless person slowly killing themselves with a brutal meth addiction can’t be compelled into treatment.
- Create a Mental Health Justice Center. Create a Mental Health Justice Center to ensure anyone who is compelled into treatment is treated fairly and evaluated in a timely manner to ensure that once their addiction treatment is complete, they can rejoin society with job training, continued free mental health services, and addiction treatment.
- Have Mental Health Workers Respond to 911 Calls. Hire mental health first responders to join our Police and Fire units on calls to ensure those with mental health issues are treated humanely and without unnecessary use of force incidents
- Fight Fentanyl and Opioid Abuse. Deploy a large-scale and properly trained police effort to rid our streets of fentanyl and other highly addictive and dangerous drugs. For too long we have let dealers and criminals run rampant within homeless encampments and skid row, creating a largely unfettered and hospitable environment for drug dealing and manufacturing.
Caruso Cut Crime, Head On With Results
“As President of the Police Commission, he cut crime, fought corruption and stood up to political pressure to force real reform. He came to the presidency at a time of great turmoil for the LAPD with the Department operating under a federal consent decree. Caruso restored public trust in the LAPD, especially among Black, Asian and Latino Angelenos. Caruso oversaw a 30 percent reduction in crime, fought for community policing and police accountability and stood up to political pressure when he hired Chief William Bratton, who is remembered as the most transformational figure in the history of policing in the City of Los Angeles.”
As Mayor, Caruso will not defund the police, but he will “restore the LAPD’s Budget that the City Council defunded and expand the number of patrol officers with more hiring, civilianization of non-essential sworn positions, and a commitment to more training and diversified recruitment.”
Bass Supported Defunding The Police
Bass advocated defunding the police, which lead to an increase of crime in urban cities. As The Times has explained, “even some of Bass’ longtime supporters have begun warning publicly that her more moderate stances put her at risk of dampening enthusiasm among the city’s progressive voters.”
As mayor, Bass will “move 250 Los Angeles police officers out of desk jobs and into patrol. She would add hundreds of civilian employees at the LAPD, in a bid to free up officers from performing clerical duties. She also called for the department to hire more detectives and investigators, highlighting the fact that the LAPD solved just over half of the city’s murders in 2020,” wrote the Times.
In the nation’s second-largest city, Black, Latino and White voters gravitated to Caruso’s promises to crack down on crime and homelessness.
Source: Caruso’s Campaign, The LA Times, CNN and AP News contributed to the article.