Karen Bass defeated developer Rick Caruso to become the next mayor of Los Angeles on Wednesday, making her the first Black woman to hold the post.
Bass had 53.1%, with Caruso notching 46.9%, according to AP News.
Caruso has since called the mayor-elect to offer his congratulations.
In a statement, Bass called for unity. Read the statement:
The people of Los Angeles have sent a clear message: it is time for change and it is time for urgency,” Bass said in a statement.
I ran for mayor to urgently confront the crises our hometown faces. Tonight, 40,000 Angelenos will sleep without a home — and five will not wake up. Crime is increasing and families are being priced out of their neighborhoods. This must change.
As a city we need to unite around.
Bass, a former state Assembly leader, is a Democrat who was on President-elect Joe Biden’s shortlist for vice president. She was backed by Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the Democratic establishment.
Billionaire Caruso is a former Republican who became a Democrat shortly before entering the race. , had represented a turn to the political right. He argued that Bass and other longtime politicians were part of the problem that led LA into multiple crises.
Bass will become the first woman and second Black person to hold the job, after former Mayor Tom Bradley, who held the post from 1973 to 1993.
She takes office next month as City Council faces a racism scandal that led to the resignation of its former president and calls for the resignation of two more members.
Los Angeles has over 40 000 people homeless people, and there is widespread anxiety over crime.
Bass has said her first order of business at City Hall will be to declare a state of emergency on homelessness.