“Rick Caruso was on the USC board of trustees during the ugliest chapter in its history — sexual abuse of hundreds and perhaps thousands of young women by a USC doctor. We may never know, and that’s because of Rick Caruso.
“When he was in the top leadership position at USC, as board chair, Rick Caruso promised a full and transparent investigation. But then, no report was ever released. When asked why, Rick Caruso told those young women that sharing the truth behind the attacks on them would cause, ‘more pain and suffering to the victims.’ Who is Rick Caruso to tell survivors of sexual assault that they are not entitled to the truth about what happened to them?
“The real USC scandal we need to talk about is how Rick Caruso failed to protect these young women and then covered up the sexual assaults against them. And we need to talk about whether we can trust an anti-choice Republican to protect the young women and everyone in this city.
“Now, let’s talk about the master’s degree in social work that I earned. And let me tell you something – no one gets a social work degree to enrich themselves. Rick Caruso knows that the only reason I studied nights and weekends for a social work degree was to become a better advocate for children and families. That’s what a social work degree does. Everyone knows – especially Rick Caruso – that the welfare of children and families has been a passion and policy focus of mine for decades.
“That’s why USC, while Rick Caruso was the board chair, invited me to be their commencement speaker and awarded me an honorary doctorate. I sat right next to Rick on Stage – he gave me a big hug after I spoke. (See photo here.)
“So Rick Caruso knows the truth. But now as a candidate, he is twisting the facts, just like he is with his Republican history and his anti-choice history. This case has nothing to do with me other than that in the middle of a political campaign, Rick Caruso is trying to take advantage.
“Now, on the terrible numbers today on homelessness, let me say this:
“Once again, the number of homeless in LA is up. As Mayor, I will not accept what has been accepted for so long. My administration will stop ‘addressing’ homelessness and instead will give people a home address. It’s time to solve this crisis.
“On day one, I will declare a state of emergency so City Hall finally treats homelessness as the massive disaster that it is. We will strategically house 15,000 people the first year in both temporary and permanent housing. And we will confront the root causes of homelessness.
“My plan is comprehensive, it is compassionate and it is grounded in my hands on and policy experience. I’ve worked with the homeless, the mentally ill, and substance abusers as a nurse and physician assistant in the emergency room. I founded a substance abuse prevention program in my own neighborhood.
“As Speaker of the Assembly, I expanded care for foster youth to prevent them from falling into homelessness. I have the lived experience and the endorsements of key decision makers to marshal the resources we need from the federal, state and county governments.
“This is not building a shopping mall. This is an all hands on deck crisis that requires comprehensive and strategic policies to both lift people from homelessness and keep Angelenos from losing their homes by building and protecting affordable housing.
“My opponent offers a two point plan to hide the homeless, and on one of the points, he won’t even provide the details. According to the Los Angeles Times, his plan will cost more than $1 billion. That is not leadership, that is campaigning, and Angelenos deserve better.”