Hundreds of supporters gathered at La Brea and Obama Boulevards on Saturday, April 29, to help mayoral candidate Karen Bass open her campaign headquarters in Los Angeles and push for a June 7 win.

Activists and advocates including actress C, former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Congresswoman Judy Chu urged attendees at the event to “really get out there, go door to door and get social media content out” for Bass. The challenges in Los Angeles, they said, will require the type of leadership of which the longtime politician has been capable.

“We have to show up big for Karen Bass,” said Chu. “We have to connect with the community to get her elected. We must show up big in June and we must show up big in November. We can’t wait to be able to say, ‘Mayor Bass.’”

Bass, a Los Angeles native developed a passion for activism as a child during the Civil Rights era, volunteering for Bobby Kennedy’s presidential campaign while in middle school.  She attended San Diego State University where she studied philosophy and went on to graduate from the Physician Assistant program at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.

She also received degrees in Health Sciences from Cal State Dominguez Hills and Social ork from USC respectively.

In the 1980s, Los Angeles’ Black and Latino communities had been in the throes of one of the worst drug epidemics in American history and Bass made the decision to face her city’s problem head on. She and other local activists at the time founded Community Coalition, an organization focused on addressing the crime, poverty and health issues that the drug, more specifically the crack, era had wrought.

Bass said she had been so affected by the crack era that during that time the song, “A Change is Gonna Come,” by Sam Cooke is what got her through.

R&B singer Aloe Blacc honored Bass with a rendition of the song during Saturday’s event.

From her work with the coalition influencing public policies, Bass segued into the State Assembly in 2004. Until 2008, she served Culver City, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Cheviot Hills, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, View Park-Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, the Crenshaw District, Little Ethiopia and portions of Koreatown and South Los Angeles. She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010.

“The sun is shining on L.A.,” said Woodard to the crowd. “Karen Bass has come home. She has come home from consistently legislating on our behalf. She came home because she saw her family house on fire and she is a first responder.”

In her candidacy announcement, Bass said she would focus on the public health, safety, housing and economic crises currently impacting the city. She reiterated that to Saturday’s crowd, emphasizing cohesiveness as the only way to address L.A.’s challenges.

“We must reject the notion that our city is failing,” said Bass.

“All of us can fix this. We can get people off the streets, We can protect the environment… We are going to do this together.”