“Karen Bass is our candidate,” proclaimed Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. to a wildly applauding crowd. “She is the one who can lead this city!”
In response, the audience cheered and whooped as Bakewell presented Bass, a candidate for L.A. mayor, to 150+ leaders representing the city’s Black community and the attendees were not shy in voicing their support for her campaign.
The owner of Bakewell Media and executive publisher of the L.A. Sentinel joined with several prominent African Americans to host the outdoor gathering on October 14 to affirm the community’s backing of Bass in the mayoral race. Based on the enthusiastic reaction, Bass can rest assured that the Black people will support her efforts.
“I support Karen Bass because she’s clearly the best candidate with the experience and knowledge that our city needs today,” declared Weingart Center CEO and former state senator Kevin Murray.
“I think she would do an outstanding job and as an individual, I support her,” insisted the Rev. Dr. Mary S. Minor of Brookins-Kirkland Community AME Church.
“For the last 30 years, Karen Bass has been at the front line of making life better for our people and our community,” noted Khalid Shah, founder and CEO of Stop the Violence Increase the Peace Foundation.
“I’m so excited to be here to support Congresswoman Bass, soon to be mayor. I’m here as a young Black woman and I’ve always been inspired by Karen Bass,” asserted Taelor Bakewell, L.A. Housing Authority commissioner.
Endorsements came from everyone in attendance, which included notables such as retired Congresswoman Diane Watson, L.A. Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, LAUSD Board member George McKenna, activist and philanthropist “Sweet” Alice Harris, and retired South Coast AQMD Board President William Burke.
Even the invocation by Pastor William Smart, CEO/president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California, revved up the group. Petitioning for favor, he prayed that God would empower Bass to burst through the doors of city hall and transform this city into an oasis of happiness and joy that all people will prosper under the leadership of Karen Bass.
Bass also attracted allies from outside the city such as Compton Mayor Emma Sharif, who stated, “Karen, I appreciate all that you have done for all of us throughout the Golden State. It’s important that we win this campaign!”
With equal fervor, Carson Councilmember Jawane Hilton said, “Karen Bass is the clear choice. She’s tried. She’s proven. She has a proven track record of the things she’s done in Los Angeles County, so I support her wholeheartedly!”
Expressing appreciation, Bass thanked the audience for joining her “on this journey” and highlighted that her focus as mayor would be on resolving homelessness in L.A. where 40% of the unhoused are African Americans, even though Blacks are only 9% of the city’s population.
“We cannot allow this to go on anymore. This is not a criminal problem. This is a humanitarian crisis,” implored Bass. “For us to win this, we have to do this together, to organize, get out on the street. We want everybody to know and everybody to get involved.
“This is going to be campaign that every group, every geographical area, every ideology all coming together to say this is a humanitarian crisis,” and borrowing a phase from Congresswoman Watson, Bass said, “I have all of the confidence in the world that we shall lift as we climb!”
The audience exploded in cheers as Bakewell led a spirited chant of “Ka-ren! Ka-ren! Ka-ren!” He added, “Her leadership cannot be denied and it cannot be matched!”
Co-hosts of the event included Clifton Albright, Elaine Batchlor, Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, Charisse Bremond-Weaver, Jacqueline Dupont-Walker, Earl Gales, Minnie Hadley-Hempstead, Ricky Ivie, Michael Lawson, Kellie Todd-Griffin, Yvonne Wheeler, State Senator Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer and Assemblymember Mike Gipson.