On Sunday afternoon, California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass held her annual End of the Year Celebration at Culver City’s Veterans’ Memorial Complex Auditorium. Packed from wall to wall, Speaker Bass’ celebrated the accomplishments of the People’s Council in the 47th Assembly District by bringing together a diverse representation of her constituents. And being the hard worker that she is, Bass herself, didn’t even stay to enjoy the festivities as she had to board a plan back to Sacramento to get back to work on California’s never ending budget crisis. It’s all good though—we appreciate her and her leadership on California’s most pressing issues.
About Speaker Karen Bass
Karen Bass has been a State Assembly Member representing Los Angeles’ 47th Assembly District since 2005. In May 2008, she made history when the Los Angeles Democrat became the 67th Speaker of the California State Assembly, catapulting a Democratic woman to the post for the first time in the state’s history. Along with the California political first, Speaker Bass makes national history as the first African American woman in the country to serve in this powerful state legislative role.
Bass has been a part of the leadership since her first term when she was appointed to Majority Whip. In her second term, she was elevated to the post of Majority Floor Leader, making her the first woman to hold the post and the second African American to serve in the position. Bass, who served as the vice chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, commissioned a report to research the demographic profile of Black Californians including the basic social and economic conditions. The State of Black California report included a statewide organizing effort to involve the Black community in identifying their concerns and making legislative recommendations. As the chair of the CA Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care, she lead the effort to secure more than $82 million as well as to implement a host of new laws to help improve the state’s Foster Care System.
Since taking office, Speaker Bass has created state laws including providing Healthy Families Insurance Coverage to help prevent children from going without health insurance; a small business policy that removes red tape by preventing businesses from filling out duplicate certification forms for the city and state; and a measure that expands the Baldwin Hills Conservancy. She has also secured more than $2.3 million to help revitalize the historic Vision Theater in Los Angeles; and more than $600 million for Los Angeles Unified School District.
Committed to serving the 47th Assembly District (47AD), Bass created the People’s Council, which is made up of four Commissions (Education, Environment, Small Business and Health) in order for constituents to get involved in the political process. The Commissions also host events and activities in the district to provide information on key issues affecting 47AD residents.
Before Bass began her political career, she founded and ran Community Coalition. As executive director, she built a community based social justice organization in South Los Angeles to empower residents to get involved in making a difference. Today, the organization is considered a model to engage the community throughout the country.
Assembly Speaker grew up in the Venice/Fairfax area. She is the only girl of DeWitt and Wilhelmina Bass. Her father worked as mail carrier and her mother, who once owned her own beauty salon, was a stay at home mother. Bass grew up with three brothers – two older and one younger. She is a true Los Angelino graduating from Hamilton High School, Cal State Dominguez Hills (BA – Health Sciences) and University of Southern California School of Medicine (Physician Assistant Certificate).
Bass, who is divorced, had one daughter, Emilia Bass-Lechuga and four step children. Emilia, who grew up to be a beautiful, passionate woman, wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and help others. After marrying the love of her life, Michael Wright, Emilia continued to study to be a civil rights lawyer. Emilia’s passion for life continues to be a motivation for Bass in her personal and professional life.
Bass represents Culver City, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Cheviot Hills, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, the Crenshaw District, Little Ethiopia and portions of Korea Town and South Los Angeles.