Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Los Angeles LGBT Center congratulates Karen Bass on historic Mayoral win

Following the U.S. midterm election results, the resounding message for the LGBTQ+ movement is clear: Our fight is ongoing and more urgent than ever.

While the number of anti-LGBTQ policymakers elected to the U.S. Congress gives us pause, this unprecedented election year—with over 400 openly LGBTQ candidates elected for office and a massive youth voter turnout—gave us hope for the future ahead.

Furthermore, the Los Angeles LGBT Center congratulates Karen Bass, 69, the first woman, and the first Black woman, to be elected Mayor of the City of Los Angeles. For decades, she has been a staunch advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS, the LGBTQ community, and communities of color. Even before making history as the first Black woman to serve as Speaker of the California Assembly, she was a nurse providing care to people living with HIV/AIDS during the 1980s, when many medical providers refused to treat them. She went on to found Community Coalition, an organization that empowers Black and Latinx communities to address substance use, poverty, and crime, and the National Foster Youth Institute, which advocates for improvements to the child welfare system.

“We are confident that Mayor-elect Karen Bass will continue to champion the issues that impact our communities and we look forward to working with her and her staff to make Los Angeles a city in which LGBTQ people can truly be healthy, equal, and complete members of society,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Joe Hollendoner.

Karen Bass

While ballots for the mayoral race were still being counted, Angelenos showed up down the ballot in favor of progressive issues. The Center had previously published its stance on nine different state and LA county ballot initiatives, with seven of those ultimately being supported by the majority of voters. 

“In many ways, California and Los Angeles continue to show up as bright spots in this country’s fight ahead,” said Joey Espinoza-Hernández, the Policy Director of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. “On election night, Angelenos showed up to codify abortion rights, encourage accountability from our sheriffs, and elect our city’s first Black woman mayor.”

About Karen Bass

Karen Bass was born in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, on October 3, 1953. She graduated from Hamilton High School, Los Angeles, Calif.; B.S., California State University, Dominguez Hills, Calif., 1990; P.A., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif., 1982; M.S.W., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif., 2015; physician’s assistant; faculty, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.; member of the California state assembly, 2005-2010, speaker, 2008-2010; elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Twelfth and to the five succeeding Congresses (January 3, 2011-present).

In 2018, the Los Angeles Stonewall Democratic Club named Bass its Public Official of the Year. In 2019, she voted in favor of the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in housing, employment, education, credit and financing, and more.

As political attacks continue to mount on our community, the Center also encourages its supporters to get involved in the movement through advocacy, volunteering, and community-building. Join the Center in the resistance by Texting ‘RESIST’ to 33339 or visiting

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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