So, the good news first: Democratic Representative Karen Bass will advance in the November runoff election for Los Angeles Mayor against new Democrat Rick Caruso.
The less exciting news is that billionaire shopping mall developer Caruso topped polls that showed Bass comfortably ahead. A recent a few days ago had Bass up 38 percent from Caruso’s 32. Today, with more than a third of the expected votes counted, Caruso leads Bass with 42 percent to 37. This would prove to be a decisive victory in November.
This reminds me of former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, a black Democrat who lost the 1982 governor’s election despite apparently leading the polls. There is a debate as to whether the The Bradley effect also exists, but this election certainly has the ideal conditions to do so. Apparently liberal white voters may resist admitting pollsters to have fallen into Caruso’s “law and order / homeless goodbye” rhetoric.
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin suggested that the Democrats had fallen asleep on the issue of crime ravaging our cities.
He tweeted: “I’ve been arguing for months (a year?) Biden’s CEO should make crime a top priority … maybe SF and Los Angeles will wake them up.”
During the Mayor’s debate in March, Caruso says “Right now we have some of the worst crimes we’ve had in Los Angeles history.” Predictably for a former Republican, his claim was not entirely true. Violent crime in Los Angeles is nowhere near the peak of the 1990s. However, according to LAPD chief Michel Moore, robberies involving firearms have increased 57% since 2020 and 60% since 2019.
As of mid-March, property crime increased more than 5% from last year, with auto theft once again a major concern. Compared to this point in 2020, vehicle thefts have increased by nearly 44%.
This probably explains why Caitlyn Jenner is not wearing her beautiful jewelry when walking the streets of Rodeo Drive. He is a ridiculous person, but he reflects a certain person from Los Angeles (ie an asshole).
We don’t mean to ignore the crime issue, but it’s not that Bass was running on a pro-crime platform. He also has more relevant credentials than building shopping malls. In 1990 she founded the Community Coalition, a group of black and Latino community organizers, which worked to prevent crime by addressing root causes, including poverty, substance abuse and lack of access to support services. .
Bass has a detailed and comprehensive plan for crime prevention if she is elected mayor and, as she explains on her campaign website, “We’ve already tried to stop our way out of the problem – it doesn’t work.”
People who are able to put food on the table, send their children to good schools, and pay rent are less likely to commit crimes. That’s why Bass will double crime prevention, which saves lives and property before they are taken – and saves taxpayer dollars. He would invest in social services and employment programs that will help suppress economic inequality, keep at-risk youth off the streets, and provide social workers with the support they need to get people living in mental health and behavioral crises back on their feet.
But Caruso yes I will sweep the homeless right from the hair of the rich. He is also “hard on crime”, appealing to the punitive impulses of many Los Angeles voters. Bloomberg reports that “a wave of blatant crimes against the rich” has prompted “affluent Angelenos to seek specialized services: panic rooms, luxury armored cars and companies that steal websites for personal information that thieves might use.
Caruso would invest more money in the police, who are under no obligation to stop or solve crimes. So hey “repression of property crimes” forcing the city prosecutor to prosecute minor offenses.
They are still counting the votes, but Los Angeles city councilor Kevin de León headed a distant third and progressive activist Gina Viola is the last. They should immediately lend their support to Bass, who actually has constructive solutions to the city’s problems.
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