Since being elected the the California State Assembly in 2008, Congresswoman Karen Bass has become a prominent presence in the Democratic Party. Her tireless work on criminal justice reform even earned her consideration as the Biden campaign´s VP pick, a rarity for a sitting member of Congress. In her 7 years of service at the state level, Congresswoman Karen Bass has witnessed some tumultuous moments in recent American history, and here she joins our host Areva Martin for a candid, revealing conversation.
4:37 An Election Year to Remember?
Election years are always notable for public officials, but 2020 has given Congresswoman Bass more memories than most. Fresh off a 5th re-election to her 37th District post, she speaks on the experience of helping to launch a pivotal Democratic campaign. Although she was also considered, she highlights the merit of representation for minority women overall. Expressing excitement for the convention´s star-studded speaking lineup, she credits party unity and enthusiasm with her positive outlook for this year´s election.
7:13 The Politics of Politics
After a selection process that can often be contentious, Congresswoman Bass makes a point of congratulating Kamala Harris on being chosen for the campaign. However, she feels examining the root of criticisms leveled at her during the process can be instructive. She points to attempts made by various parties to create undue conflict between herself and Senator Harris. In refusing to engage negatively, she was called ¨too likeable¨ by a number of commentators, a problematic concept in an ecosystem built on mutual support.
10:40 Attacked from Every Angle
As a black woman, Congresswoman Bass has an intimate understanding of the structural challenges minorities can face in traditional institutions. Along with attacks from her political opponents, she and other black women can face gendered attacks as well as racial discrimination. She also explores the impact of foreign influence, as the nation's enemies have been able to exploit and exacerbate division through targeted campaigns. In her view, counteracting these volatile forces in a critical year will require an aggressive new strategy.
13:57 Eyes on the Prize
As her voting record shows, Congresswoman Bass´ approach to public service has been community focused and people-driven. Delivering tangible benefits for disadvantaged individuals remains her true passion. Through initiatives such as foster care support, foreign aid, and recidivism reduction, she works to create a more equitable society for those around her.
15:11 Gone Postal
The dismantling of the United States Postal Service continues even as COVID-19 crisis has made mail-in voting a necessity for the 2020 election. With nearly all 50 states reporting significant delays in mail processing, countless voters could effectively be disenfranchised by these cutbacks. USPS is also a major employer of minorities, veterans, and other vulnerable segments of society. Issuing strong rebuke for the federal administration, she warns that a failure to protect this key public service could have devastating and irreversible effects.
Connect with Karen Bass:
LA Office: (323) 965-1422