When Rep. Karen Bass takes office as the new mayor of Los Angeles next month, the country’s four largest cities will all have Black leaders.
The former state assemblywoman and current U.S. congresswoman, who narrowly defeated real estate mogul Rick Caruso in the city’s mayoral election, will join a historic group that includes New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
“As Black mayors continue to win elections this cycle, we are excited that, for the first time, the four largest cities — New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston — are each led by an African-American mayor,” the African American Mayors Association said in a statement Thursday, per CNN.
Adams, a retired New York City Police Department captain, was sworn in earlier this year, while Lightfoot is running for reelection. Turner, who has been mayor of the largest city in Texas since 2016, is term-limited and will not be able to seek reelection in 2023.
“When you have the top four cities at the table, with the administration, I think that the conversation is definitely going to land where it needs to be,” Phyllis Dickerson, CEO of the African American Mayors Association, told CNN.
Black women are continuing to make strides attaining top civic posts across the country, with nine women set to serve as mayors of the nation’s largest 100 cities, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
In addition to Lightfoot, Bass and Pamela Goynes-Brown, who was elected mayor of North Las Vegas, the female mayors include Vi Alexander Lyles in Charlotte, North Carolina; London Breed in San Francisco; Muriel Bowser in Washington, D.C.; LaToya Cantrell in New Orleans; Tishaura Jones in St. Louis, Missouri; and Elaine O’Neal in Durham, North Carolina.
As Bass is set to take office, her wide-ranging goals for the city include making it more affordable for working families, and working to “solve homelessness” and “prevent and respond urgently to crime,” according to the Los Angeles Times.