First and foremost, I must apologize to the Valley News Group and its readers for not submitting this article on time – there is no excuse for missing the deadline and I’m grateful to Kathleen Sterling for the opportunity to discuss the pressing issues our city is facing. Transparency and accountability starts with me. When I make a mistake, I own it.
Here is my promise to you: Under a Bass Administration, the Valley will not just be on the receiving end of policy coming from City Hall – the Valley will be deeply involved in the creation and implementation of all plans, especially those to house Angelenos immediately and make Los Angeles safer and more affordable for all.
Given the sheer size of the Valley, we simply cannot address these challenges without it being front and center in the work I do as Mayor. I lived in the Valley and know how Valley residents feel overlooked and neglected. The Valley deserves and needs better.
That’s why one of my first actions will be appointing a Deputy Mayor – with the help of Valley residents, of course — who will work to address the specific and unique needs of the Valley and ensure the Valley always has a strong voice in City Hall.
But I’m not waiting – I’m taking action now.
I’ve been talking to Valley leaders and residents throughout the campaign so I can hit the ground running as Mayor, for example walking Ventura Boulevard with Studio City Business Improvement District leaders to discuss how we to better support Valley businesses. The small business owners there made it clear that rising crime directly affects the bottom line. That’s why I have a plan to hire new officers to bring the LAPD to its full strength and to immediately move officers into our communities by moving them from desk jobs.
I’ve also met with the leaders from local Chambers of Commerce throughout the Valley about the need to break the status quo and to move in a new direction when it comes to solving homelessness.
We must get Angelenos inside immediately. My comprehensive plan will house more than 15,000 homeless Angelenos in my first year in office, and end encampments. We’ll do it by building more temporary housing, more permanent housing and by offering more mental health and substance abuse services. I’ve spent time with organizations in the Valley that are on the frontlines like Los Angeles Family Housing and as Mayor, I will make sure they have the resources they need to help us solve this crisis.
I am fortunate to have allies in Valley leaders like Senator Alex Padilla, Congressman Brad Sherman, State Senator Henry Stern, and Councilmember Bob Blumenfield who will help me lead a regional response to this crisis. And I know that supporters like former City Controller Wendy Greuel and community leader Vahid Khorsand will also make sure the Valley’s interests are front and center and that the Valley always gets its fair share.
My life has always been committed to enriching our communities, not myself. And for me, my promise for full Valley representation is personal – my kids and grandkids live in the Valley. My pledge is that I will be a mayor for them, and everyone in the Valley.