Democrat Karen Bass, who has served as the representative for California’s 37th Congressional District since its inception in 2003, will take the oath of office for her sixth term in December 2020. Representative Bass is the chairman of the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights. As a member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, she is also involved in the development of sensible proposals for overhauling the criminal justice system. She has been a multiracial advocate for human rights, social justice, and internationalism throughout her career
Representative Bass was the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus for both 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions. The Congressional Black Caucus has joined other congressional caucuses to produce the first-ever national needs assessment for communities of color, as well as a call for a coordinated response to the COVID-19 epidemic. This was aided by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. She also sponsored the George Floyd Justice in Police Act, which is widely regarded as the most groundbreaking police legislation ever passed by Congress.
Throughout her tenure in the House of Representatives, Representative Bass has served on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations. As Chair of the Subcommittee, Representative Bass has been working to establish coalitions and advocate for economic growth and partnerships with African countries. This work is being done to strengthen relations between the United States and Africa, as well as to emphasize the tremendous potential for increasing commercial trade and personal success on the African continent. Representative Bass promptly took action in 2015, during her first term in Congress, to extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act’s (AGOA) third country fabric provision by bringing together politicians, advocacy organizations, and international leaders. This was her first significant legislative achievement (AGOA). The initiative helps to the stability, growth, and economic success of Sub-Saharan African nations by safeguarding garment industry jobs and offering some of the best venues for American enterprises to sell their commodities. This, in turn, assists these countries in becoming more economically advanced. Representative Bass has visited the continent at least 30 times and is a staunch supporter of initiatives to boost the number of persons from diverse backgrounds working in diplomatic positions there.
Furthermore, Representative Bass has served on the House Judiciary Committee since 2012. Significant reforms to the criminal justice system have been implemented as a result of her work on this committee. These developments include the historic passage of the First Step Act, as well as reforms regarding how women are treated while jailed. The Equality Act of 2020, which Congressmember Bass campaigned for, would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in all aspects of society, including employment and family life. This would ensure that LGBTQ people are not discriminated against. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, she is also working to protect the 37th Congressional District’s economy from infringements on intellectual property rights. Representative Bass voted in support of impeaching the 45th President of the United States while serving on this committee.
Chairwoman Bass lost little time after her first visit to the nation’s capital in establishing the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth. The Child Welfare Improvement Caucus has about 150 legislators that are active members. These politicians have had a significant impact on the passing of a number of critical pieces of legislation aimed at reforming the foster care system across the country.
Chairwoman Bass made history when she was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008, as the first African-American woman in US history. She was also Speaker of the California State Assembly. She presided over California through its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. When she was the Assembly’s leader, she was successful in getting legislation passed that would assist California people who had been affected by the recession. She was one of only four lawmakers recognized with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award that year for her bravery.
She and a small group of other community organizers formed Community Coalition in the early 1990s, often known as CoCo owing to the way it is commonly referred to in the area. The goal of CoCo is to establish a neighborhood institution that will engage thousands of individuals in policy formation, influence, and change in order to improve social and economic conditions in South Los Angeles, which are presently advantageous to drug abuse, criminality, and poverty.CoCo’s mission is to achieve this through bringing as many people together as possible. CoCo is now recognized on a national level as a major community organization. This is because it has influenced policy moves in a multitude of disciplines and is developing future leaders.
Venice and Fairfax are both located within the boundaries of Representative Bass’s district in the city of Los Angeles. These are the settings in which she spent her formative years as a child and adolescent. Both the Physician Assistant Program at the University of Southern California and the Masters Program in Social Work at the University of Southern California awarded her a diploma upon completion of their respective programs. Both as a physician assistant and a clinical teacher, she was employed by the Physician Assistant Program at the USC Keck School of Medicine. As part of her responsibilities, she was responsible for patient care.
During the time that this article is being written, Representative Bass is running for mayor of Los Angeles, which is located in the state of California. Should she be victorious, she would be the first woman of African descent to ever hold that position. This would mark a significant achievement for African Americans throughout the course of California’s history. African Americans have been settling in this state since before it was even a state, giving it a long and illustrious history of doing so. This part of history is typically ignored, but we can only hope that if she is elected, it will finally receive the attention it deserves.