Trump launches into transphobic hate rant at rally in Alaska

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA), a leading candidate to become the next mayor of the City of Los Angeles, has hired LGBTQ+ people from diverse backgrounds into leadership positions within his congressional staff and in his mayoral campaign because of “their dedication to fighting for social and economic justice,” Bass told the Los Angeles Blade by phone Thursday morning.

“Diversity is something you have to do consciously,” she said. “I always look at my staff and [ask myself] ‘who has disappeared?’ to make sure we are represented. I think it’s really important to approach it that way.

Meanwhile, three senior Bass staffers, all of whom identify as LGBTQ+ – senior adviser and policy director Joey Freeman, campaign manager Jenny Delwood and chief of staff Darryn Harris – spoke to The Blade of their personal relationship with the Congresswoman.

They also pointed to what they described as a guideline in Bass’ adherence to the principles of fairness and justice, beginning with her early career as a nurse and medical assistant through to her candidacy for Los Angeles City Hall.

Bass is set to face billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso in the Nov. 8 election to replace incumbent Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Both candidates qualified for the primary elections on June 7, having each obtained less than 50% of the vote.

A longtime ally of the LGBTQ+ community, Bass launched her “LGBTQ+ for Bass” affinity group Wednesday night at the historic Black Cat Restaurant in Silver Lake.

Bass has been a mentor to the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders on his staff.

Regarding his staff, Bass said, “I see my role as helping to develop their leadership and supporting them as much as possible.”

“I was able to be myself here; all-black, all-gay,” said Harris, Bass’s chief of staff, who has known the congresswoman for her entire adult life and held several positions before being appointed to head her congressional office.

“When you have a boss that’s so supportive, it helps in so many different ways,” he said. “Not only with the work we do, but it’s also one of the things that has helped to deepen our friendship and deepen our trust in each other, because I’ve been able to devote myself entirely to work.”

Delwood, Bass’s campaign manager, has also known the MP for more than a decade and held several positions before her nomination to lead her mayoral campaign. As a human being, as a professional, and as a lesbian, Delwood said Bass embraced every part of who she was.

“The MP has been not only a patron, but also a mentor,” Delwood said. “I started working for her as an intern/fellow in 2007 at the California Assembly, and she and I have built a really strong relationship over the years. She’s part of my extended family now.

Jenny Delwood, pictured right, with Bass (centre) celebrating his wedding to his wife Christine
(Photo courtesy of Jenny Delwood)

Since the start of her health care career, Bass has been an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.

“When I went to school to be a medical assistant in the early 1980s,” Bass said, the virus that would become known as HIV/AIDS began to emerge, disproportionately affecting gay men. “It was amazing, in the early years of the outbreak, how [badly] those patients were treated,” she said.

In her work treating patients and as a full-time clinical instructor at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Bass has pushed for better treatment of HIV/AIDS patients, putting into practice what she preached.

“Since then, she’s stood up for and with the community,” said Freeman, senior adviser and policy director at Bass, who identifies as gay.

“She was on the ground floor of the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” Delwood said, “providing medical care to people living with HIV/AIDS when people were avoiding and discriminating.” [against those who were positive].” From the earliest days of her career, Delwood said, “MP Bass has been deeply supportive of the LGBTQ community.”

“It wasn’t just HIV-positive gay men,” said Bass communications adviser Zach Seidl, “but also trans people.” Ideally, physicians would greet HIV/AIDS patients in hazmat suits; at worst, refusing treatment, Seidl said. Bass, meanwhile, insisted she had to help them, he added.

Bass believes in consulting with those who will be directly affected by the policy

Policymakers often speak with subject matter experts without consulting those who will be directly affected, Bass said. It is an oversight that the hon. member was careful to avoid.

For example, Bass told the Blade that she went to a federal prison yesterday morning to distribute copies of a bill affecting women in the criminal justice system, urging incarcerated women to read and share. comments or contributions by e-mail.

This will extend to his work as mayor, Freeman said. If elected, Bass will be responsible for selecting staff, board members, and chief executive appointments, roles where she will ensure LGBTQ+ people are well represented, as that is how she prefers. govern – by consulting those directly affected by the policy.

Working so closely with Congresswoman Bass, “I get to see this every day,” Harris said, “ordinary people influencing public policy at the state, federal, and — soon — the city” under his direction.

Bass believes the most effective way to create lasting change is to work with community members and come up with community-driven solutions, Delwood agreed. “In order to truly solve homelessness or tackle crime in Los Angeles or address our lack of affordable housing, it is imperative” to work with a variety of actors in the community as well as within the county, state and federal government, she said.

Bass and his team have big plans to solve the problems plaguing Los Angelinos

“I could have stayed in Congress to fight for a leadership position,” said Bass, who was flagged as one of President Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential favorites during his 2020 election campaign. But he There are crises in Los Angeles, she said, citing the city’s latest numbers on the homeless population as an example.

Bass Policy Director Joey Freeman (Middle) and Campaign Manager Jenny Delwood (far right)
(Photo by LeRoy Hamilton)

It was the second time in her career that Bass had faced such a decision, she said. “I was a full-time medical school faculty member” when Los Angeles began to experience a crack epidemic in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“I was mortified at how the city was responding to crack and gang issues,” Bass said. “These were health, social and economic issues, but the response from policymakers was to criminalize everything and everyone in South Los Angeles.”

Upon leaving USC, Bass formed the Community Coalition and began her work as a community organizer. “I worked to stop the city from locking everyone down and to keep people away from gangs,” the MP said. “And then I looked at how we organized people to fight for drug treatment instead of incarceration for those who were addicted.”

Likewise, Bass said, the current moment calls for coalition building and collaboration across government to improve the lives of Angelenos and effect fair policymaking for, in particular, vulnerable communities.

Bass staff members highlighted how the congresswoman could be particularly effective as mayor on issues of homelessness, LGBTQ+ rights, child welfare reform, foster care reform, housing affordability and violence against black trans people.

“Forty percent of youth on the street are LGBTQ+,” Delwood said. “Being able to respond to this is a top priority for the MP as well as our entire team.” Many children land in the foster care system due to discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, she said, and although LGBTQ+ adoptive or adoptive parents are welcomed with “open arms” in Los Angeles, this is not the case in many other parts of the country.

As mayor, in coordination with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Bass will be able to advocate for young adoptees, reform the child welfare system, and prove to the rest of the country how much parents adoptees and LGBTQ adoptees can be successful, Delwood said.

Freeman agreed. There’s a lot of overlap, he said, with issues around the foster care system, with high rates of homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth, with the housing crisis. “What we need to do to address homelessness and prevent future homelessness is address the root cause,” Freeman said. “Are LGBTQ youth getting the support they need? »

Congresswoman Bass “has deep relationships with people here, in DC and in Sacramento, so when you face challenges in LA, she knows how to get there and how to pool resources in order to solve them” , Harris said. .

Harris pointed to Bass’ roots in community organizing and coalition building, saying she is the best candidate to represent all of Los Angeles as the city’s mayor.

An issue that Harris said he’s been looking forward to seeing Bass’ leadership in solving the high rates of murder and violent crime against members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially black trans people. “I’m excited to see how she could make sure they’re safe, tracking some of those federal dollars to make sure they’re protected from domestic and sexual violence,” he said. .

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