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2022 Mayoral Forum: Karen Bass

May 9, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT



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2022 Mayoral Forum: Karen Bass

This is an in-person event. Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination along with proof of identification. Please read and check the agreement and safety boxes in the registration. Additional information regarding general event information and check-in process will be emailed directed to registrants 24 hours before the event.

AIA Los Angeles is hosting series of candid discussions with the leading Mayoral Candidates for the City of Los Angeles. The series of forums will serve as an opportunity for the A+D community and general public to learn more about each candidate’s vision for the city.

At this forum, moderated by Frances Anderton, AIALA will be asking Karen Bass specific questions centered on her vision for a great city and her specific implementation strategies for how to most effectively address the ongoing challenges of housing, climate, and racial equality crisis.

Great cities serve all their people and require visionary institutions, beautiful streets and civic spaces, and robust political leadership.

Our next mayor must have great ambition matched with acute technical knowledge of how our city works in order govern Los Angeles as the world class city transform effectively. Who will our next mayor be?


Karen Bass – Representative, U.S. Congress, District 37
Karen is a proud daughter of Los Angeles. She was raised with three brothers in the Venice/Fairfax area of Los Angeles and is the only daughter of DeWitt and Wilhelmina Bass. Watching the Civil Rights Movement on television with her father initially sparked her interest in community activism. It was at that time that she made a lifetime commitment to fighting for social and economic justice.

In 1990, in response to the crack-cocaine and gang violence crisis that was gripping Los Angeles, Karen founded Community Coalition, a community-based social justice organization in South L.A. that empowers the African-American and Latino community across generations to address substance abuse, poverty and crime in South Los Angeles. Through her leadership at Community Coalition, Karen worked to engage community residents in addressing the root causes of injustice. The organization has been recognized nationally for successful public policy campaigns that have won millions of dollars for the community.

She is a leading figure on foster care, founding the Los Angeles-based National Foster Youth Institute, which advocates for the more than 400,000 foster youth in America by ensuring that current and former foster youth have a seat at the table alongside legislators, policymakers, decision makers, families, and advocates.

Karen has represented Los Angeles in both Sacramento and Washington, DC for more than 14 years but has stayed rooted in the community here at home. She served as Speaker during California’s greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Under her leadership, the Assembly fast-tracked federal economic stimulus legislation that aided Californians who were affected by the national economic crisis and jumpstarted billions of dollars in infrastructure projects. In addition to helping navigate the state through a very difficult time, she passed legislation to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for Californians and championed efforts to improve California’s child welfare system. Karen led the effort to increase local film production through changes in state policy. For her leadership, Karen along with the 3 legislative leaders received the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, which has also been awarded to President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan.

A graduate of Hamilton High School, Cal State Dominguez Hills and the University of Southern California, she worked as a nurse, Physician Assistant, and clinical instructor at USC. Karen had one daughter, Emilia Bass-Lechuga, and a son-in-law, Michael Wright who died together in a car accident in 2006. Karen continues to be inspired by Emilia and Michael’s passion for life. Emilia planned to follow in her mother’s footsteps, working for social change. Karen also has four stepchildren, Scythia, Omar, Yvette, and Ollin, and two grandchildren, Henry and Michael.


Frances Anderton, Hon. AIALA – Design and Architecture Writer and Producer
Frances Anderton covers Los Angeles design and architecture in print, podcasts and public events. She is currently writing a book, “Common Ground: Multifamily Housing in Los Angeles,” for Angel City Press. Anderton also programs talks, exhibitions and events at Helms Bakery District; these included Low Rise, Mid Rise, High Rise: Housing in L.A. Today, a pop-up exhibition displayed in June 2021. For many years Anderton hosted DnA: Design and Architecture radio show, which told stories about the design and the built environment from the vantage point of designers, critics and users. Metropolis magazine named Anderton the “voice of the city.” Anderton got her start at KCRW producing Warren Olney’s current affairs shows Which Way, LA? And To The Point, two brilliant programs that gave voice to multiple stakeholders and diverse opinions on pressing issues. She produced and co-hosted the radio series Wasted: Neat Solutions to the Dirty Problem of Waste, aired in early 2021 on KCRW’s Greater LA. In 2015 she curated Sink Or Swim: Designing For a Sea Change, about resilient architecture, shown at the Annenberg Space for Photography. Honors include the 2020 ICON Award from the Los Angeles Design Festival and the 2010 Esther McCoy Award for her work in educating the public about architecture and urbanism, bestowed by the Architectural Guild of USC School of Architecture.

Hosted by:

Tour ARUP SoundLab (5PM – 5:30PM): Guests that arrive at 5:00PM will be able to join an exclusive immersive tour of ARUP’s SoundLab

Recommended Parking:  FIGAT 7th ($6 Park & Play flat rate after 4pm on weekdays)



May 9, 2022
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT
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