In a little over a month, voters will decide who will lead Los Angeles, the second largest city in the United States.
On June 7, residents will choose from a crowded field of candidates vying to replace the city’s current mayor, Eric Garcetti, who has resigned. The election is a primary election, and if no single candidate gets a majority of the votes, a re-election will be held on November 8th.
My colleagues have previously written about the many crises that Los Angeles’ next mayor will face, including an increase in violent crime, the homelessness crisis, and the ever-present threat of coronavirus. The city’s problems have always existed, but in recent years they have become “dwindling and existential,” they reported.
There are 12 candidates on the ballot, and five of the leading candidates met each other in a debate Sunday night hosted by Cal State Los Angeles. It was one of the last great events before the Angelenos begin to receive their postal vote and begin to cast their votes.
Candidates quarreled over pollution, affordable housing, electric cars, crime on public transportation and more. You can watch the entire debate here, or read the coverage from The Los Angeles Times or The University Times, the student newspaper in Cal State LA
Despite the high stakes, 39 percent of likely voters polled last month were unsure who they would support. If you’re in that camp, I’m here to help. Below is some background on the leading candidates, as well as resources to learn more about them.
Karen Bass is a congresswoman who was recently on President Biden’s shortlist for vice president. Bass had been considered the clear frontrunner in the mayoral race with the backing of progressive activists and members of the political establishment, but recent polls show she has serious competition.
You can learn more about Bass’ plans to solve homelessness and other issues in these interviews with The Los Angeles Times, KCRW, ABC7 and The Guardian.
Rick Caruso is a billionaire real estate developer and longtime citizen figure who jumped into the race at the last minute.
Caruso’s support has tripled in the last few months, leaving him and Bass with roughly equal approval from voters. In a study by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, Caruso had the support of 24 percent of voters and Bass of 23 percent. (It is unclear how these figures have changed since the poll was conducted a month ago.)
Caruso has no doubt been helped by the $ 23 million he has poured into his campaign, more than all the other candidates combined, the Los Angeles Times reported. By contrast, Bass has spent $ 800,000.
You can hear more about Caruso’s agenda in these interviews with The Los Angeles Times, KCRW and ABC7.
Kevin de Leon is a city councilor, former state senate leader and a well-known progressive. He has proclaimed his background as the son of Guatemalan immigrants in a city that is 49 percent Latino.
De León came in third in the UC Berkeley poll with 6 percent approval from voters.
You can learn more about de Leon’s platform in these interviews with The Los Angeles Times, KCRW and ABC7.
Joe Buscaino is a city council member and former police officer. He tried to position himself as moderate in the style of New York’s new mayor, Eric Adams, who is also a former police officer.
You can learn more about Buscaino in these interviews with The Los Angeles Times, KCRW and ABC7.
Mike Feuer is Los Angeles’ city attorney and has talked about developing an emergency response to the homelessness crisis. He has emphasized his experience in government and promised to visit all of the city’s 101 neighborhoods to make his mark – a goal he said Sunday he had finally achieved.
You can learn more about Feuer in these interviews with The Los Angeles Times, KCRW and ABC7.
If you read one story, make it one
California cities top the list of places where homeowners achieved extraordinary wealth from a booming housing market.
Where we travel
Today’s tip comes from William Jordan, who recommends “Point Reyes National Seashore for its beauty, its vast open spaces, its rolling countryside and its wildlife.”
Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We will share more in upcoming issues of the newsletter.
And before you go, some good news
Before they met for a party in Oakland in 2011, Michael Taylor and Tim Vincent both thought they would be single for life.
But the two men were surprised at how quickly they felt comfortable with each other. And they appreciated being with someone who was also black and close in age.
“I did not want to have to explain what my life was about,” Vincent, 65, told The Times.
The couple got married last month in Palm Springs. Read more about their love story in The Times.