Kamala Harris Swears In Karen Bass as L.A.’s Mayor

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Ms. Davenport said she did not usually attend political events but made an exception this time.

“I wanted to help celebrate and commemorate this momentous occasion,” Ms. Davenport said. “I really feel like she has signaled that she’s willing to tackle the really tough issues, not just manage them.”

Though voters have said they are frustrated and cynical about whether a course correction is possible, thousands gathered at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday to celebrate the election of the first woman to lead the city and the second Black mayor after Tom Bradley, who retired in 1993 as the longest-tenured executive in Los Angeles history. Ms. Bass is the latest in a growing number of women who have been elected to local leadership positions.

The ceremony featured musicians including Stevie Wonder — whose performance of “Living for the City” brought the new mayor to her feet — Chloe Bailey and the duo Mary Mary. The event also featured a reading from the poet Amanda Gorman, who ended with a line that drew a standing ovation: “Where there’s a will, there is women, and where there’s women, there’s forever a way.”

Attendees wore rain jackets and carried umbrellas as they waited to go through security. Some were decked out in suits, others in sequins and Santa hats. While the lines wound through the L.A. Live complex, guests held out their phones to snap selfies in front of the theater’s marquee, showing Ms. Bass’s smiling face and her motto: “A New Day for Los Angeles.”

Earle Charles, a professor at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., approached the front of the line for his first mayoral inauguration in Los Angeles, where he has lived for almost four decades. He said he is a longtime supporter of Ms. Bass and trusts her to carry through on her campaign promises.

“One of the first things, of course, is to take care of the homeless situation,” said Mr. Charles, 69, who lives in Granada Hills in the San Fernando Valley. “To me, that’s the primary issue.”

Other attendees agreed that homelessness should be at the top of the new mayor’s agenda. Bertha Scott-Smith, 54, said she felt as though Ms. Bass’s predecessor, Eric Garcetti, had not had the easiest time making real progress on the issue.

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