Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass began her first term in office Monday, a day after being sworn in with a star-studded inauguration in downtown L.A.
Days before the Sunday ceremony, it was announced that Vice President Kamala Harris would return to her home state of California to swear in the new mayor. After Bass recited the oath of office, Harris delightfully referred to her former Congressional colleague as “Madame Mayor” and the pair shook hands.
Harris wasn’t the only national figure who joined the historic moment, as Bass became the first woman– and first Black woman mayor– in the city’s 241-year history.
Performances from legend Stevie Wonder, gospel sensations Mary Mary, poet Amanda Gorman, and multi-hyphenate singer Chloe Bailey preceded the official swearing in.
During her remarks, which closed out the afternoon inauguration, Mayor Bass highlighted the city’s rising costs and its homelessness crisis. “Today, too many Angelenos have no choice but to crowd multiple families into one home and to work multiple jobs just to barely pay rent,” she told the packed audience at the 7,100 seat Microsoft Theater.
She also announced that she would declare a state of emergency against homelessness. “Tomorrow morning, I will start my first day as mayor at the city’s Emergency Operations Centers where my first act as mayor will be to declare a state of emergency,” Bass said. “My emergency declaration will recognize the severity of our crisis and break new ground to maximize our ability to urgently move people inside and to do so for good,” she added to applause.
Here are the inauguration’s top moments.
Mary Mary begin the celebration with their gospel song “Can’t Give Up Now”
Vice President Kamala Harris presides over the swearing in ceremony
Amanda Gorman, who became the country’s first Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, recites original poetry
Chloe Bailey plays the keys and sings onstage
Legend Stevie Wonder performs two songs, as an impromptu electric slide broke out with Amanda Gorman and other attendees during his performance of ‘Living for the City’
A Congressional delegation flew to L.A. to support Bass– the former CBC chair– including Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Frederica Wilson