Once Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) is sworn in as the mayor of Los Angeles, the four largest cities in the U.S., New York, Houston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, will be led by Black mayors.
Bass defeated Rick Caruso, a real-estate developer, in a tight race that took more than a week to call. With the win, the congresswoman and six-term Democrat became the first woman to be elected Mayor of Los Angeles.
CNN reports Bass’ win, combined with election wins by New York Mayor Eric Adams, who was elected last year, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who was elected in 2019, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who has been the Mayor since 2016, means that for the first time, the four largest U.S cities will be run by Black Democratic mayors.
“As Black mayors continue to win elections this cycle, we are excited that, for the first time, the four largest cities–New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston–are each led by an African American mayor,” the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) said on Thursday according to CNN.
Phyllis Dickerson, the CEO of the AAMA, told CNN that Black mayors bring a different perspective to public office and have the ability to identify problems they have experienced as well as solutions to those problems, including homelessness, poverty, and food insecurity.
“When you have the top four cities at the table, with the administration, I think that the conversation is definitely going to land where it needs to be,” Dickerson added.
There has been a significant influx of Black talent entering politics this year, including Pamela Goynes-Brown, who was elected mayor of North Las Vegas in the midterms. There will be nine Black female mayors across the U.S.
The other six are Vi Alexander Lyles in Charlotte, N.C., London Breed in San Francisco, Muriel Bowser in Washington, D.C., LaToya Cantrell in New Orleans, Tishaura Jones in St. Louis, Missouri, and Elaine O’Neal in Durham, N.C.
This year’s midterm elections saw 145 Black women who filed or indicated that they were running, breaking a record of 130 Black Women set in 2020.
Glynda Carr, the president of Higher Heights For America, a political action committee supporting Black female progressive candidates, called Bass’ win a win for representation.
“Today’s long-awaited election results reaffirm the notion that when given the opportunity, Black women have the ability and power to lead,” Carr said in a statement.