The congresswoman is the right choice for the US Senate

By Rachel Brashier, President, Black Women’s Democratic Club

Congresswoman Karen Bass.
IMAGES courtesy Black Women’s Democratic Club

Congresswoman Karen Bass is what American leadership should look like—a changemaker, a bridge-builder, an effective legislator—Bass comes to this moment as chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus with nine years of experience representing the people of the 33rd and currently the 37th Congressional District, in addition to decades of community organizing.

Bass can confidently traverse the uneven political terrain left by the Trump presidency, and the pandemic’s economic and social labyrinth. And she understands the Californian electorate at its northern and southern ends, its ethnic contrasts, environmental, immigration and education concerns. She has a firm grasp of the backbone industries of entertainment and tourism. Bass, if chosen, would be the first Senator from Southern California. Gavin Newsom has a decision to make and the Black Women’s Democratic Club would like to make a case for Congresswoman Bass.

Black women have a long history of effecting change that benefits almost every segment of society, yet once Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is sworn in officially, the Senate will not have a single Black woman senator.  We have an opportunity to continue a legacy of transformation with Bass. Whether through inclusive grassroots organizing and coalition building as a founder of South LA’s Community Coalition, which has flourished in its 30 years of operation because of her leadership and governing principles: to listen to the people most affected by a problem and implement solutions that dismantle the problem at its root led by the community.

In the State Assembly, Bass made history as the first African American woman to become 67th speaker, filling in her political gravitas working across political lines to champion legislation that supported Californians through an economic crisis, improved foster care and provided quality health care. She brings the same energy to the House Foreign Affairs Committee as Chair on the Subcommittee On Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. We need that vigor at the Senate level to continue Harris’ agenda.

Black women show up for the Democratic party when the party hasn’t shown up for us and supported policies that have operated to the detriment of our children, families and communities. We gave the Democratic party President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Harris and the state of Georgia. Essentially pulling America from the brink of losing its slender grasp on Democracy.

Let’s make sure that Governor Newsom makes the best choice for California and for this country right now. Visit letskeeptheseat.com to make your voice heard. We hope Governor Newsom comes to this historical moment with the awareness and acknowledgement it requires. The Black Women’s Democratic Club knows that Bass would be the right choice.

The Black Women’s Democratic Club is the first and only statewide Black women’s Democratic Club in the State of California. Our mission is simple: To build the leadership and power of progressive Black women Democrats throughout California.

Power to Speak is The Argonaut’s guest opinion column for community members to voice their views on local matters and does not represent an editorial position or endorsement by The Argonaut. The opinions, experiences, research and data analysis expressed in this article are the author’s own. Have a unique point of view on a neighborhood matter or a national issue with a local twist? Email kkirk@timespublications.com.

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