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Home / U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting

Bass to return to LA following 3-day national mayors conference

Mayor Karen Bass is expected to return later Friday following meetings with White House officials and President Joe Biden, as part of the third and final day of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting.

Bass was among several mayors visiting the White House, and met with federal leaders, to discuss challenges facing cities across the nation, such as homelessness and housing, climate action, infrastructure improvements and more.

“I want to thank President Biden for his continued support as we work together to lift up the second largest city in the nation,” Bass said in a statement. “During my first year in office, the White House helped us bring thousands of unhoused Angelenos inside, protect our climate with new federal resources and provided support as we recovered from a disastrous fire that closed the 10 (Santa Monica) Freeway.”

She added, “I look forward to continuing this unprecedented partnership for the people of LA.”

On Friday, Bass also met with White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients and Steve Ricchetti, counselor to Biden, to discuss a range of issues, including maximizing resources for LA and continued collaboration to address the homelessness crisis.

Reflecting on some of the highlights of her trip, Bass emphasized the most important thing that happened was the second meeting of the conference’s Task Force on Homelessness with over 60 mayors in attendance. Hillary Schieve, president of the conference and mayor of Reno, Nevada, appointed Bass as the chair of that task force last year.

“There are several areas of policy that need to be changed through legislation,” Bass told City News Service Friday morning.

Bass said her goal is to bring a bipartisan group of mayors together to visit Capitol Hill in the spring, and to essentially “lobby” members of Congress to get things changed.

One issue, she noted, that needs to be examined is how veterans receive assistance. Many veterans often have to choose between veteran benefits and housing, according to Bass.

Bass added that previous meetings with U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough led to the conclusion that the issue around veterans benefits will require a legislative fix.

“We are not going to be able to change legislation without a fair amount of Republican support,” Bass said. “So, I was honored that I was selected to chair the national task force on homelessness, and our goal is to get a group of bipartisan mayors to come back in April to lobby for that fix.”

The mayor also noted she will be working to address issues involving housing vouchers.

According to Bass, there’s a particular type of voucher that the city of LA needs more of — project-based rental assistance program, a form of rental subsidy that is attached to a building or property. There’s plenty of housing choice vouchers, or Section 8 housing, where individuals receive assistance to pay a portion of their rent, covering certain types of units under the program.

“Landlords and developers are much more interested in that type of voucher (PBRA), but Los Angeles has hit the cap,” Bass said. “We can’t get more of those. So, we need Congress to lift the cap — and given that homelessness is a problem more and more for cities around the country, we need a bipartisan group of mayors to go to the hill and lobby for that change.”

She added, “We need additional vouchers, period.”

On Thursday, Bass met with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge to discuss pathways forward to bring Angelenos inside.

She also advocated for additional resources as the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the 2028 Olympics will take place at various locations in the city and county of LA.

Bass attended a meeting focusing on the 2026 FIFA World Cup, where it will be played across North America in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

“We are fortunate of course here in Los Angeles, but the games will actually be played in the city of Inglewood,” Bass noted. “So, we have a great partnership between Mayor (James) Butts and myself, and there will be a lot of activities associated with the World Cup.”

She added future discussions will take place around public safety, improvements to transportation and infrastructure as more details are released about the event.

Mayors from 15 other cities in Los Angeles County have also registered for the conference in addition to Bass and Richardson, along with three from Orange County, according to organizers.

The other Los Angeles County mayors who have registered are Ross Maza (Alhambra); Emmanuel Estrada (Baldwin Park); Jorgel Chavez (Bell Gardens); Dr. Julian Gold (Beverly Hills); Yasmine-Imani McMorrin (Culver City); Justin Massey (Hermosa Beach); Gabriel Quinones (La Puente); Ariel Pe (Lakewood); Jose Luis Solache (Lynwood); Joe Franklin (Manhattan Beach); Eddie De La Riva (Maywood); Scarlet Peralta (Montebello); Isabel Aguayo (Paramount); Phil Brock (Santa Monica); and George Chen (Torrance).

The Orange County mayors who have registered are Ashleigh Aitken (Anaheim); Susan Sonne (Buena Park); and Farrah Khan (Irvine).

This is the second consecutive week that Bass has traveled out of the state. She went to Dallas to attend the funeral of former Rep. Eddie Bernie Johnson last Tuesday. Johnson served in the House for 30 years, including nearly 12 years with Bass, was the first nurse to serve in Congress, and first woman and African American to chair the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

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