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Black Women Leaders: Newsom Is Turning His Back on Karen Bass for Mayor

California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom has been quiet on the Democrat versus Democrat Los Angeles mayoral race. Bass, who is running to be the first Black Woman Mayor of the second largest city in the country, was endorsed by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in an August 2 joint statement. Bass is facing billionaire and Republican-turned-Democrat Rick Caruso in a runoff election in November.

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U.S. Rep. Karen Bass is running for mayor in Los Angeles.
U.S. Rep. Karen Bass is running for mayor in Los Angeles.

By Antonio‌ ‌Ray‌ ‌Harvey‌ | ‌California‌ ‌Black‌ ‌Media‌

Black Women Organized for Political Action PAC (BWOPA-PAC), California Black Women’s Collective PAC and Black women leaders throughout the state are calling out Gov. Gavin Newsom for not endorsing Congressmember Karen Bass (D-CA-37) for Los Angeles Mayor.

The individuals and organizations said in a letter that they had “watched Governor Newsom issue his support to local and statewide candidates for this upcoming November general election,” but he has not indicated he would be supporting Bass.

“Black Women went all in to support Governor Newsom during the recall with Congressmember Bass leading the way. We showed up and came out while other groups stayed home. We also led the charge to pull together our allies that rallied counterparts throughout California for Women Against the Recall.  And yet…we haven’t seen much change in his actions,” the October 16 letter stated.

In August 2021, Bass, members of the group calling itself Women Against the Recall (WAR), and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA-37), held a news conference to openly support Newsom in the recall election held Sept. 14, 2021.

Newsom survived the political action and many Black women in the state are asking him to acknowledge their assistance.

“He stated that he supports Black women, but his administration doesn’t demonstrate that he wants us at his decision-making table. He selectively supports Black women candidates even when they have overwhelming support from the party leaders and our community like in the case of Congressmember Bass,” the coalition stated.

Gov. Newsom has not endorsed any candidate running for mayor of Los Angeles in the November election, but he recently lent support to a Democrat running for State Senator.

On October 8, Angelique Ashby announced in a written statement that Newsom endorsed her candidacy for State Senate District 8. Ashby currently represents Sacramento City Council District 1 and serves as vice mayor of the City of Sacramento.

“Angelique will be the first woman elected to the State Senate from the Sacramento region in more than two decades; she’ll bring years of experience advocating for women – especially their right to privacy, the ability to make their own healthcare decisions and the fundamental right to an abortion,” Newsom said in a statement released by Ashby. “We need Angelique’s energy, perspective, and results-driven leadership in the State Senate. Please join me in supporting her.”

“Governor Newsom has been on the frontlines of many righteous fights,” said Ashby. “I look forward to fighting alongside him in the Capitol. It is an honor to earn the support of someone who shares the same passion I have for serving our communities,” Ashby said.

Educator and community organizer Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Los Angeles) is a Black candidate running for Senate District 28 against fellow Democrat and Black civil rights attorney Cheryl C. Turner.

Smallwood-Cuevas says that “Newsom has made his call on this race.” He is endorsing her.

But Newsom has been quiet on the Democrat versus Democrat Los Angeles mayoral race. Bass, who is running to be the first Black Woman Mayor of the second largest city in the country, was endorsed by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in an August 2 joint statement.

Bass is facing billionaire and Republican-turned-Democrat Rick Caruso in a runoff election in November.

As the mayoral race gets closer to the election, some Bass supporters are baffled by Newsom’s reluctance to announce an endorsement in her favor.

A poll released by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) conducted in September had Bass ahead of Caruso 34% to 31%. Bass was leading her adversary by 12% during the summer.

The California Black Women’s Collective, Black Women Organized for Political Action, Los Angeles African American Women’s Political Action Committee, and allies inked an “open letter” stating their allegiance to U.S. Congressmember Karen Bass and all Black women.

The Black women’s groups released the letter of support after Bass’ Baldwin Vista home was broken into in mid-September. Two people have been arrested, but the incident raised concerns about Bass’ safety, they say.

“Black women are more likely to be victims of crimes than our female counterparts, according to The Status of Black Women in the United States report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research,” the open letter stated. “Protecting ourselves is a matter of survival. Yet, when we are the victim of crimes, our calls for help are often ignored and even questioned by those who are charged with protecting and serving the community.”

Considering their support for Newsom in the past, the Black women’s organizations stated in their letter that choosing Bass “should be an easy choice” for the governor. They also said that it is “unacceptable to ask for our support but then turn your back on us when it matters the most.”

“(Bass) has demonstrated that she is the best one who will focus on bringing the state’s largest city together and move it forward for everyone,” the letter stated. “Which side of history do you want to be on, Governor?”

Antonio Ray Harvey, California Black Media

Antonio Ray Harvey, California Black Media

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Oakland Post: Week of May 15 – 21, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of May May 15 – 21, 2024

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Oakland Post: Week of May 8 – 14, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of May May 8 – 14, 2024

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S.F. Black Leaders Rally to Protest, Discuss ‘Epidemic’ of Racial Slurs Against Black Students in SF Public School System

Parents at the meeting spoke of their children as no longer feeling safe in school because of bullying and discrimination. Parents also said that reported incidents such as racial slurs and intimidation are not dealt with to their satisfaction and feel ignored. 

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Rev. Amos C. Brown, president of the San Francisco NAACP and pastor of Third Baptist Church. Photo courtesy Third Baptist Church.
Rev. Amos C. Brown, president of the San Francisco NAACP and pastor of Third Baptist Church. Photo courtesy Third Baptist Church.

By Carla Thomas

San Francisco’s Third Baptist Church hosted a rally and meeting Sunday to discuss hatred toward African American students of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).

Rev. Amos C. Brown, president of the San Francisco NAACP and pastor of Third Baptist Church, along with leadership from local civil rights groups, the city’s faith-based community and Black community leadership convened at the church.

“There has been an epidemic of racial slurs and mistreatment of Black children in our public schools in the city,” said Brown. “This will not be tolerated.”

According to civil rights advocate Mattie Scott, students from elementary to high school have reported an extraordinary amount of racial slurs directed at them.

“There is a surge of overt racism in the schools, and our children should not be subjected to this,” said Scott. “Students are in school to learn, develop, and grow, not be hated on,” said Scott. “The parents of the children feel they have not received the support necessary to protect their children.”

Attendees were briefed last Friday in a meeting with SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne.

SFUSD states that their policies protect children and they are not at liberty to publicly discuss the issues to protect the children’s privacy.

Parents at the meeting spoke of their children as no longer feeling safe in school because of bullying and discrimination. Parents also said that reported incidents such as racial slurs and intimidation are not dealt with to their satisfaction and feel ignored.

Some parents said they have removed their students from school while other parents and community leaders called on the removal of the SFUSD superintendent, the firing of certain school principals and the need for more supportive school board members.

Community advocates discussed boycotting the schools and creating Freedom Schools led by Black leaders and educators, reassuring parents that their child’s wellbeing and education are the highest priority and youth are not to be disrupted by racism or policies that don’t support them.

Virginia Marshall, chair of the San Francisco NAACP’s education committee, offered encouragement to the parents and students in attendance while also announcing an upcoming May 14 school board meeting to demand accountability over their mistreatment.

“I’m urging anyone that cares about our students to pack the May 14 school board meeting,” said Marshall.

This resource was supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library via California Black Media as part of the Stop the Hate Program. The program is supported by partnership with California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.

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