Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León (D) announced his candidacy for Los Angeles mayor on Tuesday, which he said will focus on individuals who are “barely holding on” economically.
De León, who previously served in the state legislature for 12 years, said he is running to support Los Angeles residents who have been visiting food banks, having difficulties paying rent and living on the streets, according to the Los Angeles Times.
He discussed his own history with poverty during an event on Tuesday, including instances when he said his mother had to steer clear of the landlord because she did not have the funds to pay rent.
“The people of Los Angeles deserve to know that they are not alone, that their next mayor knows what housing insecurity feels like,” he said, according to the Times.
In his announcement video, de León said the next mayor of Los Angeles “must do more than take us back to normal,” citing COVID-19 and the humanitarian crisis it has caused nationwide.
“When people are called essential and treated like they're expendable, when some neighborhoods keep getting crushed by coronavirus, while others are largely spared, and when the worst humanitarian crisis in America touches every corner of our city, LA’s next mayor must do more than take us back to normal,” de León said.
“We cannot afford to go back to the old normal that left so many of us behind,” he added.
Today, I’m proud to announce my candidacy for Mayor of Los Angeles.— Kevin de Leόn (@kdeleon) September 21, 2021
I am ready to be the leader LA needs and build the bright future Angelenos deserve.
Join our movement: https://t.co/79QFS6Idye pic.twitter.com/GT8w7S8tF1
De León, 54, is the third elected official to enter the race for Los Angeles mayor. Candidates are vying to replace Mayor Eric GarcettiEric GarcettiPoll: 74 percent say COVID-19 restrictions effectively slow the virus Bass receives endorsement from EMILY's List Bass gets mayoral endorsement from former California senator MORE (D), who is barred from running again because of term limits.
President BidenJoe BidenMcAuliffe holds slim lead over Youngkin in Fox News poll Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE in July nominated Garcetti to serve as U.S. ambassador to India.
Councilman Joe Buscaino and City Attorney Mike Feuer are both in the race, in addition to business leaders Jessica Lall and Mel Wilson.
Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassFirst senator formally endorses Bass in LA mayoral bid Bass receives endorsement from EMILY's List Photos of the Week: Congressional Baseball Game, ashen trees and a beach horse MORE (D-Calif.) is also mulling a bid for Los Angeles’s top post. Earlier this month she said she is “seriously considering” a run.
The congresswoman is planning on making a decision within the next week, the Times reported, citing Bass spokesman Zach Seidl.
The mayoral primary is scheduled for June, and the runoff election will take place in November 2022.
De León, in his announcement video, said he is running to move forward as a city with “new urgency and real accountability to confront our homeless pandemic.”
He specifically pointed to “creative solutions” that can help the current situation, adding 25,000 units of housing by 2025 and establishing more rental assistance.