Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., announced this week that she is running for Mayor of Los Angeles, telling her constituents she’s in the race with her “whole heart.” 

Bass, 67, is considered a frontrunner in a crowded field and if she wins would be the first Black woman to serve as mayor. Los Angeles is the second most populated city in the U.S.

She is looking to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti, who can't seek reelection due to term limits. President Joe Biden announced in July that he would nominate Garcetti to be ambassador to India.

Bass, a longtime congresswoman, promised to make the city’s homeless crisis the focal point of her campaign. According to a June 2020 report, there are an astonishing 66,463 homeless people living in Los Angeles. 

"Our city is facing a public health, safety, and economic crisis in homelessness that has evolved into a humanitarian emergency," she said. "I've spent my entire life bringing groups of people together in coalitions to solve complex problems and produce concrete change — especially in times of crisis," Bass said in a statement. 

Bass has said that successfully combating the city’s homeless crisis comes down to “addressing the root causes of homelessness: lack of affordable housing, healthcare, job training, mental health services, and drug and alcohol counseling.”

Bass previously served as Assembly Speaker before getting elected to Congress in 2010. She has also co-founded Community Coalition, a South Los Angeles non-profit focused on social and economic issues. 

The mayoral field consists of City Attorney Mike Feuer, City Councillor Kevin de Leon and City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, business leader Jessica Lall, and real estate broker Mel Wilson. 

Bass has raised more than $520,000 for her congressional reelection campaign, which she withdrew from on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Bass had been considered for multiple high-ranking positions. In 2020, she was under consideration to be  Biden’s running mate. Bass was also considered as a replacement for Vice President Kamala Harris in the Senate before Gov. Gavin Newsom picked California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. In 2018, there was speculation that she might be Speak of the House.

The mayoral election will take place on Nov. 8, 2022.