Karen Bass Net Worth 2022, Age, Husband, Children, Family, Parents, Mayoral Endorsements

Karen Bass

Read the write-up of Karen Bass net worth, age, husband, children, height, family, parents, salary, endorsements, party, mayoral elections as well as other information you need to know.


Karen Bass is an American politician and social worker serving as the U.S. representative for California’s 37th congressional district since 2011. The district, numbered as the 33rd district for her first term, covers several areas south and west of downtown Los Angeles. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served for six years in the California State Assembly, the last two as speaker. Bass is a candidate in the 2022 Los Angeles mayoral election. Bass was elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on November 28, 2018, during the 116th Congress.

Bass also serves as chair of the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations and the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Before her election to Congress, Bass represented the 47th district in the California State Assembly (2004–2010). In 2008, she was elected to serve as the 67th speaker of the California State Assembly, becoming the first African-American woman in United States history to serve as a speaker of a state legislative body. She won the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2010 for her leadership during the Great Recession.

Early life

NameKaren Bass
Net Worth$4 million
Age68 years
Karen Bass net worth 2022

Karen Ruth Bass was born on October 3, 1953 (age 68 years) in Los Angeles, California, United States. She is the daughter of Wilhelmina (née Duckett) and DeWitt Talmadge Bass. Her father was a postal letter carrier and her mother was a homemaker. She was raised in the Venice and Fairfax neighborhoods of Los Angeles and graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School in 1971. Witnessing the civil rights movement on television with her father as a child sparked her interest in community activism. While in middle school, Bass began volunteering for Bobby Kennedy’s presidential campaign. In the mid-1970’s she was an organizer for the Venceremos Brigade, a pro-Cuban group that organized trips by Americans to Cuba. She visited Cuba eight times in the 1970s.

Bass went on to study philosophy at San Diego State University and graduated from the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program. She then earned a bachelor of science degree in health sciences from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She also received her master’s in social work from the University of Southern California. In the 1980s, while working as a physician assistant and a clinical instructor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC Physician Assistant Program, Bass witnessed the impact of the crack epidemic in South Los Angeles. After attending “Crack: The Death of a Race”, a San Francisco conference hosted by Cecil Williams, she decided to organize a response.

In the late 1980s, Bass and other local community organizers founded Community Coalition, an organization with a mission to help transform the social and economic conditions in South Los Angeles that foster addiction, crime, violence, and poverty by building a community institution that involves thousands in creating, influencing, and changing public policy. In 2004, Bass was elected to represent California’s 47th Assembly district. At her inauguration, she became the only African-American woman serving in the state legislature. She was reelected in 2006 and 2008 before her term limit expired. Bass served the cities and communities of Culver City, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Cheviot Hills, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, View Park-Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, the Crenshaw District, Little Ethiopia and portions of Koreatown and South Los Angeles.

Speaker Fabian Núñez appointed Karen Bass as California State Assembly majority whip for the 2005–06 legislative session and majority floor leader for the 2007–08 legislative session. During her first term, she founded and chaired the California Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care, implementing a host of new laws to help improve the state’s foster care system and leading the effort to secure $82 million in additional funding for the state’s child welfare system. Under her direction, the Select Committee passed legislation designed to improve the lives of California’s most vulnerable children.

During her term as majority whip, Bass also served as vice chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. As vice chair, she commissioned the first ever “State of Black California” report, which included a statewide organizing effort to involve Black Californians in town halls in every part of the state with a prevalent Black community to solicit ideas for a legislative agenda. The result of the report was a legislative agenda for the Black community that was released during her term as majority floor leader. Núñez termed out of the Assembly at the end of the 2007–08 session, leaving Bass as the next-highest-ranking Democrat in the Assembly. After consolidating the support of a majority of legislators, including some who had previously been planning to run for the speakership themselves, Bass was elected speaker on February 28, 2008, and sworn in on May 13, 2008.

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Karen Bass promoted numerous laws to improve the state’s child welfare system as a speaker. During her first year, she ushered through expansion of Healthy Families Insurance Coverage to prevent children from going without health insurance and worked to eliminate bureaucratic impediments to the certification of small businesses. She also secured more than $2.3 million to help revitalize the historic Vision Theater in Los Angeles and more than $600 million for Los Angeles Unified School District. Bass worked with the governor and initiated the California Commission on the 21st-Century Economy to reform California’s tax code. She also fought to repeal the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Bass became speaker during a period of severe economic turmoil. Negotiations over a spending plan to address a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall began the day Bass was sworn in. A statement by the John F. Kennedy Foundation included the following description of events: In February 2009, amid one of the worst budget crises in California’s history, an imploding economy, and potentially catastrophic partisan deadlock, the state’s Republican and Democratic party leaders came together to address the financial emergency.

After weeks of grueling negotiation, the legislative leaders and Gov. Schwarzenegger reached an agreement on a comprehensive deal to close most of a $42 billion shortfall, putting an end to years of government inaction and sidestepping of the difficult decisions necessary to address California’s increasingly dire fiscal crisis. The deal was objectionable to almost everyone; it contained tax increases, which the Republicans had long pledged to oppose, and draconian spending cuts, which brought intense criticism to the Democrats. The two Republicans were ousted from their party leadership positions over the agreement. Voters defeated the budget referendum in May 2009.

In June 2009, Bass drew criticism from conservative commentators for statements she made during an interview with Los Angeles Times reporter Patt Morrison in response to a question about how conservative talk radio affected the Assembly’s efforts to pass a state budget. Referencing the condemnation from conservative talk radio hosts that three Republicans experienced after they voted for a Democrat-sponsored plan to create revenue by raising taxes, Bass described the pressures Republican lawmakers face: The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: “You vote for revenue and your career is over.” I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.

Bass, Dave Cogdill, Darrell Steinberg, and Michael Villines received the 2010 Profile in Courage Award for their leadership in the budget negotiations and their efforts to address the severe financial crisis. In presenting them with the award, Caroline Kennedy said: Faced with a budget crisis of unprecedented magnitude, Karen Bass, Dave Cogdill, Darrell Steinberg and Mike Villines had the courage to negotiate with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and with each other on a compromise they believed was in the best interest of the citizens of California. Each made sacrifices, and each knew their agreement would have painful and far-reaching consequences for their constituents and for their own careers.

U.S. House of Representatives

In 2010, Congresswoman Diane Watson retired from Congress and encouraged Bass to run for her seat. Bass was ineligible to run for reelection to the State Assembly in 2010 due to California’s term limits so on February 18, 2010, Bass confirmed her candidacy to represent California’s 33rd congressional district. Bass raised $932,281.19 and spent $768,918.65. Her 2010 campaign contributions came from diverse groups, with none donating more than 15% of her total campaign funds. The five major donors to her campaign were labor unions, with $101,950; financial institutions, with $90,350; health professionals, with $87,900; the entertainment industry, with $52,400; and lawyers and law firms, with $48,650. Bass won the election with over 86% of the vote on November 2, 2010.

In redistricting following the 2010 census, the district was renumbered from 33rd to 37th. In 2012 she had no primary opponent, and won the general election with 86% of the vote. She raised $692,988.53 and spent $803,966.15, leaving $52,384.92 on hand and a debt of $3,297.59. Karen Bass was involved in President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. She played a leadership role in the California African Americans for Obama organization and served on Obama’s national African American Leadership Council. Bass had also served as a co-chair of African Americans for Obama in California during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Karen Bass was reelected to a fourth term with 81.1% of the vote. She endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2015. On August 3, 2016, Bass launched a petition to have then-candidate Donald Trump psychologically evaluated, suggesting that he exhibited symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). The petition was signed by 37,218 supporters. She did not attend President Trump’s inauguration after conducting a poll on Twitter. Fueled by Trump’s election and in an effort to channel Angelenos’ political frustrations, Bass created the Sea Change Leadership PAC to activate, educate, and mobilize voters.

Bass won her primary with 89.18% of the vote and was reelected to a fifth term with 88.2% of the vote. After the 2018 elections, Democrats regained the majority in the House of Representatives. Representative Seth Moulton and others who felt the current leadership was “too old” gathered signatures to replace Nancy Pelosi as the Democrats’ leader. Bass was their first choice for leader, but she rejected the offer, supporting Pelosi for speaker. On November 28, 2018, Pelosi won the speakership on a 203-to-32 vote. Bass served as the second vice chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 115th Congress. She was elected chair of the CBC on November 28, 2018 and served in that capacity from 2019 to 2021.

Political positions

Karen Bass has been the top Democrat on the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations throughout her time in Congress. Her goal is to transform how Washington engages African nations and to promote the many opportunities to expand trade and economic growth between them and the U.S. One of her key priorities was to reauthorize and strengthen the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which enables African nations to export goods to the U.S. duty-free. In 2015, Bass was instrumental in reauthorizing the bill.


Bass has advocated preventing and ending famine in Africa. In 2017, she helped secure nearly $1 billion in funds to combat famine in Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan. She has also introduced more than 50 bills and resolutions pertaining to democracy protection, expanding economic opportunity, and other issues in Africa. Bass continues to engage the African diaspora with regular popular policy breakfasts, which are open to the public.

Upon arriving in Congress, Bass founded the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth (CCFY), a bipartisan group of members of Congress that develops policy recommendations to strengthen the child welfare system. One of the group’s most significant achievements was the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, also known as Family First, which was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act on February 9, 2018. This reform aims to change child welfare systems across the country by addressing the top reasons children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care.

Starting in May 2012, the Caucus began hosting an annual Foster Youth Shadow Day, during which foster youth come to Washington DC for a week to learn about advocating for reforms to the child welfare system. The week culminates in Shadow Day, when participants spend a day following their member of Congress through their daily routine. Karen Bass serves on the organization’s board of directors. Nancy Pelosi appointed Bass to chair the Democratic Committee on Caucus and Procedures, previously known as the Committee on Oversight, Study and Review (OSR), in 2014. She served in that capacity for six years. The committee is responsible for reviewing and recommending rules for the House of Representatives Democratic caucus.

Karen Bass believes that the criminal justice system is broken in part due to the disproportionate incarceration rates of poor people of color. Bass currently serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security. She has long called for criminal justice reform and to pay special attention to the way women are treated by the criminal justice system: how they originally entered the system, how they are treated in prison, and what happens to them after they are released.

In 2018, she voted in favor of the First Step Act, which divided Democrats and focused on rehabilitating people in prison by incentivizing them with the possibility of earlier release. Her contribution to the bill was a section addressing what she considers the inhumane practice of shackling women during pregnancy, labor and delivery. Bass believes that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the country and the world. Shortly before EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned, she signed a letter to Trump demanding that Pruitt be fired for ethics violations. Bass also strongly supports the Paris Climate Agreement, and was one of the first 30 members of Congress to support the Green New Deal.

While campaigning for Congress in 2010, Karen Bass supported legislation that with other regulations would have required all gun dealers to report sales to the federal government. Bass participated in the 2016 sit-in against gun violence in the House of Representatives. Democratic members of Congress adopted the slogan “No Bill, No Break” in an attempt to push the introduction of legislation making it more difficult for Americans to own guns for self-protection. Bass strongly supports legislation to prohibit the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of semiautomatic weapons and ammunition-feeding devices capable of accepting more than ten rounds in the United States. In 2019, she voted in favor of legislation to require a background check for every firearm sale and to close the loophole that allowed a gun to be acquired in the Charleston church massacre.

Karen Bass supports universal health care and was one of the founders of the Congressional Medicare for All Caucus. She has voted more than 60 times against repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, believing that Congress should improve it rather than repeal it. In November 2016, Bass supported the passage of Measure HHH and Measure H, which promise billions of dollars for housing homeless individuals. She has said she believes that supporting public housing, promoting loan modifications and protecting consumers against unsustainable loans are not only necessary to help at-risk families and individuals, but fundamental for economic recovery.

In July 2018, Bass visited a federal facility used to detain migrant families and children separated from their parents after calling for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. She also introduced the Family Unity Rights and Protections Act, which would require the federal government to reunite families that have been forcibly separated at the border. Bass supports Jesús “Chuy” García’s New Way Forward Act, which calls for immigration reform.

Bass has supported a ballot proposal in California to repeal the ban on race-based admission policies. Bass voted for the proposed articles of impeachment against Trump. Of the vote, she tweeted, “He abused the power of his office. He obstructed Congress. No one is above the law.” Bass is in favor of net neutrality and has supported legislation to protect the internet from attempts to roll back regulations. She supported the 2018 Music Modernization Act, which creates a formalized body, run by publishers, that administers the “mechanical licensing” of compositions hosted on music streaming services.

In 2020 Bass was one of more than 115 House Democrats to sign a letter criticizing Israel’s plan to annex parts of Palestinian territory in the occupied West Bank. She co-sponsored House Resolution 729, which expressed support for defense aid to Israel. Bass has fought to give tax reductions for small businesses to hire new employees, increase the flow of credit to small businesses so they can grow and create jobs, and extend the research and development tax credit that encourages innovation and job creation. She also introduced the Local Hire Act to allow cities and counties to prioritize hiring local residents for infrastructure projects. The rule resulted in new jobs in Los Angeles.

In May 2018, Bass and members of the Congressional Black Caucus introduced the Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, omnibus legislation that would increase Black families’ upward social mobility and help ensure equal protection under the law. In 2018, the Los Angeles Stonewall Democratic Club named Bass its Public Official of the Year. In 2019, she voted in favor of the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in housing, employment, education, credit and financing, and more. In 2019, Bass introduced two pieces of legislation to address student loan debt. The Student Loan Fairness Act of 2019 addresses this crisis in three major ways: creating a new “10-10” standard, capping the interest rate, and accounting for the cost of living. With Danny Davis, she also introduced the Financial Aid Fairness for Students (FAFSA) Act, which would repeal a law that makes it all but impossible for people with a drug conviction to receive federal financial aid for higher education.

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Karen Bass is considered a liberal in her fiscal positions. She has a rating of 10% from the conservative California Tax Payers Association. The more liberal Consumer Federation of California gives her very high ratings. Bass has supported keeping taxes low for the middle class and “tax credits for small businesses to hire new employees”. She has said that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should expire. In 2017, she voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, citing its disproportionate impact on California’s middle-class families. After the murder of George Floyd and massive nationwide protests, Bass and Representative Jerry Nadler co-authored the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which would restrain some police practices and make it easier to prosecute police if they break the law. The bill would ban chokeholds, carotid holds, and no-knock warrants.

According to ABC News: The bipartisan vote was 236–181 to approve the measure, the most sweeping federal intervention into law enforcement in years. It would eliminate legal protections that shield police officers from lawsuits, make it easier to prosecute them for wrongdoing, impose a new set of restrictions on the use of deadly force, and effectively ban the use of chokeholds The bill passed the House on June 25, 2020, but is not expected to pass the Senate.

Vice presidential and Biden administration speculation and endorsements

Karen Bass was discussed in July 2020 as a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Biden reportedly narrowed the field of possible vice presidential selections to a few women, and Bass “gained real traction in the late stage of the search”. Politico called Bass “a bridge-building politician who can draw accolades and concessions from both sides of the aisle”. During this time, video emerged of Bass speaking at the 2010 opening of a Scientology church in Los Angeles outside her district.

Bass gave a speech praising the Church of Scientology for fighting against inequality, singling out the words of founder L. Ron Hubbard “that all people of whatever race, color or creed are created with equal rights.” In 2020, Bass defended her past remarks, tweeting that she had addressed “a group of people with beliefs very different than my own” and “spoke briefly about things I think most of us agree with”. Additionally, Bass tweeted, in reference to the Church of Scientology, that “since then, published first-hand accounts in books, interviews and documentaries have exposed this group.”

When Biden chose Kamala Harris as his running mate, Bass tweeted, “@KamalaHarris is a great choice for Vice President. Her tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people is what is needed right now.” In November 2020, Biden considered Bass for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Secretary of Health and Human Services. Ultimately, Biden nominated California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to the post. In August 2022, Karen Bass was endorsed by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for the mayoral position.


Karen Bass was married to to her first husband Jesus Lechuga, they had their wedding in 1980 until 1986. Following their divorce, Bass and ex-husband Lechuga jointly raised their daughter and her siblings, Bass’s four stepchildren, Scythia, Omar, Yvette, and Ollin. Her daughter, Emilia Bass-Lechuga, and son-in-law, Michael Wright, were killed in a car crash in 2006. However, on September 27, 2021, Bass announced her candidacy for mayor of Los Angeles in the 2022 election. Her campaign is focused on addressing causes of Los Angeles’s homelessness problem and ending homeless encampments around elementary schools and public parks and beaches. Former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has endorsed Bass. As of mid-2022, Karen Bass is still single after her divorced from ex-husband.

Karen Bass net worth

How much is Karen Bass worth? Karen Bass net worth is estimated at around $4 million. Her main source of income is from her career as a politician. Karen Bass’s salary per month and other career earnings are over $400,000 annually. Her successful career has earned her some luxurious lifestyles and fancy car trips. She is one of the richest and most influential politicians in the United States. Karen Bass stands at an appealing height of 1.68m and has a good body weight which suits her personality.