Calif. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass On Life, Career

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Grassroots activism has made a big difference in the life of Karen Bass. In the 1990s, Bass was a working single mom, trying to get control of her crack-ridden South Los Angeles neighborhood.

She founded a group called the Community Coalition; it propelled her to the California State Assembly in 2005.

Last May, Bass became the first black woman to be named assembly speaker.

She talks with Farai Chideya about her rising profile and her new level of responsibility.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from