It’s the home stretch.
We’re now less than three weeks until the midterm elections.
Perhaps one of the most high-profile, and definitely the most expensive, local races in the country is in Los Angeles, the race for Mayor.
This week on The Issue Is, as voters head to the polls, Elex Michaelson sits down one last time with both candidates, developer Rick Caruso and Congresswoman Karen Bass.
Michaelson also sits down with each candidates’ family, for an in-depth, and often emotional conversation about the side of the candidates the public does not get to see.
First, Caruso, the conversation revolving around service, faith, abortion rights, and some of the many community projects Caruso has been involved in over the years, from the Para Los Ninos Early Education Center to Operation Progress, a mentorship program which pairs LAPD officers with 3rd graders in the Watts area – students in that program have a 100% high school graduation rate.
Next, Bass, the conversation taking an emotional turn as the candidate and her stepdaughters open up about their family tragedies, including one daughter’s childhood battle with leukemia as well as the tragic loss of Bass’ biological daughter in a crash on the 405.
The discussion also focuses on Bass’ years of activism, from her time as nurse practitioner, to her founding of the Community Coalition, which continues to work to solve social and economic issues in South L.A.
THE ISSUE IS: CARUSO’S KIDS REVEAL WHAT THEY LOVE ABOUT THEIR DAD
GREG’S CENTRAL TAKE: “I love that he’s really down to earth. He is like a best friend to all of us, and that’s what means the most to me…”
JUSTIN’S CENTRAL TAKE: “He loves to have fun, he loves music, he love singing, he loves to tease us…”
GIANNA’S CENTRAL TAKE: “He is genuinely just like the sweetest, most compassionate, loving person ever. He’s so personable…”
ALEX’S CENTRAL TAKE: “He’s always conducted his life with great integrity and compassion… He taught us that service is part of our responsibility as human beings, frankly…”
THE ISSUE IS: BASS’ STEPDAUGHTERS ON WHAT BASS MEANS TO THEM
YVETTE’S CENTRAL TAKE: “She means everything to me, she’s my mom – one of them – but, she’s my mentor, she’s my confidant…”
SCYTHIA’S CENTRAL TAKE: “She’s been there when it’s been the hardest, you know? When we want to break down, she’s there…”
THE ISSUE IS: CARUSO ON A LIFETIME OF SERVICE
CARUSO’S CENTRAL TAKE: “My grandparents] came here with nothing. They moved to Boyle Heights, didn’t know the language, didn’t have any money, just had a dream to have a better life for their family. As modest as they were, their rule was, ‘there’s always room at the table, there’s always a seat at the table. And there’s always a way to help people’…
“[Parents at Para Los Ninos] take their kids to that school, starting from three months old to six years old. They have to cross that sea of inhumanity. But when they open up those doors, it is literally a slice of heaven and hope combined… The moms and dads are living and working on the Skid Row area, normally in the garment district, something like that, but to have that kind of hope and belief and love of your child, to have the gift of going to a school that’s going to give your child a chance for a future, that’s what is just inspiring…”
THE ISSUE IS: BASS ON HER TIME AS A NURSE PRACTITIONER AND THE FOUNDING OF THE COMMUNITY COALITION
BASS’ CENTRAL TAKE: “A lot of my patients were homeless, or suffering, you know, as a crime victim. So a lot of the social issues that led to people being in the emergency room, I just had a burning desire to address why they were in the emergency room to begin with…
“[In 1992] we had crack cocaine, we had the Crips, we had the Bloods. In one year, we had a thousand homicides. So what I did, which some people thought was crazy at the time, I went to the epicenter of the violence and of the problems to say, ‘we have got to get together,’ because the only thing elected officials were proposing were laws to lock people up, and to me, addiction was a health problem and gang violence was a social and an economic issue. Obviously, it was a crime problem, too, but the only solution they had was to incarcerate people…”
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California’s only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.