×

IATSE has joined the list of supporters for Karen Bass’ mayoral race and endorsed the congresswoman for Los Angeles mayor.

With early voting underway ahead of election day on Nov. 8, Bass made a pitstop Thursday morning at IATSE headquarters in Burbank, Calif. where she met with representatives from various locals.

Among the topics Bass addressed were tax credits for movie and TV productions and affordable housing.

On the issue of tax credits, Bass said she definitely wants to look into expanding the city’s tax credit. She said, “I’m really looking forward to how we might expand it even further, promoting that in Sacramento and looking at other areas that the entertainment industry needs.”

Bass went on to say that while she was aware of the barriers that some people faced in getting work in the entertainment industry, she would work to remove those barriers. She said, “People don’t understand the benefit to the economy, what it means when film production takes place. I definitely want to continue to promote the crafts.”

She took a moment to share how the entertainment industry was deeply personal to her and that while going through old family belongings, she found documents such as a work permit of her grandmother’s from MGM dating back to 1932. Bass said, “She was a teacher for the African American kids that were in movies.”

Bass also talked about how her brother was also involved in construction for entertainment. “So, I feel the entertainment industry is personal to my family history. But as an Angeleno, I understand the significance of the industry and want to look to see how I can make all of our lives better, and expand the middle-class opportunities that the industry provides.”

In helping to promote crafts and build more facilities, Bass also stated she hoped to expedite the development of more soundstages and post-production facilities.

Malakhi Simmons, representing IATSE Local 728, quizzed Bass about her plans for affordable housing.

Bass and her opponent Rick Caruso have spent much of the campaign debating their differences on homelessness policy. Caruso has called for housing 30,000 people in interim housing in his first year, while Bass has proposed finding beds for 17,000 people through a combination of hotels, interim housing and permanent units.

Bass acknowledged the issue of homelessness in and around Los Angeles and said, “We need to build massively in the city.” She promised to focus on city-owned property. Bass said, “There are hundreds of acres that are publicly owned, but we run into opposition from neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods might oppose one thing, but they might propose something else.” She hoped to focus on building a lot of affordable housing and be more aggressive in the proposals.

Bass says safety is also at the top of Bass’ agenda. “We’re going to have to make public transportation safer. The first order of business is to make it safer so people get out of their cars.” She hoped that by making public transit safer, those who live close to railway lines would be more open to using other means of transportation besides their cars.

Bass also hoped to activate grassroots campaigns in lower-income communities to encourage younger people and educate the next generation about crafts and jobs. Her suggestion? “It’s about having the ambassadors to go out in the communities to talk about work that you do, how you got the job, how you got into it, and that’s something that I definitely want to be involved in. It’s a proactive outreach.”

The meeting ended with an IATSE representative officially endorsing Bass. IATSE, a labor union, represents over 160,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live events, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.

He said, “We have one obvious choice for working families in Los Angeles and it’s Karen Bass for Mayor.”