Karen Bass
Photo from Bass' official Congressional website

Voters in Los Angeles generally have a good opinion of new Mayor Karen Bass as she begins her tenure, while the scandal-plagued City Council has markedly less support, according to poll results released Monday.

The California Community Poll surveyed more than 1,000 registered voters in the city and found that 47% of respondents have a favorable opinion of Bass compared to 27% unfavorable. Meanwhile, the City Council received just 30% favorability, with over half of respondents stating unfavorable opinions. A quarter of respondents answered “very unfavorable.”

The survey was conducted between Nov. 28 and Dec. 12.

A majority of respondents (51%) said they believe the city is heading in the wrong direction, with just 39% believing it is going in the right direction.

About 61% of respondents initially supported increasing the size of the 15-member City Council, which has been rocked by a racist leaked conversation between three of its members and the continued refusal of one of those members, Kevin de León, to resign. Separately, three council members have faced charges related to corruption since 2020.

But after being presented with pros and cons of increasing the council’s size, the number of respondents in favor dipped two percentage points while the those opposed increased seven percentage points, from 24% to 31%.

Voters believe Bass’ policies would improve most of the issues facing Los Angeles, with the highest mark given to her ability to bring together L.A.’s diverse communities (55%) and improve race relations (51%). On homelessness, 46% of respondents backed her policies while 42% were not favorable. Bass has sought to take immediate steps to address homelessness in her first weeks in office, declaring a state of emergency as her first official act and issuing an executive directive streamlining approval for affordable housing projects later in the week. She is expected to unveil a citywide program this week.

Bass did not receive a majority of favorable opinions on how she would address crime and public safety, with 43% believing she would worsen the issue and 40% in support. The Los Angeles Police Department received a 55% favorability assessment, with 33% having an unfavorable opinion.

But the split assessment for Bass on crime indicates that voters are willing to give Bass a chance on the city’s biggest issues, according to findings released by Strategies 360, which conducted the survey along with the Los Angeles Times. Prior surveys conducted during the mayoral campaign found that more voters favored Bass’ opponent, Rick Caruso, when it came to addressing crime.

The findings also indicated that while residents are generally discontent with the state of Los Angeles, Bass has the support of a diverse coalition, with a 15-point net positive favorability among Black, Latino, Asian and white voters.

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