Barr, Caruso Spar Over Homelessness, Other Issues in Debate for LA Mayor

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The two candidates for Los Angeles mayor both used “crisis” when asked to describe the state of the city in one word, as Rep. Karen Bass and developer Rick Caruso made their pitch to be the person to fix it during the first televised debate ahead of the November election Wednesday at the Skirball Cultural Center.

Homelessness was the top issue discussed, with both candidates acknowledging the gravity of the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles but differing on how to approach it. The latest point-in-time homeless count released this month showed a 1.7% increase in the number of unhoused people in Los Angeles since 2020, bringing the total to 41,980.

Caruso said the premise of his plan to address homelessness would be to get people into shelters, noting his goal to build 30,000 new shelter beds in his first year in office.

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