Some of the state’s top Latino leaders and influencers joined Karen Bass on Tuesday, as the mayoral candidate chose Boyle Heights’ Mariachi Plaza to launch a new outreach effort to reach potential Latino voters.

A mariachi group performed for the launch of “Latinos Con Bass,” which according to a press release is “an organizing arm of her mayoral campaign, focused on engaging Latino voters across the city.”

Bass was joined by former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa –a Boyle Heights native who endorsed Bass early in the campaign– and by civil rights leader Dolores Huerta. who praised the congresswoman’s grassroots credentials.

Elected officials at the event included Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendón and school board member Mónica García.

The choice of the iconic mariachi gathering place in the neighborhood was especially significant, since Boyle Heights is represented by Councilmember Kevin de León – the only Latino major candidate on the ballot for the June primary election.

No candidate has emerged as a clear favorite among Latino voters, who make up about a third of registered voters in the city, but only a fourth of likely voters. According to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times released earlier this week, Bass had the support of 10% of likely Latino voters, behind De León with 15% and real estate developer Rick Caruso with 16%.

The Times reported that Bass’ new Latino outreach will be led by deputy campaign manager Frank Torres, who will oversee neighborhood organizing and outreach. A campaign spokesperson told the paper that high-profile Bass surrogates like the ones at Tuesday’s event will help guide the outreach strategy.

This post was edited on April 13 to delete misstatement about Mónica García running for re-election. García will be termed out of her seat on the school board next year.

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Antonio Mejías-Rentas

Antonio Mejías-Rentas is a Senior Editor at Boyle Heights Beat, where he mentors teenage journalists, manages the organization’s website and covers local issues. A veteran bilingual journalist, he's...

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