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Indian American Jessica Lall Ends Brief Campaign for Los Angeles Mayoral Race

Indian American Jessica Lall Ends Brief Campaign for Los Angeles Mayoral Race

  • The president and chief executive of the downtown business group Central City Association (CAA), had announced her bid in late September.

Business leader Jessica Lall has dropped out of the Los Angeles mayoral race. She ended her brief campaign on Feb. 8, saying she believed “the mark of a good leader was being brave enough to step in, but also “wise enough to know when to step back.” She got into the race because the city “is in crisis – from rising homelessness and crime to decreasing affordability and opportunity.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that “Lall’s long-shot candidacy appeared to gather some steam in recent months.” She reported raising $404,134 in “the most recent disclosure,” the report said. 

Lall, president and chief executive of the downtown business group Central City Association (CAA), entered the race in late September. On her website, Lall said her campaign, “designed to showcase a new way of thinking, a new way convening and a new way of leading,” intended to inspire women, mothers, South Asians, and young people to “recognize their power, own their voice and participate badly in their political process.” 

Urging her supporters “not to feel defeated or demoralized,” Lall promised to “remain committed to ensuring LA soars to new heights – becoming a city that is admired globally and respected for delivering innovative solutions to the complex challenges we face.” She noted that “the next mayor will have to restore the government to ensure that it is meeting the basic needs of all Angelenos – housing, safety, services.” 

Lall grew up in Texas and England, the daughter of an Indian immigrant father and mother of a military family from Oklahoma. She first came to Los Angeles when she was in high school and attended Taft in Woodland Hills for one year. She returned to earn her undergraduate degree at USC where she was elected student body president. “LA welcomed me for exactly who I was,” she says on her website. “This city has allowed me to pursue my dreams and make something of myself.” 

She spent the last five years heading CAA, “a major advocacy organization with over 300 members that is focused on critical issues facing LA from child care to jobs to homelessness,” according to her website. She worked inside City Hall during Mayor Villaraigosa’s administration “creating a culture of collaboration and customer service.” Outside of the City Hall, she worked as executive director of the South Park Business Improvement District, to improve neighborhoods, street by street.

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She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Social Sciences from the University of Southern California (USC) and is a graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their one-year-old daughter.

According to the LA Times, the “city’s first open mayoral primary in nearly a decade just months away, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) has already emerged as the apparent front-runner amid a field of candidates that includes City Councilmen Kevin de León and Joe Buscaino and City Atty. Mike Feuer.” Republican billionaire businessman Rick Caruso is also elected to enter the race before the Feb. 12 deadline. “Should Caruso enter, the former Republican’s candidacy would dramatically alter the landscape of the race,” the LA Times report said. 

Current mayor Eric Garcetti won reelection in March of 2017 for a five-and-a-half-year term. He is term-limited, and the election for his successor is scheduled for fall 2022. The 42nd mayor is one step closer to being confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to India. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Garcetti’s nomination last month, after which it’ll head to a full Senate where it requires a simple majority vote. President Biden nominated Garrett last July, but the hearing process got delayed, leaving the mayor in limbo. Last month, the president renominated him as the Ambassador to India.

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