Black mayors are leading the nation’s biggest cities for the first time

When Karen Bass is sworn in as Los Angeles mayor next month, she’ll be making history in more ways than one.

Not only will she be the first woman to lead LA, Bass will complete a rare tetrafecta of sorts: Black mayors will be running the nation’s four largest cities, with the congresswoman joining Eric Adams of New York, Lori Lightfoot of Chicago and Sylvester Turner of Houston.

“Anytime we get a new mayor, it’s exciting,” Frank Scott, the Democratic mayor of Little Rock, Ark., said in a phone interview. “But to have another mayor, a Black woman, who’s going to lead one of our nation’s major cities? That’s a big deal.”

This marks the first time these major metropolises will simultaneously be led by African Americans — and it may be for just a brief period. The leadership acumen of big city mayors is being tested now in how they address issues ranging from upticks in crime, to a sagging economy and high inflation, to housing affordability and homelessness.

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