Throwback Thursday: Karen Bass, Community Organizer

In the '90s, Bass took on troublesome liquor stores and won.

Posted: 07/10/2014 08:30 AM EDT

When Rep. Karen Bass (D-California) is on a mission, she doesn't back down. In 1990, she founded the Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment in response to the crack cocaine epidemic that had devastated south Los Angeles in the '80s. By 1991, the organization set its sights on problematic liquor stores that certain communities across the nation have long had to endure. But in this case, karma was a you-know-what, and when riots broke out in L.A. in 1992, 200 of the stores burnt down.

"So, then we led a campaign to prevent them from reopening and we won," Bass told BET.com. "This photo brings back a lot of very, very good memories. And the organization that I started is still going very strong."

Follow Joyce Jones on Twitter: @BETpolitichick. 

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(Photo: Courtesy of Rep. Karen Bass)

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