Why are you interested in this position?
I am concerned that our approach to criminal justice has not made us safer and want our City to take a more proactive approach to public safety. I have also seen firsthand the injustices of the criminal system while working as a public defender. I want to turn the prosecutor's office into one that treats everyone fairly and makes our community safer.
What relative experience do you have in this career field?
I have worked as a deputy public defender for Los Angeles County for the past 7 years, including about a year in the Long Beach courthouse handling misdemeanors. I distinguished myself in trial advocacy, defeating the prosecutor's office in every trial. I now work for the Alternate Public Defender, handling the most complex and serious felony cases in the County of Los Angeles. I'm hoping to reinvigorate this office with my passion for justice and commitment to an evidence-based approach to achieving public safety.
What are 3 changes you would like to make while in office?
Prioritize, and competently prosecute, cases involving threats to public safetyInvest in crime prevention to stop crime before it starts.
Eliminate pointless prosecutions that do not advance safety and waste money
Develop a culture of ethical prosecution that respects everyone in Long Beach
What are your top priorities for small businesses ?
That Long Beach be safe and accessible to them, and that they are treated fairly as compared to the larger businesses and interests that tend to dominate our government.
What do you believe is the most important function of the City Prosecutor office?
To pursue public safety, both from the point of traditional proceedings in the courtroom, and developing policy outside of the courtroom. Our reactionary approach to criminal justice has not paid dividends. The present approach of filing as many cases as possible, including victimless offenses like driving on a suspended license or sleeping on the sidewalk, does nothing to advance public safety and wastes taxpayer dollars. We need to move towards a proactive approach to crime that seeks to alleviate the root causes of crime - poverty, mental illness, substance addiction, trauma including that stemming from military service, and more. At the same time, we need to restore competency to the office's traditional duties of evaluating what cases to file and pursuing those charges in court.
What are 2 key improvements or initiatives you wish to implement as City Prosecutor?
Expanding opportunities for diversion by working with our City, County, and Federal partners, including the Department of Veterans Affairs. We need to be using every tool available, and also be clear that government partners need to provide more opportunities.
Creating a culture of ethical prosecution in the office - being aware of when charges are discriminatory ahead of time and making sure we treat everyone fairly. Not filing charges, or resolving cases, on the basis of any special interests.