We live in an urgent moment, with no time to waste in tackling the major issues of our time. Experience, innovation, leadership and practical skill to make big change have never mattered more. That’s why I’m running to succeed Adam Schiff in Congress: I’ve devoted my career to serving others — and demonstrated that one person can make a major difference.
Because of my distinctive record and vision for our future, I’m already strongly supported by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, a half dozen current and former members of Congress and leaders on gun violence prevention, environmental protection, civil rights and more.
My politics are idealistic and aspirational. I believe public service should be inspiring. While many politicians talk, I believe in action — and that our community, and our nation, are worth fighting for.
I’ve proven it by successfully challenging the Trump administration, the National Rifle Association, Wells Fargo and other powerful interest as Majority Policy Leader of the California Assembly, L.A. city attorney, an L.A. City Council member and the director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services, standing up for the rights of 50,000 seniors, families and people with disabilities.
To defend democracy, I took on Trump again and again, playing a key role in challenging Trump’s efforts to undermine the Census and DACA and defeating attempts to make LAPD complicit in civil immigration enforcement, which would have undermined public safety. In the face of national voter suppression efforts, I wrote California’s same-day voter registration law because America must protect and expand voting rights.
With our nation reeling from gun violence, I’ve written numerous groundbreaking gun safety laws, co-founded America’s first coalition of prosecutors focused on preventing gun violence, convened experts to make schools safer, led efforts to disarm domestic abusers and, at the Obama administration’s invitation, presented gun violence prevention strategies to governors, mayors and lawmakers at the White House.
I believe in equality and protecting fundamental rights. For my role in challenging inequity in California education, I received an Education Advocacy Award. I am unequivocally pro-choice and the only California official to enforce the FACT Act that required crisis pregnancy centers to inform patients of their full reproductive rights, including abortion. And no candidate in this race has been more effective in standing up for LGBTQ rights. Through legislation and litigation, I’ve been in the forefront of the fight for marriage equality, even when most opposed it.
Before the Affordable Care Act, health insurance was denied to kids with pre-existing conditions. So, I wrote California’s law requiring those kids be covered. Widely recognized for my environmental achievements, I led the fight against SoCal Gas over an historic greenhouse gas and community disaster and wrote laws to get cancer-causing chemicals out of consumer products and require water conservation.
In Congress, I will lead on solutions to problems here at home. None is more important than delivering resources and cutting through outdated regulations to get unhoused people shelter and services and prevent homelessness in the first place.
With hatred on the rise — whether targeting the Armenian, Asian, Jewish, Latino, Black or LGBTQ communities — I’ll continue to be a unifying voice focused on holding perpetrators accountable and ensuring security for everyone.
Given Adam Schiff’s leadership, ours is not a typical congressional district. Voters want his successor to immediately make an impact on our most pressing issues. That’s the reason I’m running. I hope I can earn your support.
This is the first in a series of columns from the candidates seeking to replace Adam Schiff in the 30th Congressional District, which runs from west Pasadena to Hollywood.