PRIORITIES FOR LA
"Los Angeles, at its best, is a city of opportunity, a place that shines brightest when every community can thrive. I am running for Los Angeles City Attorney to bring real accountability to the LAPD, push for progressive and pragmatic reforms, take on corruption wherever it exists, and restore trust to the office. Join me, and together let’s bring accountability to the LA City Attorney’s office and ensure justice for all."
Holding LAPD Accountable
We cannot continue to let the LAPD police themselves. In order to gain the trust of the public, there must be an independent body that investigates all police complaints. For decades, police have been putting forth the “broken windows theory” - that visible signs of crime will encourage more crime. Now it is time to apply the “broken windows theory” to the police themselves. We must address every small police transgression so they don’t lead to a police officer committing more heinous acts. In almost all cases, police have not been held accountable for racial bias and excessive force, which has encouraged more incidents of racial bias and excessive force.
We need to amend the LA City Charter to have the Inspector General’s office investigate all incidents of police misconduct. We need to remove Internal affairs from the police department and have all complaints investigated by an independent inspector general’s office with its own staff and its own investigators. We cannot let the police police themselves.
The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office gives out far too many misdemeanor charges. The next city attorney must take a different approach to enforcing the law. As City Attorney, I will support efforts to significantly reduce the number of trespassing, loitering, drug possession, public intoxication, and resisting arrest charges, among others.
As LA City Attorney, I will also prioritize reforming the system we use to impose, enforce, and collect fines. LA residents do not need to be burdened with unnecessary fines and the LA City Attorney’s office needs to take a new approach to collection and enforcement. The best way to enforce the law in Los Angeles is to give people the opportunity to comply with it.
Reforming Misdemeanor &
The City Attorney’s office plays a crucial role in addressing the homelessness epidemic. It needs to be clear: the city attorney must STOP criminalizing and prosecuting the homeless. As LA City Attorney, I will not prosecute unhoused people for trespassing on public property, vagrancy, using city services, vandalism, failing to appear for court, and sleeping on the sidewalk. The homelessness crisis cannot be dealt with through the criminal justice system; homelessness is a public health issue and I will call for public health solutions.
I will also commit to supporting a homes guarantee or any policy that will ensure every Angeleno has access to housing that is safe, accessible, sustainable, and permanently affordable.
Ending Criminalization of Homelessness
Holding Landlords Accountable
Tenants rights is an extremely important issue - over 60% of Los Angelenos are renters. I will do everything within my power to hold landlords who are violating the law accountable, particularly as renters are struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic. I will also support efforts to create stronger health and building code enforcement so that landlords who violate or neglect the law are held accountable.
Protecting Workers Rights
As we pull through the COVID-19 pandemic, we must take this time to strengthen worker protections. As City Attorney, I will fight to make sure workers aren’t taken advantage of, misclassified, or denied benefits that they are legally entitled to.
When workers are hired as independent contractors, they have fewer rights. That corporations and businesses that attempt to classify workers as contractors to save money at the expense of everyday Angelenos is utterly unacceptable. Protecting workers means holding corporations and businesses accountable. Workers must be given the correct classifications; we cannot continue to let corporations take advantage of their workers by classifying them as contractors.
Protecting the Right to Peaceful Protest
The right to peacefully protest is one of our basic rights as Americans. As city attorney, I will not prosecute peaceful protestors. Prosecuting protestors does not serve justice or make our community safer. As public servants, we have a responsibility to listen to protesters' issues and commit to working with them towards a solution.
Climate change is the single biggest threat facing our nation right now. Extreme weather events have already begun to displace people around the world and have already had a profound impact on the lives of Angelenos. As the next City Attorney, I will recognize the role large corporations play in the climate crisis and, when applicable, I will sue those corporations that violate environmental laws. This includes joining other cities in suing oil companies for their role in accelerating climate change.
We also need bold and progressive action from our City Council. The city attorney plays a crucial role in advising city council and can help shape the work that city councilors do. It is my hope that the city council will pursue the following policies:
Move Los Angeles’ timeline to get to a clean energy grid up from 2050 to 2030.
Require all newly built residential housing units to be powered by renewable energy.
A ban on any new fossil fuel infrastructure.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our small businesses extremely hard. Local businesses have closed, struggled to stay open, or been forced to lay off workers. Businesses owned by people of color have been hit disproportionately harder during this difficult time, which means our city must step up and prioritize supporting those small businesses.
The next City Attorney will take office as Los Angeles opens back up. If elected, I will prioritize meeting with local business councils to hear their concerns and questions. Building back from this pandemic will also mean finding a new and better way to include LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color. The barriers to owning or starting a small business are exponentially higher for LGBTQ+ Angelenos and Angelenos of color. The city must offer resources specifically to those communities in order to help build more inclusive neighborhoods.
Supporting Small Businesses
Supporting Los Angeles tenants requires more than just holding landlords accountable. As City Attorney, I will work with the City Council to provide support for LA tenants who are facing eviction or struggling to pay rent. I will also work to establish a more accessible and transparent reporting system for tenants to use, so that the city can do a better job enforcing the law.
Furthermore, the city needs to re-up its efforts to protect LGBTQ+ tenants, tenants of color, and other minority tenants who are seeking housing. Discrimination from landlords and property owners is unacceptable and the city has a responsibility to protect those facing that discrimination.
Defending Tenant Rights
The City Attorney’s job is to provide legal direction to the city council. As City Attorney, I pledge to approach that responsibility with a ‘yes we can’ mindset - rather than ‘no we can’t.’ I will work hard to support and advise the council in rent forgiveness, stronger tenant protections, an LA Green New Deal, our community’s small businesses, expanding access to public broadband, free and accessible public transportation, and helping our community’s seniors.
Some of the specific actions I would work with City Council to advance are:
Investments in local small businesses owned by people of color and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs
A ban on any new fossil fuel infrastructure
Require all newly built residential housing units to be powered by renewable energy
Move Los Angeles’ timeline to get to a clean energy grid up from 2050 to 2030
Increased access to rent forgiveness for small businesses as we emerge from this pandemic
Universal and permanent housing for all Angelenos
As an immigrant, it is my core belief that every single person who comes to the United States seeking a better life should have a shot at it. I will work to make sure that every person who is detained will have access to an attorney representing them.
As City Attorney, I will also pledge to reign in the aggressive actions taken by ICE and protect our New American communities from further harassment and detainment by ICE. I will also support the suspension of ICE enforcement and advocate for the release of all detainees from ICE facilities.
The office of the City Attorney should be accountable to the people. If elected, I pledge to introduce a tool that will allow the people of LA to track our actions on reducing misdemeanors. I will also create a tool to track the money that the City of Los Angeles pays out in settlements and jury verdicts - the city must be transparent in how much this is costing taxpayers. Finally, my office will make all public memos and decisions more accessible so that Angelenos know where their City Attorney stands on the issues.
FEEDBACK ON FAISAL'S PRIORITIES