Former Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. (Courtney Lindberg Photography/Submitted)

Following Congressmember Adam Schiff’s decision to run for the U.S. Senate, former Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has been endorsed by Mayor Karen Bass to fill the 30th Congressional District seat. Bass called Feuer a “longtime colleague and friend” and insisted that, as a member of Congress, he would “deliver for Los Angeles.”

“It was wonderful to get Mayor Bass’ support the day I announced my candidacy for this office … because it displays her confidence in our ability to work together to make the kind of change that we need here in our region,” Feuer said. “This is the most urgent time in our nation for strong leadership that we’ve ever had. … With Congressman Schiff, we’ve had a congressmember who has been a real leader nationally, and the question is for his successor, ‘Who has the guts and the horsepower to step in and make a big mark right away?’ … I intend to do so as a member of Congress.”

Feuer, a native of the 30th district, has served as a member of LA City Council from 1995 to 2001, as majority policy leader and chairman of the judiciary committee in the California State Assembly from 2006 to 2012, and as LA city attorney from 2013 to 2022. He was also the executive director of nonprofit law firm Bet Tzedek Legal Services.

As a member of Congress, Feuer would look to address issues that are on both national and local scales, such as homelessness.

“I’m the only candidate in this race who is focused on assuring that we have a very close partnership with the federal government on homelessness and creating affordable housing,” Feuer said. “Our region needs a champion on both resources to address homelessness, to create affordable housing, and to change key rules that will make it easier for us to address issues like the mental health emergency that we have on our streets right now.”

Feuer restated President Joe Biden’s goal to reduce homelessness across the nation by 25% by 2025 and said that the 30th district should serve as the laboratory for employing successful strategies that cut through “bureaucratic red tape” to address housing insecurity and affordability. 

“We can’t afford to lose people, especially young people who are looking at their futures that could be very bright but are wondering whether those futures are compatible with the cost of living in this region,” Feuer said. “There is this great feeling of uncertainty. We know it. The pandemic has exposed it and deepened it. People are … wondering about their personal family security. They’re grappling with an economy where wages are not keeping up with inflation. The cost of living is a huge issue. 

“I’m going to be a very crucial partner with the leaders of our region when it comes to bringing resources to Los Angeles from the Federal Housing and Urban Development Department, which provides, for example, funding for Section 8 vouchers. … There are federal rules that restrict our capacity to build mental health facilities that we need. I’m going to be leading an effort to change those rules.”

Feuer’s track record on local and national issues also includes writing California’s same-day voter registration law to combat voter suppression efforts; enforcing the FACT Act that ensures crisis pregnancy centers inform patients of all reproductive options and services available to them, including abortion; co-chairing the Prosecutors Against Gun Violence coalition to help combat shootings; and bringing the leading lawsuit against SoCalGas for the Aliso Canyon gas leak, which he described as “one of the nation’s largest ever greenhouse gas emergencies.”

“For me, public service is about making the biggest impact possible,” Feuer said. “With so many urgent issues that demand not just a vote, but leadership in Congress, I’m prepared to step in on day one and take on the most important issues we confront and do it in a way that’s reflected my whole career making big change happen. I still believe that one person focused on that can be a catalyst for major change. I’ve done it again and again, and I want to do it on Capitol Hill.”

When asked about the ethos he brings into a political leadership position, Feuer pointed to his record of crossing over party lines in order to enact change. He said that, though public speaking skills help in conveying points of view, the ability to listen to others and negotiate is vital. 

“It’s important to listen carefully to what your constituents want, to what your colleague is really saying to you as you try to fashion a way to connect the most important desires of your constituents to making real change happen,” Feuer explained. “That requires listening. … It requires having a deep, detailed knowledge of the key issues. It requires the ability to inspire people, not only in one’s district, inspiring constituents, but also inspiring colleagues. It requires the ability to have a sense of what matters most … to have your eye on the ball at what the top priorities are and stick to those priorities.”

Feuer also stressed the importance of integrity in forging trust among colleagues, as relationships built on trust can withstand disagreements and put legislation through.  

“You have to be able to rise above,” he said. “I’ve learned that it’s very important to not just assume that people who may disagree with you on some issues will disagree (with you) on others. When I was a state legislator, for example, I found it possible that even though I had an extremely progressive voting record in Sacramento, I also was able to get, not all the time, but sometimes, people from across the aisle, Republicans, to join me.”

Feuer recalled wanting to put through a bill that would have nursing homes post their quality-of-care ratings (Assembly Bill 399). To encourage the bill’s progress, Feuer stepped across party lines.

“I know how important it is for people in distress, who are very vulnerable, to make a clear decision about a place that’ll have good conditions for their loved ones,” Feuer said about the bill. “I reached out to a Republican member of the assembly, and I said, ‘Look, let’s work together on this to display that we can, at one of the most hyperpartisan moments in California.’ This is when Gov. Schwarzenegger was governor; it was the midst of the Great Recession. We did it together, and that bill passed.”

In the race for Congressmember Adam Schiff’s seat, Feuer said that one of the distinguishing features of his candidacy is his “horsepower” and urgency to combat crises so that resident of the 30th district can see progress from day one. 

“Whether it’s their ability to make ends meet or our ability to grapple with the climate crisis, whether it’s helping to assure that we are successfully grappling with our homelessness emergency in ways we can see and touch and feel on our streets or assuring that no child goes to school wondering if that’s the day there’s going to be a school shooting, I think that the residents of our district are really eager to assure that our democracy continues intact,” Feuer said. “I hope that the residents of this district will see an America that emerges stronger from the emergencies that we’ve endured recently. I want every family to feel a sense of optimism and hope that’s based on real achievement every day, when folks can go home at night and feel the political process isn’t broken.

“I’m very hopeful that we can emerge from the crises that we confront today and have residents of our district feel that every day things are getting better.”