AirTalk for January 3, 2014

LA City Attorney Mike Feuer talks Measure D, jaywalking tickets and more

The Hollywood Chamber Of Commerce & The Hollywood Sign Trust Celebrates The 90th Anniversary Of The Hollywood Sign

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer attends The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce & The Hollywood Sign Trust's 90th Celebration of the Hollywood Sign at Drai's Hollywood on September 19, 2013 in Hollywood, California.

When he ran for City Attorney last year, Mike Feuer promised to make Los Angeles a safer place. His vision included creating a gun violence prevention unit and expanding the Neighborhood Prosecutor Program created by former City Attorney Rocky Delgado.

Guest host speaks with Feuer six months after he was elected as Los Angeles' newest City Attorney on the progress he's made on both fronts. Also, they'll be discussing the enforcement of the voter-approved Measure D, which caps the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles to 135.

Thus far, Feuer's office has filed more than 65 criminal cases against dispensary operators and owners.

Feuer joins AirTalk to talk about a variety of issues, from jaywalking fines and parking tickets to Measure D, environmental justice and more. 

Interview Highlights:

On the Sergio Garcia undocumented lawyer case:
"I think it's the right thing to do. I think the attorney General of our state, Kamala Harris, was right to join in support with the bar association of his application. You know that California law just changed recently taking his situation into account and I support the ruling and I know that it was a unanimous ruling of quite a conservative Supreme Court."

On the argument that he's here illegally and should not be practicing law: 
"As a general matter, I think people who come here as children and who are here in the situation and are here under no fault of their own should be afforded important opportunities, including if they earn it the chance to be lawyers in our state." 

On the Beverly Hospital Skid Row patient dumping case:
"One of my top priorities as city attorney is to protect people in our community who are the most vulnerable. Homeless people who have been hospitalized should never be dumped on Skid Row streets. Its inhumane and I will not tolerate it. We have reenergized our office's focus on assuring that patient dumping not be permitted. We are working with the police department and providers on Skid Row to assure this doesn't happen.

"In this instance the hospital was very cooperative once we began discussions with them I was very pleased to see their willingness to change their practices to comport with the best possible practices, and I'm hopeful that the announcement of this resolution today will lead others to come forward if they have been victimized by similar practices so our office can take similar steps to protect them. 

On the LAPD's policy of issued expensive jaywalking tickets downtown:
"The principal focus of the LAPD's jaywalking efforts hasn't been with regards to people who are homeless, they principal focus has recently been, in general, to assure that people aren't crossing the street and creating a danger for themselves...I understand that there are many people in the community who didn't even know that if the light has begun to flash but it still says there are 17 seconds to cross the street that as a technical matter, that is jaywalking." 


"In other cases though, I know there have  been instances, especially in downtown L.A., when several people have been killed by motorists in the course of jaywalking in the past year. So I recognize that there's a public information campaign that needs to be put in place here so that people fully understand how our jaywalking rules work. I also understand the police department's efforts to do everything possible to assure public safety and try to prevent what are otherwise preventable injuries."  

On homeless people being issued expensive jaywalking tickets:
"I view problems in communities just that way. As problems that need to be solved. We need to be creative about how we grapple with issues related to homeless people and violations of the law. Simply a day in jail or a fine that can never be paid is not going to solve a community problem. By the same token it is important for everyone, whether they are housed or homeless, not to jaywalk in the middle of the street and cause a public safety problem. Everybody needs to be aware of that." 

Click the play button on the top left to hear the rest of our conversation with Mike Feuer.

Guest: 

Mike Feuer, Los Angeles City Attorney


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