D.A. Candidate Column – Suzy Loftus

DA Loftus HeadshotSan Francisco is not just where I’m from; it’s part of who I am. It’s where I rode Muni to my public schools – including Frank McCoppin Elementary, Alamo Elementary and Roosevelt Middle School – and it’s where I’m raising my family in the Sunset. 

I’m running to be San Francisco’s next district attorney because I know that our city can be both safe and just. Having traveled across every corner of the west side on the campaign trail, it is clear that our city’s public safety crisis isn’t limited to the disturbing mental health and drug addiction challenges we see in downtown areas. Neighborhoods like the Richmond and Sunset districts are impacted too.

Families in the Richmond and Sunset are being hit by rampant car break-ins that violate their sense of safety and parents tell me they’re reluctant to let their kids play outside because of the wave of pedestrian deaths due to car collisions. 

I tell all of the families the same thing: I am determined to turn the page and address their urgent safety concerns. But I know we can’t get there with a one-size-fits-all approach. Protecting kids, families and all of our neighbors requires a public safety strategy that is neighborhood-focused. I believe that solutions grounded in and built with the community are the ones that work and make meaningful, long-lasting change.

It’s the approach that I took as a neighborhood prosecutor working under then-District Attorney Kamala Harris to reduce violence in the Western Addition after an uptick of gun-related deaths.

It’s the approach I took as a chief operating officer in Bayview Hunters Point, where I built a center for kids and families exposed to trauma and violence. I joined Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and we screened children for exposure to chronic adversity or toxic stress, understanding that exposure to violence in childhood could make one more likely to experience chronic disease, engage in high-risk behavior and even to become a victim or perpetrator of crime. 

This is the kind of proactive, community-based work that I know works to build safety and it’s the approach I will take as your next district attorney.

As district attorney, I will invest in neighborhood prosecutors who will work collaboratively with community members and law enforcement to identify and hold repeat offenders accountable for property crime, car break-ins and open air drug trades. 

We need to work together in every community and to stand up for the radical notion that safety is not the province of the few – it belongs to all of us.

I will also establish the first-ever civil rights unit tasked with eradicating racial bias within the D.A.’s office. In my first 100 days, I will convene a team to re-examine every eligible rape case that was discharged for lack of evidence. We must build a system that prioritizes the needs of all survivors and victims. Bringing the resources and services to the survivor puts their needs and ultimate healing at the center.

We can build a world-class law office that is staffed with excellent attorneys who will have the support and resources they need, who are accountable to the communities they serve and can work in partnership with the mayor, board of supervisors and community organizations.

Together, we can build shared safety to all communities and neighborhoods in our City. Real safety lies beyond arrests and prosecutions. Real safety allows us to work, play and live freely in our neighborhoods. I would be honored to have your support as we make San Francisco the safest and most just city in America.

For more information, visit www.votesuzyloftus.com.

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