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Roots in Local Government

After years as a community activist, Richard was elected to the Santa Monica City Council in 1999. He served as Mayor of Santa Monica three times and Vice Mayor twice over the next 13 years. In that time, Richard worked toward building a thriving local economy based on small businesses, a diverse city that was affordable to all, and a humane and effective approach to addressing homelessness. Highlights of his time on the City Council include:

  • A dramatic increase in affordable housing—creating or preserving more than 900 affordable apartments through a combination of partnerships with nonprofit housing providers and policies that required all new apartment buildings to set aside a percentage of units affordable to low- and middle-income people.
  • A new approach to homelessness—one focused on getting folks into homes and keeping them housed through improved delivery of services and an emphasis on creating permanent supportive housing.
  • Vibrant economic development that has brought prosperity to the city—in an environmentally sustainable way that supports local businesses.
  • Protecting coastal access for all—championing an accessible California coastline and working to protect our Bay and its watershed as he represented Southern California on the Coastal Commission and the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission.
  • A regional focus­­––advocating for regional solutions for many of our issues, including homelessness and transportation—two priorities he championed while chairing and serving numerous terms on the Westside Cities Council of Governments.

A Voice for Progress in Sacramento

In 2012, Richard was elected to represent California’s 50th Assembly District—a wide swath of L.A. County including much of Los Angeles (Hancock Park, Hollywood, Brentwood, Bel Air, Pacific Palisades, and Topanga), Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Malibu, and Agoura Hills.

For the past nine years, Richard has continued to passionately advocate for our community’s interests in Sacramento—fighting to:

  • Address our climate crisis head on.
  • Protect our air, oceans, public open spaces, and wildlife.
  • Prevent and end homelessness.
  • Provide services to seniors and the disabled.
  • Create more affordable housing.
  • Improve our public schools.
  • Help our local businesses flourish.
  • Improve sustainable transportation options.
  • Defending the LGBTQ community by serving as a Board Member of Equality California and authoring and supporting important legislation. 
  • Supporting our vibrant Jewish community by:
    • Combatting anti-Semitism and all hate speech and crimes as the Chair of the Assembly’s Select Committee on the State of Hate.
    • Being a founding member of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus.
    • Authoring AB 2488, the nation’s leading law combatting the so-called “BDS”—the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement that targets the State of Israel.

Looking to the Future

Now, Richard is running for the L.A. County Board of Supervisors for District 3 to continue—and build upon—his service to these same L.A. County communities.

The Board of Supervisors is responsible for direct work on the issues Richard cares most about:  environmental protections, housing affordability, public health, transportation, and providing humane and lasting solutions for the homelessness crisis.

After a decade of lawmaking in Sacramento, Richard is excited to get back to his local-government roots and serve the 3rd Supervisorial District on the ground. This is the kind of hands-on approach to community problem-solving where Richard has an unmatched record of effective leadership—and getting results.

Richard is ready to face the challenges head-on, but he knows it will be a team effort. So, get involved. Reach out. Be heard. Richard wants to hear from you.