The elected office of Attorney General for the District of Columbia was created through "The Elected Attorney General Charter Amendment" that was passed by the Council and approved by the voters at the November 2010 General Election. The Attorney General shall have charge and conduct of all law business of the District of Columbia. An individual elected to the partisan office shall serve a 4-year term to coincide with the term of the office of Mayor. To hold the office of the Attorney General, an individual must meet the following qualifications (D.C. Official Code §1-301.83):Is a registered qualified electorIs a bona fide resident of the District of ColumbiaIs a member in good standing of the bar of the District of ColumbiaHas been a member in good standing of the bar of the District of Columbia for at least 5 years prior to assuming the position of Attorney General;Has been actively engaged, for at least 5 of the 10 years immediately preceding the assumption of the position of Attorney General, as: An attorney in the practice of law in the District of ColumbiaA judge of a court in the District of ColumbiaA professor of law in a law school in the District of Columbia; orAn attorney employed in the District of Columbia by the United States or the District of Columbia;Shall not engage in the private practice of law while holding the office of Attorney GeneralHave not been convicted of a felony while holding the office of Attorney GeneralSource: https://dc.gov/Term: 4-year term to coincide with the term of the office of MayorSalary: $190,000 (approximately)
Duke University and Harvard Law School
People who live in Washington D.C. deserve an Attorney General who will advocate for them - to fight for them - to make sure the law works for them. My nearly 30 years experience as a trial attorney fighting for people and clients makes me uniquely qualified to put the law to work to make people’s lives better, safer, fairer, and more prosperous. First, qualifications and experience matter. By statute, D.C. 's attorney general, at a minimum, must have been engaged in the active practice of law for at least 5 of the past 10 years. For nearly 30 years, I have been actively practicing law, fighting for and advocating for people and organizations, inside and outside of courtrooms. The OAG requires a leader who is an experienced, seasoned lawyer, one who has been in the trenches, one who has stood before judges and juries, one who has developed judgment by making critical decisions in high stakes matters, one who has earned a reputation for integrity and reliability with the judges and courts and bar. I alone bring those qualifications and experience to this race. Second, leadership matters. The critically important work that the OAG does for D.C. residents is done by a team of incredibly talented professionals, many of whom could work at any private law firm or company in the country. I know what it takes to motivate and energize talented legal professionals and lawyers. I have extensive experience recruiting, training, retaining, mentoring and promoting legal professionals. And, talented legal professionals respect and want to work for a leader who has walked in their shoes, who knows the hours of hard work it takes to build and try a case, to stand before a jury, to argue to a court of appeals. I have a track record of law firm leadership, first as our firmwide Vice Chairman (from 2012 through 2016 – 9 offices and more than 1000 employees), and then as the partner in charge of our D.C. office (2016 to present –more than 600 professionals, including more than 315 lawyers). I am the only candidate who brings that leadership experience. Finally, independence matters. I’m not a professional politician. I’m a first-time candidate. I am also a Fair Election Candidate. I bring a different perspective and I am beholden to no one. Because I’m not a politician, I’m going to make decisions based on the facts and the law, not because I am running for office. That’s not always going to be what’s most popular. That’s not always going to be what people in power or who prefer the status quo want. But at the end of the day, being an effective Attorney General is not about being popular – it's about the fair, impartial, aggressive enforcement of the laws and fighting for what’s right – and I am uniquely able to do that for our City.
There is a difference between being “smart on crime” and being “tough on crime.” I do not believe we make our City safer by arresting and locking away youthful criminal offenders, nor do I believe we can arrest and prosecute our way out of crime problems. To be sure, when young people commit violent crimes, particularly with guns and particularly repeat offenders, they need to be held swiftly and strictly accountable. As AG, I will work to enhance communications with DYRS, which has exclusive control over detention status and services provided to detained youth so as to more effectively address recidivism, keep kids from coming back into the criminal justice system, and keep our communities safe.
My priority will be to retain and recruit the talented, diverse, experienced and expert team of lawyers and legal professionals necessary to ensure that the Office of the Attorney General executes, advocates and delivers for Washington and all Washingtonians. In addition to being a best-in-class law office that effectively conducts the law business of the City, the OAG must maintain a motivated, talented team of professionals who are committed to protecting the public interest. This includes protecting workers from wage theft, residents from slumlords, seniors from financial exploitation, the environment from pollution, borrowers from predatory lenders, taxpayers from public sector waste, fraud, and abuse, & consumers from scam artists.
I support and pledge to advocate for DC Statehood. But there are things that the Attorney General can do before it's passed. As AG, I will look to expand the number and nature of meaningful decisions that our city’s popularly elected officials, as opposed to our federal government, can make. By expanding meaningful home rule and demonstrating the highest standards of excellence and effectiveness, the OAG will enhance our ongoing efforts to persuade Congress to recognize D.C. Statehood.