LA WATCHDOG - When Hydee Feldstein Soto told her friends that she was running to be our next City Attorney, they thought that she had lost her mind.
After all, what did this outsider know about City Hall and the political establishment other than rampant corruption that permeates City Hall and the inefficient delivery of services to Angelenos.
Hydee’s independence from the political machine is one of her main attributes. She does not have allegiances to City Hall insiders and the political machine. She also does not have political ambitions other than to be our City Attorney. She starts with a clean slate that will allow her to call balls and strikes as she sees them, not how the insiders want the calls.
Hydee’s legal qualifications are excellent. As a partner in one the nation’s leading law firms, she has an impressive knowledge of finance, real estate, contracts, and large organizations.
This will help her address the City’s failure to properly address its homeless crisis. Rather than allowing the City to continue squandering our money on permanent supportive housing that costs $600,000 a unit, she will streamline the approval process and financing arrangements, freeing up hundreds of millions of dollars to build more housing and shelters. She will also hold developers accountable, making sure they are bringing projects in on time and on budget.
She also has an exceptional understanding of land use and planning regulations. During the State’s efforts to eliminate local control of our zoning regulations, Hydee, an unpaid volunteer, became so well versed that the Sacramento politicians were reluctant to meet with her for fear of embarrassment. But she succeeded in watering down many of the proposed regulations that would have adversely impacted Angelenos. She vows to continue to protect our neighborhoods.
Hydee will also eliminate no-bid contracts, a major source of corruption. While this will tick off City Hall insiders, she will demand that all contracts be subject to competitive bidding to make sure we are getting the best bang for our buck. The days of $30 million no-bid contracts with the Department of Water and Power are history.
One of Hydee’s initiatives is to fight corruption at City Hall. She intends to limit insider dealings, nepotism, patronage, and other shenanigans. She will encourage whistle blowers to report inappropriate behavior. As a corporate lawyer, she is well versed in games people and businesses play. She also proposes to collaborate with the Controller and Ethics Commission to root out bad practices and corruption.
Hydee also understands that the City Attorney’s first responsibility is to represent the City, its elected officials, its 40 departments, and three proprietary departments (DWP, LAX, and the Port) on a day-to-day basis as well as drafting and reviewing contracts, some of which involve hundreds of millions of dollars.
Hydee understands large legal organizations and will be an excellent manager of this department that has a $250 million budget that supports 900 positions. She also understands that quality control, the recruitment of good lawyers, case management, and a strong management team are essential.
The City Attorney also represents the City in court, whether it involves slip and falls, workplace discrimination, contractual matters, and numerous other litigation matters. One of the goals is to limit the City’s exposure to judgements that have averaged over $100 million a year.
Most importantly, the office is not for grandstanding or promoting the political prospects of the City Attorney.
Hydee will be an excellent City Attorney. She is dynamic, principled, independent, honest, smart, accessible, transparent, (fluent in Spanish, her first language), and will not tolerate corruption or the inefficient use of our tax dollars.
Vote for Hydee Feldstein Soto for City Attorney.
Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. He can be reached at: [email protected].)