By Dennis J. Herrera
On November 5 I was honored to be elected to a sixth term as San Francisco’s City Attorney. I’ve had the privilege of representing our city in court since 2002 and using the power of the law to make a difference in people’s lives.
I’m looking forward to the next four years, but we face challenges on our streets, in our neighborhoods and from the Trump administration. Our local economy is booming, but too many people aren’t sharing in the benefits.
My office will continue to lead the way when it comes to protecting consumers, the environment and civil rights. I will also not relent as a tough and effective advocate for San Francisco’s neighborhoods, working families and the underserved.
I will keep battling the City’s housing crisis and enforcing laws that protect vulnerable residents. From affordable housing cheats to illegal short-term rentals to landlords engaging in low-income renter discrimination, my office holds bad actors responsible. I’ve faced off with predatory landlords for years, and I will keep fighting so that San Franciscans can remain in their City. I’m going to make sure the law is followed.
In this election we saw San Franciscans overwhelmingly reaffirm the City’s commitment to public health and protecting our youth by upholding San Francisco’s pioneering e-cigarette regulations. The legislation I co-authored with Supervisor Shamann Walton that was passed this summer takes full effect at the end of January. It’s one step to help curb the youth vaping epidemic and vaping-related illnesses. Companies should not be allowed to sell e-cigarettes that haven’t been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. That makes sense, and it’s the law. Any e-cigarette product that passes FDA review can be sold here. If it doesn’t, it won’t be allowed. We will uphold the voters’ will.
Protecting consumers also remains a top priority for my office. The responsibility to maintain a fair marketplace for businesses and consumers alike falls under the San Francisco City Attorney’s authority. Businesses that engage in illegal or unfair practices hurt consumers and gain unfair advantages over competitors. We’ve sent a clear message to businesses in the past that those who try to cheat the system will have to answer in court. We’re now working on cases to make sure companies pay health care costs for employees and to stop using hidden fees to scam customers. Protecting consumers and ensuring a fair market is at the heart of what we do.
Going forward, I’ll continue the important work of addressing the toll of climate change on San Francisco. My office is taking on fossil fuel companies that knowingly torpedoed the climate in order to pad their bottom lines. For decades they spread misinformation and waged war on science and the environment in order to turn a profit. It’s unacceptable, and these companies need to be held accountable in court for the damage they’ve done.
For the past two years, we’ve also been battling on another front. This is a federal administration that is not simply intolerant of local policies or dismissive of local differences – they’re on the attack. An attack that feels local, direct, menacing and unprecedented. But it is in court that President Trump’s unconstitutional, discriminatory and xenophobic policies have been halted – at least for the time being. We’ll continue to stand up against these cruel policies put forward by this administration and use the law to its full extent to protect our City, particularly our most vulnerable residents.
San Francisco is a leader in progress. The City has a history of being on the forefront of policy, culture and technology. It’s an honor to continue to forge that tradition as your City Attorney.