Speaking to a packed council chamber that included many of his employees, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer vowed Thursday that “we are just getting started” after being sworn in for a second term.
Feuer ran unopposed and was re-elected in March, with his second term officially starting Saturday.
The former city councilman and assemblyman delivered what amounted to a “state of the city attorney’s office” speech recalling past victories and challenges ahead, but also colored it with vivid details of how his family’s difficult history created his passion for social justice issues.
Feuer — who is known for being outspoken on issues of immigrant and LGBTQ rights, among other causes — promised to continue to fight for the issues he holds important, starting with a trip to Los Angeles International Airport at 5 Thursday afternoon, when President Donald Trump’s travel ban on some residents of six Muslim-majority countries goes into effect.
A sharp critic of Trump’s immigration policies, Feuer also went to LAX in January, when Trump’s first attempt at a travel ban was enacted, and tried to meet some of the detainees but was rebuffed by federal officials.
Recalling the story of his Jewish grandmother, who had to flee the Holocaust in Europe at age 12 by herself when her parents put her on a boat, Feuer said he was going to LAX because “we know what it feels like when a nation blocks you out because of religion.”
Feuer also spoke passionately about his father, who died a year and a half ago. His dad “barely” survived a Nazi prison camp, he said, and explained to his young son during a game of catch that he became a teacher because “having survived that experience, I was committed to finding the most important work in the world.”
That lesson led Feuer to embark on journey to figure out “what it means to really matter, and how to make the biggest impact,” he said.
Feuer was sworn into office by his wife, Superior Court Judge Gail Ruderman Feuer.
“For the last four years I have watched him every day — and often every night and every weekend — fight the battles for the city of Los Angeles, and I have to say as a wife and as a constituent, that Mike is the most caring, thoughtful, smart and tenacious person that I have ever met,” she said.