Sherri Onica Valle Cole On Possibilty Of Becoming First Latina/African American Woman To Hold Seat of Los Angeles City Attorney
For over 15 years, Sherri Onica Valle Cole has defended Angelenos as a Deputy City Attorney and devoted her career to the place she calls home.
That’s why she is running to be the next Los Angeles City Attorney.
If elected, Onica would become the FIRST-EVER woman, FIRST black woman, and FIRST Latina woman to hold one of the most important elected seats in LA. Onica is well qualified for this position as she served as a criminal prosecutor for the LA City Attorney’s office specializing in Consumer Fraud and Workplace Protection for more than 16 years. Onica has great insights on running a political campaign while being a mother of two. One of her sons recently got diagnosed with Autism.
Please tell us about the office for which you are currently seeking and what impact do you want to make if you win the election to obtain this seat?
Onica: I am currently running for the Los Angeles City Attorney office. If elected, I could become the first woman, first black and Latina woman as LA City Attorney. For over 15 years, I’ve defended Angelenos as a Deputy City Attorney and devoted my career to the place I call home. It’s time we steer the office in a direction that serves all of Los Angeles. That’s why I am running.
What social issues are you most passionate about and why?
Onica: Mental health, criminal justice reform, and homelessness are some of the few issues happening here in Los Angeles. I was unsheltered as a child and grew up poor. I understand the complexities of the system. I am the opposite of those who criminalize such social issues as homelessness, poverty, and mental illness.
As part of my story, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in October 2019. Depression is a major symptom. I’ve had to learn how to be a mother, wife, and employee while battling this neurological disease. Black women’s pains are often ignored and overlooked, I was no exception. I was experiencing symptoms for years and didn’t understand what was happening. However, I became an advocate for those with differing abilities and for those who suffered from depression and so much more.
What have been some challenges in your line of work? How do you overcome those challenges?
Onica: Racism, sexism, and those who are entitled to remain in power are challenges I deal with in my line of work. I was fired once for speaking truth to power and for speaking up. Now, my former boss is under an investigation for perjury and corruption. I am incorruptible and cannot be bought.
In 2016, my son was diagnosed with autism. I’ve had to learn how to be a special needs mother. My former employer didn’t want to give me the time to support his personal needs and demands. Family comes first to me! Gracefully, my son is doing so much better since then! However, I fear the day he will encounter law enforcement for being a Black man and not able to respond as ordered/expected. This is a fear that is hard to overcome for any Black mother.
What do you want your community to know about you while embarking on your political campaign?
Onica:I am a grassroots candidate using the matching funds program. I do not take money from police, fossil fuel companies, corporate donors or large personal donors. Donations are limited to $1500 per individual and loans to my campaign to less than $150,000. One of my opponents is self-funding nearly 1,000,000 of his own personal funds.
What are you looking forward to?
Onica: I look forward to being the voice for my community, especially for the voiceless or those who are innocent victims. I also look forward to becoming eligible for matching funds so that I can get my message out to the voters before June 7th.
How can we keep up to date with you?