I'm Sam Yebri.
My journey towards public service began nearly 40 years ago.
When I was a year old, Los Angeles opened its arms to refugees from Iran, promising families like mine a brighter and safer future. We were blessed to find an affordable one-bedroom apartment – now an unacceptable rarity – and rebuild our lives in Westwood, a warm community that enabled my family to live the American Dream. Three local public schools provided me with a launching pad to Yale University, USC Law School, and a federal clerkship that solidified my commitment to public service.
Since then, I have worked tirelessly to give back to Los Angeles:
I built a successful law firm in Century City where I fight daily for exploited workers as a workers’ rights attorney. I have taken on major corporations, advocated for the rights of workers, tenants, and refugees, and advised startups and small businesses.
I co-founded 30 Years After, a local non-profit that engages thousands of immigrants and first-generation Americans in civic life.
I have also served Los Angeles as a board member of ten different community non-profits, including Bet Tzedek Legal Services (where I serve on its legislative advocacy committee, have worked as a pro-bono lawyer for low-income tenants facing eviction, and was honored by the organization in 2015 for my leadership); the Anti-Defamation League (where I have fought against bigotry and hate crimes); the Jewish Community Foundation (chairing its COVID Relief Grants Committee which distributed over $8 million to 54 non-profits in Los Angeles); the Friends of Westwood Library (raising vital funds to support library programming and services); and ETTA (which provides services and affordable housing for adults with special needs, including the construction of a transformative housing project within the 5th District).
And I have led civically, serving our City as a Commissioner on the Los Angeles Civil Service Commission, on our City Attorney’s Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and on Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang’s Transition Team.
I’m running for City Council because the dream that Los Angeles once offered to families like mine is slipping away, and Angelenos in the 5th District - and across Los Angeles - are suffering from a lack of leadership.
Exploding homelessness and a rising lack of affordable housing have become dire crises, our neighborhoods grow less and less safe each day, our streets and sidewalks are crumbling, city services are being cut amid skyrocketing deficits, small businesses are shuttering, and economic and racial inequality worsen.
Meanwhile, City Hall is mired in corruption, scandal, and insider politics. We have leaders more interested in playing political games and enriching themselves and their family members than in ensuring the safety of Angelenos, maintaining our infrastructure, and helping those most in need in our city.
In addition, as our small businesses struggle to recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, not one of our current City Councilmembers has ever started and run a business. If elected, I would bring the unique combination of business, non-profit, and civic experience that our City Council sorely lacks.
As the only candidate who has lived in the 5th District nearly my entire life, I didn't move here to run for this office. This is my home. I have both deep roots in and a deep love for our District.
We deserve a leader from the District, for the District. We deserve a leader with common sense plans who will bring people together to get things DONE, someone who understands the struggles that local family businesses face, someone who will fight tirelessly for the residents and neighborhoods of the 5th District. We deserve a leader who cherishes our public parks and wants to see them clean, safe, and accessible for all. We deserve a leader who will address our homelessness crisis with urgency and compassion, someone who will fight for affordable housing on transit and commercial corridors. We deserve someone who has already led for two decades in the very community they hope to represent.
As my wife Leah and I raise our four young children in Westwood just a few blocks from where I was raised, we continue to believe in the promise of Los Angeles. Our city’s best days can still be ahead of us. This is why I am asking you for the privilege of serving the 5th District as your Councilmember – to devote myself to the issues that matter most to you, right now.
Throughout this campaign, we have broken fundraising records without accepting a single dime from real estate developers, PACs, corporations or corporate entities, fossil fuel, big pharma, or special interests of any kind.
And we’re the only campaign to do so. We cannot transform our city without transforming our politics, and I am committed to ensuring my constituents know that campaign contributions will have no influence on any decision I make.
We have a chance to make history.
If elected, I would be the first Iranian-American, Middle Easterner, and refugee ever elected to office in the history of the City of Los Angeles, and I would be the first person of color ever elected to represent the 5th District.
More importantly, we have the chance to show that someone from outside politics – not a member of a political dynasty and not beholden to the political establishment – can earn through decades of hard work and dedication to our community the privilege of being our next City Councilmember.
As the June 7th primary approaches, I ask you to join our campaign.
Together, our grassroots, broad-based coalition will renew the promise of Los Angeles by providing the next generation of Angelenos the same opportunities with which I was blessed almost 40 years ago.