Rachel Rossi is the first former public defender to run for Los Angeles County District Attorney. She has spent her career fighting for marginalized communities as a public defender in L.A.’s state and federal courts, and through criminal justice reform as criminal justice policy expert. Her combined litigation and policy experience uniquely position Rachel to bring true change to LA’s broken criminal justice system.
As a public defender, Rachel defended Angelenos in the trenches in the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles, both with the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office and the Alternate Public Defender’s Office. She then defended the people of Los Angeles as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Rachel conducted vigorous litigation in these roles, including drafting and arguing motions and conducting numerous jury trials. As a public defender, Rachel defended clients who — all to often — suffered from mental illness, substance use disorders and poverty, and daily witnessed the stark racial disparities of the system. She handled a wide range of cases, from charges of sleeping on the sidewalk against our houseless neighbors, to immigration related offenses, insider trading, fraud, narcotics and gun trafficking, and complex litigation including RICO conspiracy charges. Working in both state and Federal courts, Rachel gained comprehensive expertise on L.A.’s layers of criminal justice systems, including the many local and federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutorial agencies that intersect in our County.