By Taroue Brooks
What is so special about DC?
Washington, D.C. is a beautiful city, from the cherry blossoms and monuments to the mumbo sauce, Go-Go music, and jumbo slices. I’m from D.C. and I want the honor to fight to improve my hometown, as Attorney General.
How important is voting?
We’re in a crucial time to establish a better way of living. We can set a new standard right now. Making use of the political system to elect good people to enact laws that create objectively positive change is critical. Electing people with a high moral compass is key. But you must vote. I want to see this country and the District work for all its residents. The District must improve in order to work for all residents. Everyone deserves to, and should live, a life filled with happiness. However, we look around and see the struggles which are very much preventable as there are viable solutions that exist. It’s a matter of bringing the right people together through the electoral process to do that. The law can be implemented and enforced to do that.
Why should someone vote for you?
While all elected officials serves ALL people, what would you do for black men?
First, to cure the most prominent injustices we keep seeing, we must enact strict liability standards for officers who murder unarmed people, without exception, and find harsher penalties in other scenarios. I have more strategic ways to exact litigation against those bad actors to deter them from happening–along with the associated riots, the intentional infliction of emotional harm to residents witnessing these tragedies, and holding all accountable for their participation and perpetuation of these acts. I want this campaign to feel like a movement we can all get behind and I want to hear from the people so I can be better along the way.
During Covid-19 people have been victimized and exploited by prices of certain products, wage theft, and various other scams that leave people without the resource of money. Seniors are targeted far too often and by the time the exploitation is complete, there is little success in recovering those fraudulently exploited funds. Thus, caretakers must be required to register with the courts to ensure oversight of seniors’ expenditures. And seniors must be protected from unnecessary tax liability as they are subsisting on government aid. Plus we need to ensure people have access to their utilities even if they are not able to pay. The COVID-19 Relief bill protects citizens and those rights must not be toyed with.
Lastly, in the District, I’m aware of laws and regulations that have a Disparate Impact on a certain demographic while those same laws are favoring others. We must remove or repeal such laws to create an equitable future.
Tell us about your education and law practice.
My practice has evolved since 2013. I’ve found myself doing worker’s comp, intellectual property matters, employment law, teaming agreements, partnerships, civil litigation, a few criminal matters, as well as family law matters. You build your practice and relationships and skillset. These have put me squarely at the intersection of law and politics in DC, which has given me the confidence to run.
Why did you publish children’s books?
I wrote Dream Forever during a work meeting in 2017, and decided to partner with an artist because I thought it had a good message. Then the artist and I self-published Dream Forever two months later. The process was so empowering– to take something from your mind to a bookshelf–it made it easier to do the second one two months after that. I promoted the books, it allowed me to meet people I never would have otherwise, and now I can be proud I did.
Where do you see your career in the next five years?
I’ll be zealously advocating for a cleaner, safer, more inclusive world that we all can enjoy and prosper in. Ensuring that no one is being victimized or taken advantage of.
GROWING UP IN DC
Ryan grew up in the 14th Street Heights neighborhood of DC in Ward 4. His father worked at the DC Office of the People’s Counsel where he advocated for residents when confronting issues with utility companies. His mom and brother are real estate agents who continue to help families navigate the process to provide access to housing and homeownership, to ensure a pathway to the middle-class or simply get their dream home.
Driven by the impact of his family, Ryan set out on a legal career using the law to zealously advocate for individuals, organizations and companies.
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF REPRESENTATION
As an attorney, Ryan understands the impact his representation has on the community, not just his individual clients. He has been empowered to advocate for companies and people who need their rights protected. As much as Ryan expected to help others, those experiences have enriched him.
He has appeared in DC Superior Court (civil, criminal, and family), Landlord-Tenant and Probate Courts, DC Court of Appeals, Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, and in Federal and District administrative matters. Ryan is also experienced in transactional issues along with the mitigation of reputational risks in the most critical moments for companies and individuals.
GETTING STARTED IN THE FIELD OF LAW
Between his summers of law school at Southern Illinois School of Law he was either working for a law firm, interning with judges, or externing with government agencies. His internships included work for the Chief Judge of the DC Court of Appeals, as well as an associate judge in the Superior Court. Ryan graduated in an abbreviated 2 ½ years, before working as a law clerk for American Psychiatric Association helping advance their mission to identify, understand, and rectify past injustices and develop policies that promote equity in mental health for all. He also spent several months as a Judicial Fellow in the City of Philadelphia in the criminal division, before returning to the District, in 2013.
Ryan returned to DC to attend The George Washington Law School for his LL.M., where he also founded his law firm in 2014. The early days of his firm were spent contracting with larger firms to help with litigation discovery and associated litigation matters. He went on to work in the DC Government, as counsel focused on legislative policy for telecom and entertainment with the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment.
Before Ryan’s days as an attorney, he expressed himself athletically through track and field and basketball. He became a varsity Basketball student-athlete at Elon University before finishing at SUNY Stony Brook. After a short-lived stint of chasing his hoop dreams, he decided to attend law school.
WORKING TO MAKE SURE WE ALL HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE
Looking to make a greater impact, Ryan returned to the work of his law firm in 2017. His firm helped plaintiffs and defendants alike, including seniors from losing their homes, fraudulent transactions, and representing transit agency workers in discrimination cases. He has assisted nonprofits from having their intellectual property exploited and infringed while also defending against false representations by those hoping to cash in on work with those nonprofits. Ryan has also focused on employment law matters assisting employers when facing legal issues, as well as navigating ways employers can better serve their employees.
Through his work Ryan sees how people in DC are victimized and exploited. Ryan confronts the greediness of individuals trying to take advantage of others. Ryan believes we can do more to protect Washingtonians with the law, which is why he is running for Attorney General of the District of Columbia.
As our next Attorney General, Ryan Jones will build upon the foundation laid by our first elected AG. He will use the law to uplift people, and prevent them from being kept down. He will spend his time out in each of our neighborhoods listening to residents, identifying where people are being harmed to fight back to make sure the full force of the District of Columbia has each of our backs.