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"I think it's time for me to get more things done," said L.A. Superior Court Officer Cynthia Loo.
To do that, she needs to win the title of judge during this year's election. But the position would be a change in name only, since currently she does a lot of the same things that a judgeship would entail.
"I've been a Superior Court referee for going on nine years," Loo explained during a recent interview.
"The reason why I want to become a judge is I think I will be able to have a greater impact than I do now. With the title of judge you have more clout. People listen more."
As referee Loo has presided over "hundreds" of juvenile criminal trials where, she said, she has strived to "apply the law in an even-handed manner, conscientiously and fairly."
"I believe these are the foremost qualities of a judge and I believe my independence, experience and integrity make me the best qualified candidate for Superior Court Judge. Being a good judge is more than just locking up criminals. A judge is a public servant and must treat all who come before him or her with patience and respect," said Loo.
Loo, who is Chinese American, was born in Los Angeles where she graduated from USC's School of Law. While in law school she got a few lessons in philanthropy- working with low income residents here who were affected by domestic violence, immigration and landlord tenant matters. But the city's youth would become her main passion.
Upon passing the bar Loo went to work representing abused and neglected children in juvenile dependency matters for the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles.
"From there I got on the bench," she said, recalling her beginning days in the Compton courthouse where a rapport between her and the African American community had been hard to come by.
"I got the sense that people didn't trust me. What I had to do was spend a lot more time on each of the cases talking to the kids, talking to the families... For me it's letting people know that I'm with them, I'm on their side not against them.
"[Currently] I handle juvenile delinquent cases and I am very honored to be in this position. I've dedicated my life to the juvenile court because I feel that's an area where one can really make a difference. It's not just about locking up kids, it's about rehabilitation..."
Loo has received endorsements from retired AME leader Reverend Cecil "Chip" Murray, who called her a "positive magnet, pulling society out of the negative of injustice," the Asian Pacific Probation Association, the Latina Lawyers PAC and State Senator Mark Ridley Thomas.
Said the Honorable Leonard P. Edwards of the Judicial Council of California, "I am aware of her dedication to her job, her work in the community and her excellent reputation among her peers in the Los Angeles court system. I also believe it is important to appoint judicial officers who have shown a commitment to improving the lives of youth and families who come before the juvenile court. Loo has demonstrated that in many ways."