Hosted by Attorney Louis Goodman
April 27, 2022

Seth Steward - George Washington University

Seth Steward - George Washington University

Seth Steward’s interesting career involves being a rescue helicopter pilot for the United States Air Force, being the chief of staff for a member of the Oakland City Council, and serving in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office under Kamala Harris and George Gascón. Listen to the episode to learn how his career and life experiences influenced his views on government, civil duty and his current campaign running for District Attorney of Alameda County.


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A transcript of this podcast is available at lovethylawyer.com.

Go to https://www.lovethylawyer.com/blog for transcripts.

LTL - Seth Steward - Show Notes

 lovethylawyer.com

 A transcript of this podcast is easily available at lovethylawyer.com.

 Seth Steward’s interesting career involves being a rescue helicopter pilot for the United States Air Force, being the chief of staff for a member of the Oakland City Council, and serving in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office under Kamala Harris and George Gascón. Listen to the episode to learn how his career and life experiences influenced his views on government, civil duty and his current campaign running for District Attorney of Alameda County.


 Louis Goodman
 www.louisgoodman.com
louisgoodman2010@gmail.com
510.582.9090

Musical theme by Joel Katz, Seaside Recording, Maui
Technical support: Bryan Matheson, Skyline Studios, Oakland

Audiograms & Transcripts: Paul Roberts  


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Louis Goodman

Attorney at Law

www.lovethylawyer.com

louisgoodman2010@gmail.com

 

Transcript

LTL - Seth Steward - Transcript 

 Louis Goodman 00:05 

Hello and welcome to Love Thy Lawyer, where we talk to real lawyers about their lives in and out of the practice of law, how they got to be lawyers and what their experience has been. I'm Louis Goodman, the host of the show, and yes, I'm a lawyer. Nobody's perfect!

 

Seth Steward served in the San Francisco District Attorney's Office under Kamala Harris and George Gascón. He's tried over 70 cases to jury verdict. A marathon runner, he completed Boston in 2014. Seth joined the United States Air Force and the California Air National Guard. He served as a flight engineer on a combat search and rescue helicopter and completed tours of duty in both Iraq and Kenya. He has taught at Merritt College and at Oakland Technical High School. He served as chief of staff to Oakland City Councilmember Dan Kalb. He is currently running for district attorney of Alameda County. Seth Stewart, welcome to Love Thy Lawyer.

 

Seth Steward 01:19 

Good afternoon, happy to be here.

 

Louis Goodman 01:21 

I'm very happy to have you here. I've had the privilege of interviewing the other three candidates for district attorney, and I'm happy to make your acquaintance. I know a couple of the candidates pretty well. I've never met you before, so it's a pleasure to meet you.

 

Seth Steward 01:39 

Pleasure to meet you too. Thanks for having me on the show.

 

Louis Goodman 01:42 

Where are you talking to me from right now?

 

Seth Steward 01:44 

This is my house. This is where I live. I live in Oakland, West Oakland.

 

Louis Goodman 01:48 

And are you working these days or are you just running for district attorney?

 

Seth Steward 01:52 

I'm working. I've actually had to take a chunk out of my day to make this all work. So yeah, I'm definitely working. It's an interesting balance. It's actually not the easiest thing to do, but yeah, we do our best to make it all happen.

 

Louis Goodman 02:06 

Well, having run for office while I was working, I know exactly what you're talking about and how difficult it is to juggle those responsibilities. So what sort of work are you doing right now? Who are you working for, what sort of work are you doing?

 

Seth Steward 02:22 

So I am the chief of staff for Oakland City Council member, Dan Kalb. And in that role, we do a lot of things. In terms of drafting legislation, reaching out to constituents, addressing issues and concerns.

 

Louis Goodman 02:34 

Well, let me stop you right there, then. How much staff does a council member have, who's an Oakland City Council member?

 

Seth Steward 02:43 

It's fairly small, there are four of us that work there. And one of them is part-time, three of us full time.

 

Louis Goodman 02:48 

Councilmember Kalb is my councilmember, so thank you for your service!

 

Seth Steward 02:55 

I was going to say, if you have any questions or issues, feel free to call the office and we'll do our best to take care of it.

 

Louis Goodman 03:02 

Where are you from originally?

 

Seth Steward 03:02 

I grew up in Portland, Oregon, is where I grew up. I'll say except for third and fourth grade where I was in Alameda, California.

 

Louis Goodman 03:12 

Did you go to high school in Portland?

 

Seth Steward 03:14 

Yes. Yes, I did. I went to Benson Tech, which is a public high school there in Portland. Absolutely.

 

Louis Goodman 03:19 

What did you do in high school?

 

Seth Steward 03:21 

Well, I graduated, which is the most important thing. But I majored, they had majors in my school. Now my technical school, it doesn't mean tech, like the way we talk about now, like Twitter or Facebook or something like that, it means tech like you could graduate there and be an ASC Certified mechanic, for example, or aviation mechanics, where I did electronic engineering, which are things like transistors and conductors and learning how all of that stuff works. That was my major. There was also a radio major, you could be a medical assistant coming out of Benson. There's a number of different types of positions.

 

Louis Goodman 03:57 

After you graduated from Benson, where'd you go to college?

 

Seth Steward 04:01 

I went to Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. I played soccer and ran track there, which I also did in high school.

 

Louis Goodman 04:08 

Occidental is quite a different circumstance than being in Portland, Oregon, I would imagine.

 

Seth Steward 04:16 

It is, it is. Occidental is in Eagle Rock, which is the neighborhood there it's right in between Pasadena and Glendale. And it's totally different, the weather's different, the geography is different. Going to college is totally different. Everything's different. Yeah. Everything was different.

 

Louis Goodman 04:33 

At some point you graduated from Occidental and you went to law school. Did you take some time off between college and law school?

 

Seth Steward 04:44 

I did. I did. I had a four year break between school as it were. I was a choral fellow out of college here in the Bay Area. After that I started working in the San Francisco Mayor's Office and I worked there for about three years until I went off to law school.

 

Louis Goodman 05:03 

When did you first start thinking about law school and why?

 

Seth Steward 05:07 

I didn't totally know what I was going to do with my life, but I was working in the mayor's office when I made a decision to go to law school. It's actually the same reason I am running for district attorney. I want to make communities safer and more just, is the short answer. The longer answer is, I was in a community meeting and I was giving this presentation at the police station there and Turk and Fillmore Street and having a conversation with people and I explained what the program was, all it entailed, et cetera. I thought it was great in terms of trying to move the ball forward. An older woman, an older African-American woman came up to me and she said, what are you doing about the death of my grandson? I didn't have a good answer. And that bugged me. I wanted to be able to provide her with a better answer. So I went to law school and I became a prosecutor.

 

Louis Goodman 06:04 

So when you went to law school, did you have prosecution in mind as a career goal?

 

Seth Steward 06:10 

I did. I did. I mean, I thought about potentially, I considered, criminal law was what made sense to me. I thought a little bit about being a defense attorney because I thought that also made sense, but prosecution was where I ended up and that's where my focus was. Absolutely.

 

Louis Goodman 06:29 

Where'd you go to law school?

 

Seth Steward 06:31 

George Washington Law School in Washington, DC.

 

Louis Goodman 06:34 

Now that's another big move, going from the west coast to really a school that feels like it's sitting at the center of the universe in a lot of ways.

 

Seth Steward 06:46 

Yeah. Foggy Bottom is a pretty interesting neighborhood. It's right next to the World Bank, right next to the IMF. I mean, a couple of blocks from the White House, the law school is, so it's a pretty impressive place to go and to think about law and to learn about law. And it was a great experience. I love Washington DC. Absolutely.

 

Louis Goodman 07:07 

Now at some point you ended up back in California at the San Francisco District Attorney's Office. And you also had a stint in the United States Air Force. I'm wondering if you could just kind of set up the timeline for those two things?

 

Seth Steward 07:23 

Yes, absolutely. So I was hired to work for Kamala Harris at the time while she was the District Attorney in San Francisco. And so that job was great, I absolutely loved it. And I had an opportunity, there was a transition there. George Gascón became the district attorney and I was still there and I still was having a great time.

 

I had an opportunity to go back to school. I applied for and got into a master's in public administration program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. So I moved to Boston for a year. And that program was great. It was outstanding. So I was able to take a leave of absence from my job. It was in 2012, 2013. In April of 2013, April 15th, 2013.

 

Boston in the state of Massachusetts has a big event. It's called Patriot's Day. It's also called Marathon Monday because it's the same day that they run the Boston Marathon. Usually there is also a Boston Red Sox game happening. And so it's a pretty exciting holiday. Two men that year decided to blow up the Boston Marathon.

 

Louis Goodman 08:37 

We all remember.

 

Seth Steward 08:39 

And so when that happened, I decided to run the 2014 Boston Marathon and join. I was old at the time. I was in my mid thirties, kind of old to be joining the military, but I did, I signed up to be a flight engineer on a combat search and rescue helicopter. And that's what I've been doing part-time for the last eight years.

 

Louis Goodman 08:58 

So you're still doing that?

 

Seth Steward 09:01 

I just got out in January, so I just, just finished. Yeah, just finished. It's a little bit bittersweet. It's something that I still miss and I think I'm going to always miss.

 

Louis Goodman 09:14 

How did you make the connection to get into the San Francisco District Attorney's Office?

 

Seth Steward 09:19 

I applied, I mean, I literally just applied. When I was a summer, let me think again. I think it was a 2L summer in my 2L summer year I interned there. And I literally just walked in and said, "Hey, can I intern? Do you need anybody? You know, you need anybody to do any extra help around?" And they said, "Yeah, we'll take you."

 

And so I was there for a month. I actually split my summer. So for any law students listening to this, I split my summer between the Manhattan DA's Office and the San Francisco DA's Office. So, I didn't know where I was going to go, but I highly recommend if you have an opportunity and you're thinking about things, if you can split your summer, it was a good opportunity for me.

 

Louis Goodman 09:59 

So you were at the DA's Office for a couple of years, and then you went back to Boston to do this fellowship. Is that correct?

 

Seth Steward 10:08 

It was a full-on degree program, but because it was for older people, they called it the mid-career master's program in public administration. So I got a master's degree out of it and met a lot of people, learned a ton and had a great time.

 

Louis Goodman 10:24 

And then you decided you were going to join the Air Force?

 

Seth Steward 10:27 

Right, which was hard because I was trying to do that and keep my job. So I was able to, but it was not an easy thing. I mean, I was definitely gone for times. I went to Iraq, I went to Kenya and then I was also gone for trainings before that. So there were times, parts of the office where I disappeared for a little while and then I would come back and try cases and get assigned to a unit and do all of that stuff. And so I then I would go back to being a member of the air force. The way the guard works, it's similar to a reserve status in terms of like it's one weekend a month, two weeks, a year kind of thing. And so it doesn't take the place of a full-time job.

 

Louis Goodman 11:09 

But you did spend some time on active duty when you served overseas.

 

Seth Steward 11:15 

Absolutely. Absolutely.

 

Louis Goodman 11:17 

What was that like?

 

Seth Steward 11:19 

War is, I think it's different for each person. I think it's a hard thing to generalize and then, but there are definitely some things that I think are the same, no matter where you are. My mission is great. What we do is combat search and rescue, you're in a helicopter, and it's your job to rescue people.

 

Louis Goodman 11:37 

You've had a very varied career doing a number of things. You're obviously an extremely talented guy. What do you really like about being involved in practicing law?

 

Seth Steward 11:53 

What's great about practicing law is to me is you're solving and you're doing your best to try to make sure that the world is a better place every single day. It should be a better place because of the stuff you did that day.

 

Louis Goodman 12:07 

Would you recommend the law to a young person thinking about a career choice?

 

Seth Steward 12:12 

Absolutely. But I would also say that that it's also a person specific. And I think that there's enough things about the law that are interesting. I think a lot of people would find it a good career choice, absolutely. Because the law covers everything. Everything that we do, there's a law covering it. And so it's worth, I think, thinking. But you know, if somebody wants to be an entrepreneur, you could definitely be a lawyer. If somebody wants to really focus on, I don't know, white collar crime, or if they want to make sure, get into mergers and acquisitions. I mean, there's all kinds of stuff that you can do as an attorney.

 

Louis Goodman 12:42 

What about a military career?

 

Seth Steward 12:44 

I think it's great. It was great for me, both personally and professionally. Being in the Air Force in particular is a wonderful opportunity to serve your country, to do something bigger than yourself. And I'll say just briefly, the motto for Air Force Rescue is, "These things we do, that others may live." That means something to me and it's gonna mean something to me for the rest of my life. And I think that that type of thing, when you give yourself some to something bigger than who you are, to an idea, to, to morals and principles that you believe in, and you put your life on the line for it that holds some value.

 

Louis Goodman 13:16 

Do you think that having taken some time off between college and law school helped you really focus when you were in law school?

 

Seth Steward 13:24 

Absolutely, absolutely. For me anyway, I definitely needed some time away and having a chance to have a break is a great benefit. I always tell everybody that I've talked to, if they're thinking about going to law school, I mean, if they can take at least a year gap or more would be, it's great to be able to, I'll tell you why this is important.

 

Louis Goodman 13:48 

Please.

 

Seth Steward 13:49 

Lawyers need good judgment.

 

Louis Goodman 13:52 

True.

 

Seth Steward 13:54 

There's this funny joke, but it makes sense, right? The way you get good judgment is through experience and then what you get experience is through bad judgment, right? It's kind of funny and it's also kind of true. It's hard to have really good judgment at 22 years old.  It's really hard. And if all you did was go straight through law school, it's really hard to develop judgment once you're already a practicing lawyer and you're trying to figure out what this case is worth. If you've had some outside experiences, you can use those experiences to help build your judgment.

 

Louis Goodman 14:25 

Well, how has actually practicing law as a district attorney met or differed from your expectation?

 

Seth Steward 14:33 

I would say, I didn't really know what it was going to be like, except for watching maybe Law and Order or something like that before I went to law school. But once I got to law school and I was able to both intern at the San Francisco DA's Office, intern at the Manhattan DA's Office, where I met some of the people that they based the characters on, that was cool. And so once I did those things, I had a much better idea about what to expect coming in the door, because I'd already done it.

 

Louis Goodman 15:07 

You are currently running for district attorney. When did you start thinking about that as a career move? Have you always wanted to be an elected district attorney? Have you thought of yourself as an elected official, as opposed to someone who's working for the government?

 

Seth Steward 15:25 

I've always thought about trying to find ways to help people and I've always thought about trying to find ways to make situations safer and better and more just. Those things have always been true regardless of what type of job I'm doing. If so, the current job, for example. I'm working for Councilmember Dan Kalb and we got some legislation passed banning choke holds and carotid restraints following the death of George Floyd. I'm always going to find ways to make a difference where I live, to make people safer, to make the community safer and to make it more just, and I think that regardless of the particular role that I happen to, that's my focus.

 

Louis Goodman 16:01 

Well, what prompted you to get involved at this specific time in this race?

 

Seth Steward 16:08 

What's happening in Oakland, and what's happening in the Bay Area generally, what's happening in Alameda County. And what I mean by that is our current system is failing. It's failing in a number of ways. People don't feel safe. We had 134 murders in the city of Oakland alone last year. The number of freeway shootings have skyrocketed. The types of retail theft that we've seen, whether it's throughout the whole county, whether it's, or it's in San Francisco or Walnut Creek or Livermore or Hayward, all of these things are causing huge problems and it's making people change our behavior. This needs to stop. The policies of the past, the policies that we're living under now are the ones that have created our current conditions and we need new ones.

 

Louis Goodman 16:59 

Can you think of a specific policy that you would change?

 

Seth Steward 17:03 

Be smart on crime and follow the science. That's to me, the level of data that we have is just unclear and there's no policy regarding data integrity. And so we don't really know what's actually happening in the DA's Office. So how can you do anything or change anything if you don't even know what you currently have?

 

Louis Goodman 17:21 

Yeah, I guess if you can't measure it, you can't change it.

 

Seth Steward 17:24 

No you can't.

 

Louis Goodman 17:26 

Well, how's the campaign going? You know, what do you think of campaigning? How about raising money? I'm a former candidate, and I know what it's like.

 

Seth Steward 17:36 

I would say, well, first off I think the campaign is going great. We're picking up endorsements, that's going well. Endorsements are a thing as you know, people use it as a proxy and money to your second question. People use endorsements and money as proxy to figure out how good is this campaign, how meaningful is it. I can tell you, we raised over a 100 thousand dollars in the first two months, that's really hard to do, and we're excited about it. And in terms of being able to move forward, to bring a message to the people of Alameda County that we're gonna have different, we're going to have responsible, thoughtful change here in the DA's Office. We're going to focus on violent crime, we're going to make sure that people have the resources they need and by people, I mean, DA's and investigators and paralegals, et cetera, to be able to do their jobs. Right now, they're short on attorneys. We need to staff up and be able to hire as many people as possible to be able to do the job. So that's another thing that I'm also focused on as well.

 

Louis Goodman 18:31 

How much money do you think it's going to take to run a serious campaign county-wide for district attorney?

 

Seth Steward 18:37 

I'd say 300 thousand dollars, which is a lot of money.

 

Louis Goodman 18:40 

Do you have a 30 second elevator speech?

 

Seth Steward 18:44 

I don't know if I have a 30 second one, but I might have a solid, maybe I don't even know, maybe a minute or so.

 

Louis Goodman 18:54 

Well, let's hear the elevator speech. We'll hope that the elevator is moving slowly between the floors.

 

Seth Steward 19:03 

Sounds good. So as a long time Alameda County resident, I can't sit back while our criminal justice system fails to keep us safe, fails to do justice and fails to keep peace in our community. We need change. In my diverse lived experiences make me the best candidate to bring change in Alameda County. I was raised by a single mother and there I learned the values of service, excellence and fairness. I spent 13 years as a prosecutor handling hate crimes, domestic violence, arson, and while collaborating with alternative courts and diversion programs. I'm a proud Air Force veteran, and the Air Force motto is, "These things we do, that others may live." I bring that same level of duty and commitment to the District Attorney's Office. As district attorney, I will prioritize safety. I will stem the rise in violent crime, expand access to alternative courts, address the root causes of crime, hold law enforcement accountable, fight racism and bias, eliminate the death penalty and expand victim price.

 

Louis Goodman 20:05 

Well done. I think you brought it in at under a minute. What, if anything, would you change about the way the legal system works?

 

Seth Steward 20:14 

I think we're starting to get into that now in the sense of the way these alternative courts are working. And so I'd say two things, one that, and then two leading outside the courtroom. And I'll have a couple of examples for that. So in terms of the way the legal system works, a lot of it is adversarial, as it should be. But there are times when we need to be collaborative. And alternative courts do a good job of bringing together what would normally be considered adverse parties along with the case manager and a judge to try to figure out what's actually the best outcome in a case. And I think that collaborative courts do a really good job because they have lower recidivism rates than the traditional court systems. So we know the crime goes down when people go to alternative courts. And so I would definitely expand access to alternative courts. The other thing, in terms of changing the system is, we also need to change the, and this is going, I think a little bit outside your question, but I'm hoping I answer it. We need to change the systems on how people get into the criminal justice system in the first place, right? So we know that one of the best ways to lower the crime rate is increased the high school graduation rate. So how can I, as district attorney work with the Alameda County Department of Education, Alameda County School Board, the other school boards in town, the Department of Public Health, all of these other, what I would call support agencies, how can we support the growth and development of people so they don't become either victims or defendants in the criminal justice system. I absolutely believe in trying to support people further on upstream so we don't have to catch them as many of them downstream. I believe in financing trauma counseling, violence prevention programs, job development, educational opportunities, that kind of stuff. Absolutely.

 

Louis Goodman 21:59 

I'm not asking you to make a campaign commitment here, but it has struck me as a practicing attorney, you know, former Alameda County Deputy District Attorney, criminal defense attorney in Alameda County, that other than murder cases, 99% of criminal cases in Alameda County are resolved at some point before going to trial as a result of some sort of negotiation. And whether it's a plea bargain, whether it's a diversion program, whether it is something that happens before going to trial, most cases are resolved that way. And I'm wondering if as district attorney, you think, or just as Seth, you think that getting away from this adversarial system and trying to use more mediation, more understanding with each other, more work in trying to come up with appropriate negotiations might be helpful going forward?

 

Seth Steward 23:08 

Absolutely, absolutely. I'd say a couple of things. One of the knocks on the criminal justice system is the concept or the idea of overcharging. That district attorneys may go and charge things that they know they can't really prove, but they do it anyway because they think they might get a better negotiated agreement. And that's the kind of thing that to me is unconscionable. You can never do that and we need to make sure that that doesn't happen. Absolutely cannot happen. It destroys trust in the system and makes it impossible to have fairness. I would also say that working together to achieve an outcome where everybody feels like there's some benefit in there, some value to it and most importantly where safety is improved, I think is a wonderful thing. Absolutely.

 

Louis Goodman 24:06 

It has occurred to me that in many ways the judges have become overwhelmed with judicial responsibilities. And I'm wondering if there might be some way to do some sort of collaboration with the District Attorney's Office, with the judges to have some sort of mediators special masters, people who would be involved with the line DAs and the line public defenders and the private bar to be able to talk about and negotiate cases?

 

Seth Steward 24:48 

That's a good question. I think that's a good idea generally.

 

Louis Goodman 24:54 

I'm not asking you to make a campaign commitment about this. I'm just like Louis talking to Seth about this, you know?

 

Seth Steward 24:59 

I hear ya, I hear ya. What I think is interesting, right? So when I was a young attorney, collaborative courts weren't really a thing, diversion wasn't really a thing. And now I think there's, there's 10 or so collaborative courts here in Alameda County. I'd like to add a couple of more neighborhood courts and community courts. Those are great opportunities for people and it's a chance to where people can really try to figure out what's the best way to move forward, where everybody is safe, people get their cognitive or their emotional needs met. Whether it's something that somebody might have a drug problem or a veteran's court issue, where they're suffering from some type of issue and be able to get them the services they need, and then also be able to keep people safe all at the same time.

 

Louis Goodman 25:50 

Do you think the legal system is fair?

 

Seth Steward 25:53 

When I was younger I saw the riots in Los Angeles and I lived in Portland, Oregon. I saw them on TV. And I know what happened before that. I saw the video of Rodney King being beaten, and I saw the people that beat him get found not guilty. I also saw, I think in two years later, the white Bronco driving down the freeway on TV and a man was accused of killing his wife and another man that was there. OJ Simpson was accused of killing two people and I saw a documentary about it later, just recently, not the movie, but the documentary part. I think it was, it was put on by ESPN or something. And they talked about the defense attorneys, making sure that OJ didn't take his medicine to make his hands, make it hard to put the glove on and that they changed all the photos in his house to try to change what the jury's perceptions of OJ were. Those were the only two examples that come to mind when you asked me this question. I would say the other one most recently is Derek Chauvin and then the Ahmaud Arbery cases. I can tell you, I did not know how those were going to go. I know that some people have really strong opinions like, oh, of course they were going to find him guilty. I had no idea, none.

 

Louis Goodman 27:23 

I don't think anyone who's tried cases in front of a jury will tell you they have an understanding of what's going to happen because juries, as you and I well know, can do things that are really unexpected.

 

Seth Steward 27:38 

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

 

Louis Goodman 27:41 

What sort of issues do you think you'll be facing as DA if elected?

 

Seth Steward 27:47 

Well, I think we're in this interesting time right now where there was this swing towards maybe law enforcement should be doing things differently, following the death of George Floyd. And there were all of these arguments happening, and then there's been this huge uptick in crime, unbelievably historic rise in crime, actually. And so the main thing we need to do is make sure that we are doing our jobs to focus on violent crime and making sure that people are safe.

 

Louis Goodman 28:19 

Well, you know, there's a lot of talk these days about so-called "woke" or "progressive" DAs, and I'm wondering what your take on progressive as opposed to more traditional philosophies of criminal enforcement and prosecution are?

 

Seth Steward 28:40 

So I would say that there's some things that we can take from both that are effective in making people safe. And there's things that we can lose, I think, from at least from traditional that I can think of, traditional prosecution that we can make people say. I consider myself a progressive DA. I believe that for example, you shouldn't be able to be free out on bail based on how much money you have, I know the law has just changed on that recently with the Humphrey case. But I would say that it's just important to note that for traditional DAs, if you're a poor person, you're generally in jail pending your case. And if you're a rich person, you're generally not. And so I would say that it's important to be able to try to work on some things that can change the system. Also, we need to be able to prosecute law enforcement police officers who violate the law. Absolutely. We need to be able to prosecute those folks and we need to be able to do that independently in an effective, meaningful way, and still be able to have relationships with that particular police department.

 

And that's, that's important to be able to, to balance and have it. It's critical that everybody has to know that if you break the law, regardless of whether you're wearing a uniform or you're not wearing uniform, you're going to get prosecuted the same way. People have to know that. That has to be true.

 

Louis Goodman 30:03 

I want to shift gears here a little bit, Seth. What's your family personal life been like and how has practicing law and now running for office affected that or fit in?

 

Seth Steward 30:18 

It's mostly non-existent, my personal life. I would say that I am in an incredibly wonderful relationship and she's amazing. She's an incredible woman. And yeah, so I do my best to try to balance that stuff, but I would say that that balance in this case is usually picking up one thing while you're dropping something else and then picking up something else and dropping that and dropping some other thing. That's generally how it works.

 

Louis Goodman 30:51 

So you're not balancing, you're juggling.

 

Seth Steward 30:55 

Yeah. Not well, not well.

 

Louis Goodman 31:00 

Now when you're not practicing law and when you're not running for office, I think you probably can remember back to such a time, what sort of recreational pursuits do you have? I know that you were very involved in running it one time.

 

Seth Steward 31:18 

I do a lot of athletics. I was a coach, I was a boxing coach for a long time. I was an amateur fighter a long time ago, but then I started coaching. I like it, I get a lot out of it, actually. While I was at Harvard, I was the assistant boxing coach. And so that, that was a great experience. I try to coach, anytime we get deployed, I usually ended up coaching boxing to whoever's there. So that's always fun. I used to play soccer in high school and college. So as many times I get a chance to kick a ball, I like to do that. Yeah. I'm not on a team right now, so I'm looking for a team.

 

Louis Goodman 31:45 

There are four candidates running for district attorney of Alameda County now. All four are African-American. So no matter what happens, we are going to end up with an African-American district attorney of Alameda County for the first time. And I'm wondering if you have a comment about that?

 

Seth Steward 32:06 

It's a wonderful humbling opportunity to be part of a group of people that are in the process of changing the world.

 

Louis Goodman 32:13 

Let's say you came into some real money, several billion dollars. What, if anything, would you do differently in your life?

 

Seth Steward 32:22 

That's a lot. That's not millions, that's like, I don't even know who has that. That's like Oprah money, maybe?

 

Louis Goodman 32:28 

It's Oprah money, it's Bezos money, it's you know, Musk money. I mean, you wouldn't have any trouble paying to run a campaign for district attorney of Alameda County. You wouldn't need to ask for another campaign contribution from anybody.

 

Seth Steward 32:43 

Well, I keep running my race, absolutely. I'd make sure my mom has, I'd make sure the rest of my family was okay. I would, that's a lot of money. I would definitely think about creating opportunities for other people. I really like what LeBron James did in terms of creating a school. I think that was amazing. In the school, the amount of resources that he put into it. It was incredible. I definitely try to give back in that way to make sure that the people who currently don't have educational opportunities and opportunities for success and get those opportunities. Absolutely.

 

Louis Goodman 33:16 

Seth, if someone's listening to this podcast, they want to get in touch with you, they want to get in touch with your campaign, they want to learn more about you and your campaign, how can they go about doing that?

 

Seth Steward 33:30 

Well, thank you so much for asking. They can go to sethstewardforda.com. It's S E T H S T E W A R D as in Delta and an F O R D A.com. That's my website. You can check it out, read all about what we're doing, what we stand for, who's endorsed us, all that good stuff. If you want to email me, you can email me at info@sethstewardforda.com.

 

Louis Goodman 33:56 

Seth, is there anything that you want to talk about that we haven't discussed, we haven't covered that you'd like to put out there?

 

Seth Steward 34:03 

I want to say it's also critical for the DA to argue for things like, Hey, you know what? We need to make sure that for example, the Pleasanton Mental Health Response Program or the heart program in Hayward is getting the resources that they need to be successful. We also need to make sure that we fight for resources for disenfranchised communities. We need to make sure that the schools are good, that the parks work, that the public transit works, that people are able to get to and from. Those are the things that are stopping people from being successful and those are the things that the DA needs to fight for.

 

Louis Goodman 34:39 

Seth Steward, thank you so much for joining me this afternoon on the Love Thy Lawyer podcast. It really has been a pleasure to meet you and to talk with you.

 

Seth Steward 34:48 

Louis, thank you so much for the time. I really appreciate it. 

 

Louis Goodman 34:51 

That's it for today's episode of Love Thy Lawyer. If you enjoyed listening, please share it with a friend and follow the podcast. If you have comments or suggestions, send me an email. Take a look at our website at lovethylawyer.com, where you can find all of our episodes, transcripts, photographs and information.

 

Thanks to my guests and to Joel Katz from music, Bryan Matheson for technical support, Paul Robert for social media and Tracy Harvey. I'm Louis Goodman.

 

Seth Steward 35:29 

Being in a combat search and rescue helicopter is inherently dangerous and there's always a number of things that can go wrong. And then there's a couple of times where things do go wrong. It does make you question your time, if your time has been well spent and what you want to do with the rest of it.