Community service and giving back are two themes that resonate strongly with Melissa Lyons. Because her life is full of demonstrative examples of these philosophies, it’s no surprise that she’s seeking to become a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.
An assistant district attorney for 16 years, Lyons has a history of volunteering his time, talents and resources to help underserved neighborhoods. She volunteers with the Summer Night Lights program sponsored by the city’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office.
More recently, hair kits have been distributed to African American foster children in non-black families because, she said, “black hair is unique and we use different products. [I want] to help the families who are kind enough to welcome our young adoptive Blacks. Obviously, Lyons cherishes the edification of others and believes she can reach more people in need if elected to office No. 90 of the court.
“Community service has been a part of my life since I was young,” noted Lyons, who said he chose his sorority based on “their strong community service program.”
The Riley Youth Foundation hosts its fourth annual fundraising gala
Dorsey Passing Game beats Crenshaw 42-7
“Being part of the community and being in the community and understanding what’s going on in the community [will] to help [me] make better decisions,” she added. And not only does she bring the desire to serve to the position, but also has a number of relevant qualities.
Currently a supervisor in Compton’s Sex Crimes Division, Lyons has considerable trial experience. “Experience gives you greater judgment and because so many cases go to trial, it teaches you the rules of evidence,” Lyons said.
Another asset she brings is her immigration status. Born in Jamaica, her family moved to a small farming town in the Midwest when she was growing up.
Referring to his native country, Lyons said: “I know what it’s like to live in a country where everyone is like you. Your government looks like you. The people in power look like you – the judges, the lawyers, the doctors, the nurses.
But, his first meeting in the United States was quite the opposite. His family were the only African Americans in the rural area.
“I think the combination of [having] everyone looks like you and being in a place where no one looks like you indicates how you look at people who are powerful and people who are powerless, and the experiences of both and the responsibilities of both,” insisted Lyons.
If elected, Lyons expects to draw on all of her experiences to help her make unbiased and fair decisions in the courtroom. Claiming that she is “really committed to the idea of justice for all”, she said her goal was to give each defendant a “fair response”.
“That’s all people want at the end of the day when they find themselves in court, is to know they got a fair deal, and that’s what you got with me. “Lyons said.
“I am someone who is committed to making thoughtful decisions knowing that every decision has a generational impact. That’s the mentality I bring – someone who’s going to be impartial, fair, open and respectful.