Tiffany Cabán for Queens District Attorney

Competitive elections for District Attorney in New York City's five boroughs are rare events. Absent term limits, DAs tend to get re-elected many times over. Robert Morgenthau served as Manhattan District Attorney for 35 years before retiring at the end of 2009. Richard Brown, who served as Queens District Attorney for nearly 28 years, announced in March that he would step down, and subsequently passed away last month while still in office.

The end of Mr. Brown's long tenure as District Attorney presents Queens voters with an opportunity to elect a reformer who can reshape the office for the first time in a generation – including the ways in which it handles vehicular crimes. And when those voters go to the polls this coming Tuesday, we urge them to vote for Tiffany Cabán.

TiffanyCaban385x385.pngMs. Cabán, a 31-year-old public defender, is committed to reducing incarceration and to eliminating inequality in prosecutions. But she also understands that black and brown and economically disadvantaged communities are disproportionately the victims of traffic violence. She believes that victims of crashes are too often not empowered, not helped by DA's offices, and not supported with necessary access to social services, and she's determined to change that. Importantly, she points out that the current system does nothing to prevent harm to victims from happening again.

As a strong believer in restorative justice, Ms. Cabán has pledged to pursue creation of a Queens version of Brooklyn's Driver Accountability Program, the successful pilot effort run by the Brooklyn DA's office in conjunction with the Red Hook Community Justice Center and the Center for Court Innovation, which has shown promise for reducing dangerous-driving recidivism.

Ms. Cabán is also committed to establishing a Vehicular Crimes Unit within the Queens DA's office, with a special emphasis on helping victims. She believes that too often, police and prosecutors fail to bring charges in cases of vehicular crime, defaulting to the "Rule of Two" or failing to rigorously pursue available evidence. While she will always seek non-punitive means of delivering justice, she acknowledges that there are times when dangerous drivers must be taken off the street in order to keep the public safe.

Ms. Cabán will also appoint a dedicated liaison to work with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, to ensure use of best practices and to try to prevent traffic violence from happening in the first place.

As a career public defender with strong progressive credentials, Tiffany Cabán has the potential to remake the Queens DA's office and to tackle vehicular crime in a new and more effective way. We urge Queens voters to give her that chance. Please vote for Tiffany Cabán in the Democratic primary for Queens District Attorney on June 25th.

One final note: we want to recognize and commend the candidacy of Jose Nieves, an experienced prosecutor who has worked in the office of the New York State Attorney General and the Kings County District Attorney. Mr. Nieves shares Ms. Cabán's interest in changing the way the Queens DA's office handles vehicular crimes, and her belief in restorative justice. If elected, Ms. Cabán would do well to consider Mr. Nieves as a candidate to lead her Vehicular Crimes Unit.

To check your voting status, please visit voterlookup.elections.ny.gov, and to locate your polling site and see a sample ballot, please visit nyc.pollsitelocator.com.

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StreetsPAC
StreetsPAC supports candidates for public office who will champion Safe, Complete and Livable Streets.