Keeping Communities Safe
First, and foremost, people need to feel safe and be safe. The main roles of the District Attorney’s Office are to prevent and prosecute crime. It’s not about politics. I have the experience and institutional knowledge to put the correct people in supervisory positions who are qualified, capable, and share my proactive approach to assisting law enforcement and serving the community. We will continue to hire and train the best prosecutors and change the culture of the office away from reactionary prosecution to a more proactive, crime strategies office. We must continue to be vigilant with our longstanding commitment to end gang violence. People should not be afraid on our freeways or in their homes. As we look for innovative alternative methods of increasing safety in our community, we must think outside the box for new ways of combating this persistent problem.
Putting Victims First
I will modernize the office by shifting priorities and resources towards a more “victim-centered” approach. To more effectively serve the community, we need to have more direct interaction between assigned prosecutors and the victims throughout the duration of the case. It is our obligation to 1) educate law enforcement on appropriate handling of cases and ensure that all victims are treated with dignity and respect; 2) work within our office and with community partners to create preventive programs and provide victim support services; and 3) proactively go out into the community to educate residents, increase awareness, encourage appropriate intervention, and change the culture of victim blaming.
An essential part of my philosophy of victim-centered prosecution will be our approach to human trafficking. Human trafficking is a serious problem in our community and this modern day slavery cannot be tolerated. Because this issue has not received adequate attention, I have been working to strengthen our efforts by educating law enforcement and creating systems that target the trafficking market and provide services for exploited persons.
Reforming and Restoring Integrity
As District Attorney I will take a good hard look at our organizational structure that has been largely the same for 22 years. Because of my intimate knowledge of our office, I am confident I can identify ways to more effectively, efficiently, and fairly serve the public. My work has shown me that diverse communities in the county have unique issues and concerns. The District Attorney must be visible and accessible to all of these groups. As District Attorney, I would recommend holding meetings or forums with community groups, concerned citizens and law enforcement in the same room. Through a respectful exchange of ideas and concerns, we can work towards a common ground that furthers everyone’s joint interest in keeping the community safe, addressing concerns of bias, deterring future crime, and rehabilitating those who have entered the criminal justice system. As District Attorney, my door will be open as much as possible to our community to address concerns and explain the decision making process. After all, how can we represent “The People” if we don’t listen to them?