Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has picked up two major endorsements in her campaign for the district attorney’s race.
Recent support from Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), chair of the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety and New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) bring the borough president’s endorsement tally of elected officials in her corner to 17.
“Over her 25-year career in public service, Melinda Katz has always been a committed advocate on behalf of the families in Queens she represents. I am proud to endorse her because she is the only candidate with the right kind of experience to implement the criminal justice reform measures the Governor recently signed into law,” said Heastie.
On April 1, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a $175 billion budget that included the elimination of cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, transforming the discovery process and ensuring the rights to a speedy trial, according to legislative leaders.
“She has put forward a comprehensive agenda to change the District Attorney’s office and ensure justice for both victims and defendants. I’m confident that Melinda will usher in a new era of criminal justice reform as DA,” added Heastie.
Since declaring her candidacy in December 2018, Katz has released two position papers highlighting her initiatives to protect workers’ rights and tackling housing fraud, predatory small business lending and landlord abuse.
Her platform includes arrest and sentencing reform, decreasing gun violence in the community, enforcing hate crime laws, making crimes against women a priority and working to reduce and eliminate them, and transform seized asset protocols, according to her campaign website.
“Communities of color like mine have been calling for meaningful criminal justice reform in Queens for too long,” said Richards.” We have a chance this year to elect a new kind of District Attorney who will partner with us on new efforts to end gun violence, protect immigrants, and create a justice system that treats both victims and defendants with more respect.”
Other criminal justice reforms Katz is looking to target include establishing a conviction integrity unit, protecting vulnerable residents from child or elder abuse, ending marijuana prosecution and arrests.
“Throughout her time representing the people of Queens, she has proved time and again to be a dedicated advocate for those who lack power in our system. I’m proud to endorse her in the race for District Attorney,” Richards added.
Katz’s other endorsements comprise of 174 community leaders, two community organizations, five unions, newly elected Queens County Democratic Chairman Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica, Rockaway Beach) and the Queens County Democrats, which has 72 district leaders.
Katz has over 18,000 signatures to qualify for the primary ballot for the DA’s race that is set to take place this summer.
The election date is on June 25.