The day after her election, District Attorney-elect Tiffany Cabán was out and about Wednesday near the E, J, Z subway station on Archer Avenue and Parsons Boulevard fulfilling her campaign promise to do public outreach with the community.
“This is about us building relationships with everybody in all areas of Queens,” said Cabán. “Certainly we had a really exciting amount of support and there are also plenty of folks who are skeptical or who supported another candidate. We wanted to make sure that we started building trust right away and get ready to work together.”
While most of the votes that she received were in northwestern Queens, she felt it was important to come to the southeast section of the borough first and greet the residents who will be most affected by her criminal justice reform policies.
“This is one of the most impacted areas of our borough when we talk about the effects of criminal justice reform, so it felt important to come out here right away,” said Cabán.
The public defender and possible DA-elect (absentee ballots and affidavits are still streaming in) understands her primary win goes beyond Queens County.
“I think it will have a national impact,” said Cabán who was endorsed by presidential candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “I really believe that every single district attorney, at least in our city, should expect to be primaried next time around and that goes for a lot of our local officials too, but we are coalition building around the country in terms of progressive decarceral prosecutors.”
Some of the progressive district attorneys that have endorsed her include Larry Krasner of Philadelphia and Rachael Rollins of Suffolk County.
Defense attorney Darmin Bachu was happy to meet Cabán after voting for her.
“In my 22-years as a defense lawyer I’ve been waiting for someone like Tiffany Cabán to come and change the system, to lessen the sentences they give out, to create opportunity and programs to juveniles and younger defendants so that they can have a chance of reform and deal with the community and have a community perspective,” said Bachu. “I am looking for less criminalization and more opportunities. I’m looking for the system to be about reformation and rehabilitation.”
In her corner, as she greeted and thanked travelers was State Sen. James Sanders (D-Far Rockaway, South Ozone Park).
“Meet your new DA Tiffany Cabán!” he bellowed as straphangers got off the subway.
Sanders initially supported Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest), but had altered his decision a week before the election, which possibly became a factor in the councilman dropping out of the race last minute.
“I believe there are innocent people in jail, I need them out!” said Sanders. “Guilty people need to stay in and innocent people need to come out. I looked at all the candidates and Ms. Cabán is the only with a genuine commitment to see them out.”
Sanders is committed to fighting for Cabán so long as she continues fighting for the underrepresented and those that get ignored or mistreated in the criminal justice system.
“This means we get a fair shot,” said Sanders about his predominantly black district that stretches from Far Rockaway to Ozone Park. “It means we get a chance to ensure justice in our lifetime.”
The historical nature of Cabán’s virtual win was also not lost on Sanders.
“We showed young ladies and people of color that you too could rise to a high place en Los Estados Unidos,” said Sanders.