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Queens Chronicle

Melinda Katz running for Queens District Attorney

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Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 6:09 pm

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz announced her candidacy on Tuesday for the Queens County District Attorney’s office in 2019.

Katz, 53, made her announcement in McDonald Park in Forest Hills with her sons, Carter and Hunter, and more than 100 supporters.

She said she will pursue an aggressive agenda including bail reform and more stringent prosecution of hate crimes, sex crimes and domestic violence.

She also wants to address gun crime as a public health concern.

“The District Attorney’s Office needs to be more involved in the community,” she said. “Things aren’t the same as they were 25 or 30 years ago.”

Katz, a former assemblywoman, member of the City Council and attorney in private practice, has never worked as a prosecutor.

But she said her record shows her to be capable of delivering justice for both victims and defendants.

Katz spoke of her own experience, one she says she seldom talks about.

“My mother was killed by a drunk driver; someone who decided to break the law and devastated or family,” she said. “It affects you and you want justice, and you want it very badly.”

Katz wants to eliminate cash bail for low-level, nonviolent offenders, saying the present system allows well-heeled defendants to secure their freedom while those of lesser means can languish in jail over as little as $500.

“Justice shouldn’t depend on your nationality or skin color or income,” she told the crowd. “If it does, we have failed ...”

Katz said she would not prosecute for low-level amounts of marijuana — which would be moot if the state Legislature eases or eliminates existing laws in its 2019 session.

She also believes that the DA’s office should be involved in preventing crime before it happens through education and outreach.

She mentioned initiatives such as those aimed at young gang members or those at risk.

“Show them there’s another way,” she said. Katz also said programs and services must be expanded for those who are cycling out of the correction system.

“That’s how you reduce recidivism,” she said.

Katz said she would stay on as borough president through Dec. 31 of next year should she win.

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1 comment:

  • Justiceforall posted at 5:55 pm on Sun, Jan 13, 2019.

    Justiceforall Posts: 1

    Katz suports Mayor plan to bring mini Rickers to Queens and build a massive borough jail for 1500 inmates with a trauma center with all sorts of diseases in the middle of a highly residential area a block away from schools. Nothing was done regarding placing a homeless shelter disguised as a hotel. Since then more assaults by the homeless on the street just because you refuse to give change and more stabbing on subways in the area were the homeless shelter is. Nothing is done to protect law abiding citizens. Horrible and not a good candidate for DA.