Feb. 21, 2019 Staff Report
A Queens-based advocacy group is holding a forum in Jackson Heights Monday night where the leading candidates for the office of Queens District Attorney will attend and answer questions on how they plan to serve in the position if elected.
The event comes well in advance of the Democratic primary for the position, which will be held on June 25.
The race has gained significant interest given the movement toward criminal justice reform and that Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown is stepping down after more than two decades in office.
The race is also seen as representing a turning point for the borough. Many candidates are calling for reform– such as ending cash bail; placing a greater focus on rehabilitation as opposed to hard time; and not prosecuting low-level offenses.
Many of the candidates also want Rikers Island to close and be replaced by borough-based jails.
The Queens District Attorney Forum is being hosted by the Queens United Independent Progressives, a grassroots organization that emerged from the Ocasio-Cortez 2018 Congressional campaign and the No IDC Movement.
“District Attorney Brown has been the head of Queens’ biggest and most consequential law firm since 1991,” said Ingrid Gomez, interim co-chair of Queens United Independent Progressives. “Queens has changed dramatically in those 30 years and now more than ever people are calling for progressive change in our criminal justice system.”
The event will be moderated by Christian Murray, publisher of the Queens Post, a news organization that consists of eight local sites including the Jackson Heights Post.
The candidates who have confirmed their attendance include Melinda Katz, Rory Lancman, Tiffany Caban, Mina Malik and Jose Nieves. The group is waiting to hear back from Gregory Lasak and Betty Lugo.
The event will address topics such as the movement toward ending cash bail, closing Rikers Island, decarceration programs, protecting defendants from ICE, open discovery laws and policies to reduce recidivism.
Date: Feb. 25, 2019
Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: 37-62 89th Street, Jackson Heights, NY 11372 (one block from the 90th Street/Elmhurst Ave. subway station)
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We waste so many lives and so much money locking up powerless people for minor infractions while letting major offenders who can afford lawyers off the hook. In Philadelphia, the new progressive DA is getting powerful results. We can do the same or better in Queens. I support Tiffany Caban who has a comprehensive vision for improving our communities in Queens to make a safer community for all of us.
YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD AND THE ONLY CANIDATE WHO FITS THAT CRITERIA IS GREG LASAK FORMER SUPREME COURT JUDGE OF QUEENS. WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER POLITICIAN WHO HAS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE JOB ENTAILS. JUST LOOK AT HIS BACKGROUND AND IF YOUR TRUTHFUL YOU WILL AGREE HE IS THE MOST QUALIFIED.
Queens is headed in the wrong direction…we’ll be plagued with crime if most of these reckless ideas are enacted.
Being soft on crime doesn’t make us safer.
We need someone with Legal and leadership skills running an organization not some political hack, progressive liberal, soft on crime politician running the Queens District Attorneys office. We need a DA who will report crimes committed by undocumented aliens to ICE so detainers can be placed and hold these criminals so we won’t have a repeat of the shooting/murder on the 90th platform on the 7 line committed by MS-13 gang member who was released on a $2,500 bond a good boy with two kids according judge Schwartz released on 10% = $250.00 DA recommended $100,000 – bail. Who running has this track record??