May 22, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed public defender Tiffany Cabán earlier today in the hotly contested race for Queens District Attorney.
“New Yorkers deserve a seat at the table, and a champion who will fight to realign our priorities towards equal treatment under the law,” said Ocasio-Cortez, later adding, “We deserve a district attorney that understands that to make our community safer we help people prosper. We deserve Tiffany Cabán.”
The Democratic primary, which will take place on June 25, has seven candidates vying for the nomination.
Ocasio-Cortez, who says she has been following the race closely, gave her endorsement to the candidate whose platform most resembles her own.
Cabán, 31, has pledged to bring progressive reforms to the DA’s office, including prosecuting abusive landlords and targeting drug companies that take advantage of working-class citizens.
Cabán’s platform has centered around rehabilitation rather than detention. She is in favor of closing Rikers Island, and does not support plans to build new borough-based jails.
“As a public defender, I’ve seen firsthand how our criminal justice system oppresses and marginalizes black and brown, low-income, immigrant and LGBTQIA+ communities,” Cabán said. “I’m running to decriminalize poverty, end mass incarceration, and keep people rooted in their communities with the services they need.”
The race comes just weeks after the death of longtime District Attorney Richard A. Brown, who died on May 4 from complications related to Parkinson’s disease.
Cabán is the only public defender to have entered the race for Queens DA, but is running against many well-known Queens players. Her opponents include Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; former Deputy Chief in the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit of the New York Attorney General’s office Jose Nieves; lawyer Betty Lugo; City Council Member Rory Lancman; former judge and senior prosecutor Greg Lasak; and former prosecutor Mina Malik.
Prior to Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement, Cabán had received the support of several other elected officials including State Senators Julia Salazar, Jessica Ramos, Luis Sepúlveda and Gustavo Rivera; City Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Brad Lander; and former New York Governor candidate Cynthia Nixon.