Our justice system has been violating our shared values and breaking our trust for far too long. It has a short-sighted focus on punishment and incarceration, even for those who struggle in poverty, with drug addiction and mental illness; it perpetuates racial and economic disparities; and it is not accountable to the community. This year in Hennepin County we have a chance to change that and be a leader in the nation in criminal justice reform.
Born and raised in Hennepin County, I have spent the last 15 years working to make our communities safer, more equitable, and more just. Growing up in Brooklyn Center my mom, a widowed and single parent, worked long hours in several low wage jobs to provide for my siblings and me.
On May 19th, we received the DFL endorsement for Hennepin County Attorney by an overwhelming margin. The values that led to the monumental support for this campaign are ones we all share, regardless of political affiliation - fairness; accountability for all; system transparency, integrity, and effectiveness; and second chances.
Urban and suburban voters, survivors and criminal justice reform activists, new immigrants, people of color, and faith leaders resoundingly affirmed that it is time to reclaim justice and build trust. It's time to reject failed policies that deprive many of second chances and that have resulted in mass criminalization and some of the largest racial disparities in any justice system in the nation.
Now is the time for all voters throughout the county to unite and work together to ensure all of us have the same access to second chances and justice, regardless of our zip code or the color of our skin. Together, we can build a better justice system for everyone in Hennepin County.
African Americans are 6 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in Hennepin County, despite similar use rates. Decriminalizing marijuana and rethinking drug sentencing will help solve this racial disparity in Hennepin County. (Minnesota 2020)
Minnesota has the 15th highest rate of people under correctional control in the nation. Ending mass incarceration requires leadership at all levels of government, including county attorney. (Prison Policy Initiative)
Second Chances - we need to stop holding people back from their full potential and do all we can to give all our children a first chance...
Fairness and Equity - How we are treated by the justice system, whether a victim of crime or accused, should not depend on how much money we have or the color of our skin...