Speaking from Experience – at the OR DA For the People Forum
This past weekend, I participated in a candidate forum hosted by a new organization, Oregon DA for the People. The goals of this group are admirable – they are hosting discussions with candidates about issues important to them in an effort to highlight those issues and ensure they know where each candidate for District Attorney stands.
Hearing their stories was very helpful for me and I support the ongoing dialogue they are creating around the race.
While we did not agree on everything, there were a variety of areas where we found common ground, and throughout the forum, I discussed my views and experience on the issues that matter. For example, I have unique insight into the difficult issues posed by officer involved shootings and I have direct experience using the Public Inquest to help get many of the facts into the public space. We should continue to explore this as an option.
We also know the unfortunate truth that the criminal justice system produces disparate results for people of color, and people experiencing poverty, homelessness, or mental health issues. We need to do better to address these issues, and there are a number of ways to ensure that members of our community are treated fairly. It is important to promote adequate reentry services for convicted defendants reentering society, including legal serviced for expungements. And we must ensure that victims from historically underrepresented groups have the advocacy they need to safely navigate the system. We cannot end all discrimination or institutional racism overnight – but with an experienced leader with credibility who can bring the community to the table, we can make a tangible, long-term impact that will make Multnomah County safer and more fair for everyone.
Throughout this campaign, and as Multnomah County’s next District Attorney, it will be critical to move these community conversations forward into action. That is why I was proud to participate in this forum and why I plan to continue an open dialogue with community members as the next District Attorney for Multnomah County.