Manhattan DA-Elect Alvin Bragg Announces Transition Team

Following the historic election of Alvin Bragg as the first African American District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office on Nov. 2, his campaign announced the formation of DA-Elect Bragg’s transition team. Here is an excerpt:

Manhattan District Attorney-elect Alvin Bragg today announced the formation of a transition committee comprised of legal experts, service providers, faith based and community leaders, law enforcement, and those directly impacted by the office, that will help reimagine the office to deliver safety and justice for all.

“I am grateful to this group of talented and committed leaders who are volunteering their time and wisdom to ensure we are ready on Day 1 to transform the office to make it the progressive leader it should be,” said Alvin Bragg, a civil rights lawyer and former Chief Deputy Attorney General of New York. “The Transition Committee will be focused on doing the work necessary to identify the plans and people to implement my agenda to address both the need for fundamental reforms in the criminal legal system and the need for community safety. The two goals of justice and safety are not opposed to each other.  They are inextricably linked.  We deserve and demand both, and that has been the focus of my career, my life, and will be the focus of this office.”

“Together, we will make this office a leader on reform. One that ends racial disparities and mass incarcerations; makes us safer by getting justice for survivors of sexual assault and stopping the flow of guns onto our streets; one that invests in reentry programs and expands treatment for mental health and substance abuse; one that addresses the humanitarian crisis at Rikers; and one that holds police accountable, frees the wrongly convicted and delivers justice for all.”

The Transition Committee will be co-chaired by Lauren-Brooke Eisen, Director of the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, Leroy Frazer, former Chief of Staff and Executive ADA, in Brooklyn and Manhattan District Attorney Offices respectively, and Insha Rahman, Vice President of Advocacy & Partnerships at the Vera Institute of Justice.

For the full announcement, go to https://www.alvinbragg.com/transition-announcement

The Transition Committee includes several members who are associated with AABANY, including Board Director Chris Kwok, former AABANY Development Director Kevin Kim, and AABANY members Asim Rehman and Chanterelle Sung. For the full list of Transition Committee members, see https://www.alvinbragg.com/transition-committee

Congratulations to DA-Elect Bragg and to all the members of the Transition Committee.

In the News: Law360 Covers AABANY’s Manhattan DA Candidates’ Forum

AABANY’s Manhattan DA Candidates’ Forum held on June 15 and 16 was recently covered in a June 21 Law360 article titled “Manhattan DA Candidates Split Over Hate Crime Strategy.” In the run up to the primary election on June 22, AABANY posed questions to seven Democratic candidates (Tahanie Aboushi, Alvin Bragg, Liz Crotty, Tali Farhadian Weinstein, Diana Florence, Lucy Lang, and Eliza Orlins) and one Republican candidate (Thomas Kenniff) on issues important to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, specifically related to how they would address the surge in anti-Asian violence in New York City. Most of the candidates stated that they would use enhancements to charge perpetrators of hate crimes. In addition, most of the candidates supported creating a hate crimes unit in the DA’s Office, which is one of the proposals offered in AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ report on anti-Asian violence. Only Tahanie Aboushi and Eliza Orlins pledged they would cut the district attorney’s office budget in half. By decreasing the prosecution of low-level offenses, Aboushi and Orlins said the office would be able to focus on more serious crimes, including hate crimes that involve violence. The Law360 article also incorporated Democratic DA Candidate Dan Quart’s stances on the questions posed at the Forum as he was not able to participate due to a prior engagement.

To read the full article, click here. To view the recordings of AABANY’s Manhattan DA Candidates’ Forum, click here for day 1 (Lucy Lang, Alvin Bragg, Tali Farhadian Weinstein, and Tahanie Aboushi) and here for day 2 (Diana Florence, Thomas Kenniff, Eliza Orlins, and Liz Crotty).

Former AABANY Member Daniel M. Chung Writes Op-Ed Emphasizing Need for New Santa Clara County District Attorney

On April 19, 2021, San Jose Inside published an op-ed titled “Santa Clara County Deserves a New District Attorney” by Daniel M. Chung, formerly with the Bronx DA’s office and was an AABANY member. Daniel currently works as a Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney and in the op-ed, he voices the need for a new District Attorney in Santa Clara County who will celebrate the diversity of the community and speak out against injustice.

As an Asian-American prosecutor in Santa Clara County, Daniel felt that he needed to speak out against anti-Asian violence at a time when many local community leaders stayed silent. He published an op-ed in the Mercury News on February 14, 2021, about the recent surge of anti-Asian violence and the need for balanced criminal justice reforms to protect victims and communities. In response to the publication, Daniel’s boss, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, had Daniel appear at a hearing to answer allegations that he had used his official title without authorization, and reassigned him twice in two days with no customary notice or explanation. Daniel attributes DA Rosen’s actions to his boss’ political aspirations and explains that rather than demonstrating commitment to racial justice and the Asian community in Santa Clara County, DA Rosen chose to stay silent. Daniel stresses the importance of a new District Attorney in Santa Clara County:

Santa Clara County deserves a DA who will be a leader—not a bandwagoner—in speaking out against injustice to Asian Americans and others. A DA who will demand unwavering loyalty to the law and justice and not to himself. A DA who will prioritize public safety and not promote a culture of fear and retaliation. A DA who will respect free speech, say what he means, and mean what he says. Santa Clara County deserves a DA who will celebrate the rich diversity of our community and protect us—not for personal or political gain, but because it is the right thing to do.

To read the full op-ed, click here.

Statement from Brooklyn Chief Assistant District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Statement from Brooklyn Chief Assistant District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Vinoo Varghese in NYLJ: Lawyer Claims D.A. Subpoena Could Impact Defense Counsel

Vinoo Varghese in NYLJ: Lawyer Claims D.A. Subpoena Could Impact Defense Counsel