In July 2018, grassroots groups in Queens started talking about building power to make change in the criminal legal system in Queens. Those conversations led to the development of Queens for DA Accountability, which now includes a number of organizations representing a broad and diverse constituency across the borough.
Queens for DA Accountability is a coalition of grassroots organizations and advocates centering black and brown, TGNC, immigrant/migrant, indigenous and other communities directly impacted by incarceration. We are committed to decarcerating Queens, NY by holding our District Attorney and other elected officials accountable to community demands for transformation of the criminal legal system. Through community organizing, civic engagement, and narrative change, we will build power for our movements’ most expansive vision of decriminalization, decarceration and transformative justice while pushing the DA to take immediate steps to reduce harm now.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
District Attorneys are elected officials who have immense discretionary power over the everyday decisions in courtrooms that often lead to harmful outcomes, particularly for people of color. District Attorneys also wield considerable political influence throughout the state's entire criminal legal system. They have the power to either transform the system and end mass incarceration or exacerbate its harm on our communities.
The current Queens District Attorney is Richard Brown, who has held the position, mostly unopposed, for 27 years. The office reflects the by-gone tough-on-crime era and has not kept pace with progressive reforms that have characterized the new modern era of prosecution in the United States.
People are ready for change.
* Denotes organizations currently on Queens for DA Accountability’s Steering Committee