Video: Amplify Her Hosts Forum for Women Candidates for Manhattan District Attorney
The Six Women Running Discuss Over-policing, DA Budgets, Sexual Violence, Trump and More
New York___ Amplify Her, a grassroots organization dedicated to helping more women get elected in New York City, held a Manhattan District Attorney forum featuring the women candidates: Tahanie Aboushi, Liz Crotty, Eliza Orlins, Diana Florence, Lucy Lang and Tali Farhadian Weinstein. The organization is now sharing video of the forum to inform the public about the candidates running for the seat, which has never been held by a woman: https://www.amplifyher.nyc/manhattanda
The forum was broadcast live from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Amplify Her called on the candidates to address issues related to current high-profile cases before the Manhattan DA’s office, and longstanding problems within the criminal justice system. The candidates were asked to answer the following questions:
Speak to your experience and how you’re prepared to lead the Manhattan DA’s office with a full-time staff of more than 1,500 and $126M annual budget.
One’s experience in the justice systems is too often dictated by race, gender, income, immigration status, or housing status. As District Attorney how would you ensure there aren’t disparities in investigating, prosecuting and sentencing and how will you work to protect Manhattan’s most marginalized communities?
Over the past year, NYC has seen a rise in violent crime, including gun violence and homicides. How would you balance protecting the public with avoiding the harms of over-policing, and will you commit resources to non-police-based public safety measures?
As DA how would you address the ‘use of force’ issue and hold officers accountable for police brutality and corruption? On a related note, do you support the Defund the Police Movement and would you support slashing the Manhattan DA budget?
Some of you have worked as prosecutors, others as defense attorneys or as civil rights attorneys. Tell us how your experience has informed your plans for reforming the District Attorney’s office. Please be specific about your top priorities for reform.
As District Attorney, are there offenses you will decline to prosecute? If so, what are these and please share why you think alternatives to incarceration are better?
Women often do not report the violence they suffer, whether it be assualt, rape, trafficking or domestic abuse. When survivors do report, too often they are not believed or are themselves criminalized for their efforts to survive domestic violence and sexual assault. As DA what would you do to work towards eradicating sexual violence?
The next Manhattan DA will inherit the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s finances, including whether the Trump Organization violated state laws, the legality of tax deductions as well as discrepancies between what the Trump Organization told lenders vs. tax authorities about the value of its assets. How would you plan to proceed with this specific investigation, and more broadly, how will you ensure there are substantive consequences for white collar crimes?
“Although the Manhattan District Attorney office has been in existence for 220 years, the seat has never been held by a woman. The voters of New York county have what could be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to elect a woman for the office, as the position is not subject to term limits and the candidate who wins in June might be there for decades. With criminal justice reform a pressing concern for so many residents of New York, and the immense power that the District Attorney holds, we feel it is important that voters have the opportunity to hear from the candidates so that they can make an informed decision at the polls,” said Marti Speranza Wong, executive director of Amplify Her.
After the forum, Amplify Her sent all audience members a straw poll. Using a system of ranked choice voting, Tahanie Aboushi was selected as the winner of the straw poll. Separately, Amplify Her voting members, who have volunteered 10 or more hours in the past year, will rank their preferred candidates for the official Amplify Her endorsement in the coming weeks.
About Amplify Her:
Amplify Her is a New York City-wide organization created to directly address women’s underrepresentation in the City’s elected offices. To support progressive women running for office, Amplify Her recruits committed volunteers, registers new voters, and builds the collective power of those who are often neglected by status quo politics. With a grassroots approach to campaigning and fundraising, Amplify Her is working to change the face of politics in New York.