For the Tuesday, June 25 Democratic Primary SDNYC members voted to endorse Melinda Katz to be the Democratic Nominee for Queens District Attorney. SDNYC has endorsed Katz in previous races, beginning when she ran for Assembly against the establishment party candidate. In every race since, Katz has asked for our support, and showed through her actions why we should support her. We have endorsed her successful runs for Assembly, City Council and Queens Borough President, and she has always come through for our community.
From her first term in the Assembly, Melinda proudly sponsored and voted in favor of the Sexual Orientation Non Discrimination Act (SONDA), which made sexual orientation a protected class in the state of New York. She also voted in favor of making HIV status a protected disability, and was one of the deciding votes and a cosponsor of hate crimes legislation that included sexual orientation as one of the protected groups. As Borough President, Melinda secured funding for numerous LGBTQ+ organizations and allies in Queens, including the Queens LGBT Center, Ali Forney Center, Planned Parenthood of Queens, Queens LGBT Network, and AIDS Center of Queens County. This of course is a fraction of her overall record as a progressive legislator and Borough President.
Melinda has detailed plans for how she plans to reform the office after nearly three-decades with the same D.A. (all of which can be read at her website www.katz4da.com). She has pledged specifically for our community to:
Ensure LGBTQ+ victims and defendants alike are treated with respect and have their rights protected by her office and law enforcement.
Convene a LGBTQ+ Rights Advisory Board to address specific concerns of the LGBTQ community, including bullying, threats, and employment or housing discrimination.
Make hate crime prevention and prosecution a top priority.
Decline to prosecute sex workers and protect victims of human trafficking, while prosecuting human trafficking and sexual assault.
Ensure all defendants are identified by the pronouns they choose in court documents.
Advocate at the local, state, and federal level for the rights and protections for the LGBTQ+ community.
Diversify the District Attorney’s office so that it truly represents Queens and hire an LGBTQ+ liaison.
The District Attorney’s Office is one of the most important government institutions in our system. As an Assembly Member, Council Member and the Borough President, Melinda has built coalitions borough-wide, and has best the experience to run and belatedly bring a complex organization into the 21st Century.
Based on her record and policy proposals for our community, SDNYC members endorsed Melinda Katz for Queens D.A. this Tuesday.