As the race heats up for the Queens District Attorney Office, frontrunners Borough President Melinda Katz and public defender Tiffany Cabán continue to gain momentum from new endorsers with 26 days left until the June 25th primary.
Katz received a huge endorsement on Thursday from the United Federation of Teachers in Bayside surrounded by teachers, supporters, elected officials and of course the UFT President Michael Mulgrew.
“I’m really proud of the support from the UFT, because we have been doing a lot of work together over the years from a lot of substantive fights like being against the Common Core, increased funding, or building new schools,” said Katz, whose sons are entering third and sixth grades next year. “We are the only borough in the city of New York that is overcrowded. We are at 113th percent capacity, which means that there are not enough seats for our kids.”
On May 22, delegates from the teacher union, which comprises of 190,000 members, voted to support the borough president in her campaign to become the next district attorney.
“Melinda Katz has been a strong voice for public schools, their students and their families. We are proud to support her candidacy for Queens District Attorney,” said Mulgrew.
Middle school English teacher David Waltzer was proud that the UFT endorsed Katz.
“I think it is an excellent decision by the UFT to endorse Melinda Katz,” said Waltzer. “She has an excellent record with the public school system and being a partner for schoolchildren, schoolteachers, guidance counselors and other professionals. She has been at the forefront of putting students first.”
Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), one of the first elected officials to endorse Katz in the City Council, was there to cheer her on at the event held in front of P.S. 169 on 212th Street.
“When you are going to run the criminal justice system and you are going to have a say on what happens in the cases, the budget of the system itself and how it’s going to be run and social programs that we could do better, working on what could be reform and what is going to happen to Rikers Island – all of that is critical in this next decade,” said Vallone. “Melinda has the experience to do that.”
On May 30, Katz also received an endorsement from the New York City Bar Association.
Earlier this month she also received endorsements from the National Organization for Women, Civil Rights Leader Minister Kirsten John Foy, TWU Local 100, the Alliance of South Asian American Labor, and the Auxiliary Police Benevolent Association.
On the same day, Cabán picked up endorsements from the New York State Immigrant Action Fund and the LGBTQ Victory Fund.
“I’m thrilled to announce our endorsement of Tiffany Cabán to be the next Queens District Attorney,” said Steve Choi, the executive director of the New York State Immigrant Action Fund. “For decades, immigrants and people of color have suffered at the hands of a legal system that disproportionately targets, prosecutes, and punishes our communities. But now, we have an opportunity to transform our local criminal justice system by electing a district attorney who will work to end racist law enforcement and defend immigrant New Yorkers. As a public defender, Tiffany Cabán dedicated herself to promoting racial, social, and economic justice.”
Cabán was honored to receive the endorsement.
“I look forward to working with them to advance our shared vision for a criminal justice system that is representative of immigrant voices and responsive to diverse community needs,” said Cabán. “As Queens District Attorney, I will work with Immigrant Action and other advocacy groups to ensure that our immigrant communities have the rights and protections that every New Yorker is owed.”
Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who is also the president of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, was pleased to endorse Cabán.
“Tiffany is a passionate advocate for fair and equitable criminal justice reform and understands that every decision made by a District Attorney’s office impacts the lives of real people. When she wins, Tiffany will become the first openly LGBTQ District Attorney in New York City, and will help transform the lives of millions of Queens residents,” said Parker.
Earlier this month Cabán received an endorsement from the Regional UAW-9A, Assembly Members Harvey Epstein, Yuh-Line Niou and Dan Quart (D-Manhattan) and Ron Kim (D-Flushing), and from progressive powerhouse U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Jackson Heights).