Op-Ed: Why I’m voting for Melinda Katz


Melinda Katz and I haven’t always seen eye to eye. In the contentious 2019 Democratic primary election for Queens District Attorney, I publicly supported Tiffany Cabán, the public defender candidate, over Katz, then the borough president. After Katz won and took office, I opposed her prosecution of a Guyanese immigrant who was wrongfully jailed as a young teenager on a coerced confession.

But today, as Melinda Katz runs for re-election, there is no doubt that she is my choice — and undoubtedly the best choice in this election – for Queens district attorney.

During her tenure as district attorney, I have seen Katz stand up to hate against vulnerable communities. One of her first acts in office was to launch a new Hate Crimes Bureau to vigorously prosecute crimes committed on the basis of bias or prejudice. So when a queer Black artist was stabbed to death on a subway in 2020, Katz did not hesitate to charge the assailant with an anti-gay hate crime. When a Filipina constituent of mine was beaten in the street in broad daylight earlier this year, Katz swiftly brought anti-Asian hate crime charges against the attackers.