Democratic Candidate for Manhattan District Attorney
Alvin Bragg is running as the candidate who has been on both sides of the equation and believes that his personal and intimate interactions with the legal system and years of government services make him uniquely suited to revamp the office amid a national reckoning over public safety and racial inequality.
“Many of my close friends had some interaction with the criminal justice system, and I generally had been the one called to assist in my capacity as a lawyer.” (City & State July 2019)
“Let me be clear. There are still cases where we will need police. I prosecuted the owner of a $30 million business who laundered tens of millions of dollars for a violent criminal enterprise that beheaded people. This is the type of case where we need armed officers.” (Medium.com June 2020)
Candidate's Standing On The Issues
- “More than 80% of our city’s docket are misdemeanors,” he said. “We need to shrink that system and focus on the kind of public safety cases that I’ve done my whole career: gun trafficking and matters like that.” (Source: Law 360)
- “We must treat drug addiction as a healthcare issue while directing prosecutorial resources to large-scale narcotics operations.”
- Bragg lists trespassing, larceny under $250, minor driving offenses, disorderly conduct, drug possession and prostitution as crimes he would not prosecute. (Source: Gothamist)
- Bragg believes that the Manhattan DA should focus on prosecuting those who perpetrate “real harm” or pose a “safety risk” to the community. He appears to believe that offenses such as gun trafficking, money laundering and other financial crimes, as well as sexual offenses are under-prosecuted. (Source: 5bd.org)
- Bragg believes that “comprehensive gun-violence reduction can only be achieved through a multi-faceted approach that includes law enforcement, community intervention/improvement, and legislative change.” (Source: alvinbragg.com)
- “By the time a case gets to the point of criminal prosecution, it is already too late,” said Mr. Bragg, noting that 90% of guns found at the city’s crime scenes came from out of state. At the New York Attorney General’s Office, his team designed a technology to trace guns found at a crime scene back to a licensed firearms dealer. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
- On the issue of recidivism, Bragg said he would follow a “do no harm” approach, and decline to prosecute individuals for technical parole violations. (Source: Law 360)
- Bragg has advocated for defunding the police, and one of his largest priorities is holding the police accountable. He has said that he would increase accountability through thorough and independent investigations, transparency and fairer prosecutions. He has expressed the desire to establish a police accountability unit separate from the DA’s office. (Source: alvinbragg.com)
- Bragg has also pledged to change the friendly, close relationship between the DA’s office and the NYPD. He is proud to be the only candidate who has successfully prosecuted a law enforcement officer, and he is currently representing Eric Garner’s family in their suit against the City. (Source: 5bd.org)
- Bragg seeks to stop the criminalization of poverty and homelessness by radically changing the operations of criminal courts. He plans to expand the use and quality of diversion programs for those struggling with addiction or mental health. He believes that medical professionals, not DAs, should be responsible for decisions related to mental health and drug treatment and he would not reflexively ask for jail sanctions when a person experiences relapse. (Source: 5bd.org)
- He will establish a Public Health Unit that will focus on homelessness and mental health issues that often intersect with the criminal justice system. The Unit will be fully staffed with individuals who are trained to have specialized knowledge of homelessness and mental health issues. (Source: alvinbragg.com)
Choose Another Candidate
What does the Mayor do?
Serves as the Chief Executive The mayor has the power to appoint and remove the commissioners of more than 40 city agencies including the police, fire, education, sanitation, health and more. The mayor also has full control over the city’s public schools.
Sets budget priorities for billions of dollars The mayor and the City Council determine how city’s money should be allocated, what departments should grow or shrink, which programs should be expanded or contracted and how big the municipal workforce should be.
Manages relationships with state and federal lawmakers The mayor serves as the city’s advocate, champion and negotiator, fostering productive relationships with state and federal lawmakers.
The mayor also proposes, enacts and vetos laws, oversees major zoning, land use and housing policy decisions and make judicial appointments.
What does the District Attorney do?
The office is responsible for the prosecution of violations of New York state laws (federal law violations in Manhattan are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York).
A DA's duties typically include reviewing police arrest reports, deciding whether to bring criminal charges against arrested people, and prosecuting criminal cases in court. The DA may also supervise other attorneys, called Deputy District Attorneys or Assistant District Attorneys.
What does the Public Advocate do?
The public advocate is a non-voting member of the New York City Council with the right to introduce and co-sponsor legislation.
The public advocate also serves as an an ombudsman for city government, providing oversight for city agencies, investigating citizens' complaints about city services and making proposals to address perceived shortcomings or failures of those services.
Along with the Mayor and the Comptroller, the public advocate is one of three municipal offices elected by all the city's voters. In the event of a vacancy or incapacity of the mayor, the public advocate is first in line to become mayor.
What do City Council Members do?
From Woodlawn to Coney Island, every neighborhood in New York City is part of a Council District. There are 51 of these Districts, each represented by an elected Council Member.
Council Members Introduce and vote on legislation (proposed laws) having to do with all aspects of City life; negotiate the City's budget with the Mayor and approve its adoption; monitor City agencies such as the Department of Education and the NYPD to make sure they're effectively serving New Yorkers; and review land use and making decisions about the growth and development of our city.
What makes a good Comptroller?
- Complex Managerial Experience — Leads a staff of about 800 employees across all various skill sets including accountants, attorneys, economists, engineers, IT professionals, etc.
- Sound Investment Strategy — Serves as the Chief Investment Officer who has the final say in how the City’s five public pension funds totaling approximately $250 billion in assets are invested.
- Track Record of Transparency & Accountability — Serves as the fiscal “watchdog” — overseeing the auditing team for the entire City, with the power to hold the City accountable when contractors/agencies are falling short. Approves all City contracts and reviews performance.
- Government Experience (City & State) — Understands complex interplay between agencies and lawmakers. Responsible for resolving legal claims on behalf of and against the City.
- Budgeting — Advises the City on any potential developments affecting the city’s fiscal outlook, e.g. relocation of businesses outside NYC, issuing municipal debt. Sets and enforces the prevailing wage.
Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.
What does the Borough President do?
Each Borough President advises the mayor on issues relating to their respective borough. They propose legislation, zoning changes, city-wide budget recommendations, and influence direction for land-use. Borough presidents also appoint members to the New York City Planning Commission, and members to other local boards including community boards.