Democratic Candidate for Manhattan District Attorney
Running on her experiences as a prosecutor with top priorities to end incarceration, prioritize the safety of our communities, and ensure that those who enter the justice system are treated equally and with dignity.
“I will divert cases which are better handled by social services out of the system — including crimes of poverty, mental health challenges, or substance misuse.“ (Source: AMNY)
“The time is ripe for someone with a vision that’s aligned with what our communities are calling for, and the depth of experience to operationalize it,” (Source: The City)
“I have had essentially a master class in implementing change in district attorney’s offices because I have worked with DAs all over the country, in offices of all different sizes.” (Source: The City)
Candidate's Standing On The Issues
- “I’m committed to meaningfully shrinking the footprint of the criminal justice system.” The job of a district attorney goes beyond prosecution: it involves engaging communities, rehabilitation and prevention.
- “No one should get special access and treatment because of who they are, or who their lawyer is,” she said. “And the public is rightly outraged when it appears that that has happened.” (Source: The City)
- She does not have a list of crimes that she would decline to prosecute, opting to make those considerations on a case-by-case basis. (Source: 5bd.org)
- Lang said she plans on diverting criminal cases “wherever possible” into social services addressing mental health, substance abuse and conduct related to poverty. (Source: Law 360)
- To boost the public’s trust in the justice system, Lang’s plan includes the creation of a “prosecutorial ombudsman” that would receive and process complaints of prosecutorial misconduct that could be filed, even anonymously, by ordinary citizens, attorneys and members of the judiciary. (Source: Law 360)
- Lang plans to stop relying on mandatory minimum sentences to coerce defendants to take pleas, which increases mass incarceration. “I don’t believe in overcharging.” (Source: Law 360)
- Lang said she wants to focus on “dignity, equity and safety,” pushing assistant district attorneys to interact more with communities touched by the justice system — as she did in a college-in-prisons course she founded within three state-run facilities in New York City. (Source: The City)
- Lang has proposed a specialized gun court but said she would curb violence by addressing the root causes through expanded access to education and employment for both perpetrators and victims. “People return from upstate prisons, often worse off than when they left.” (Source: Wall Street Journal)
- Through the expansion of wraparound services, investment in community-based intervention and incentivizing alternatives to incarceration, Lang believes we can intervene before violence erupts. (Source: votelucylang.com)
- The current system perpetuates a horrifying cycle: people are released from correctional facilities with even fewer resources than when they entered, sent back to communities where they are systematically prohibited from engaging in every aspect of a healthy life, and pushed into the same circumstances that led to their incarceration in the first place. In short: we set people up to fail, then punish them for failing — over and over again. (Source: votelucylang.com)
- Addressing reentry requires both “front-end” and “back-end” solutions: preventing people from becoming ensnared by criminal justice involvement, and providing them with the resources to succeed even when they become criminal justice involved. (Source: votelucylang.com)
- Lucy Lang says she will release a “detailed report” when grand juries decline to charge cops. She also vows to “take a proactive role in improving NYPD training and policy to be in line with the office’s moral and ethical standards and justice system philosophy” and “closely monitor police actions and intervene where there is a high-risk for police misconduct.” (Source: City Limits)
- Lang pledged to build a well-funded public corruption unit to investigate police misconduct. One of its tasks will be tracking adverse credibility findings against officers. (Source: Law 360)
- Lang says she will impose “an explicit policy of declining to prosecute homelessness-related offenses, poverty-related offenses, and nonviolent crimes linked to substance abuse and/or mental health needs.” (Source: City Limits)
- She will promote a public health approach by converting Manhattan’s Mental Health Court into a fully-funded and fully- equipped institution, capable of addressing the unique challenges of justice-involved people with mental illnesses while promoting public safety. “It’s time that we turn to new ideas and think about safety as much as a public health issue as a criminal justice problem.” (Source: votelucylang.com)
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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.