Democratic Candidate for Manhattan District Attorney
A civil rights attorney and a decarceration activist. She will reject large swaths of potential prosecutions. She says she plans to build schools instead of incarcerating.
“Interaction with the justice system is destabilizing.” (The Appeal)
“Prosecution is inherently harmful.” (Politizan.com)
“I will seek release for people whose sentences are too harsh.” (World Coin News) She previously released a plan in which she will review “all old sentences” that exceed that duration.
“In other words, instead of preventing crime, the harms of policing, prosecutions and mass incarceration make crime more likely.”
Candidate's Standing On The Issues
- Aboushi wants to pave the way to abolish prosecution by utilizing social workers, public defenders, teachers, and civil rights attorneys as members of her team. (Source: 5bd.org)
- Aboushi is not planning to prosecute “cases of social inequities,” including ones caused by mental illness, substance abuse and homelessness, which should be addressed by public health and community-based organizations. Aboushi plans to fully decriminalize sex work. (Source: Law 360)
- If elected, she will decline to prosecute nearly four dozen offenses and will offer an alternative-to-incarceration program “in every case” with “no exceptions,” including murder, rape and gunpoint robbery. “We need to stop equating incarceration with accountability.” (Source: Wall Street Journal)
- Aboushi said she doesn’t believe overpolicing and overprosecution are a solution to crimes, including those driven by hate or bias. Enhancing sentences for hate crime perpetrators doesn’t make victims feel safer. (Source: Law 360)
- She wants to prioritize the prosecution of certain crimes she believes have been underprosecuted, such as white collar crimes, wage theft, housing violations, sex crimes, and abuses against immigrant communities. (Source: 5bd.org)
- Under her Arrest Review Unit, cases involving people without significant criminal histories or don’t impact public safety and don’t seem to warrant prosecution, will be dismissed as soon as possible without conditions. (Source: tahanieforda.com)
- On gun violence, Aboushi said she will focus on prevention programs led by the community, relying on credible messengers and gun buyback programs. “There’s a difference between gun possession versus a weapon that has been discharged, or one that results in injuries to another person.” “We have to take these things on a case-by-case basis, understanding where the guns came from and why people feel the need to possess them.” (Source: Law 360)
- “I will offer to adjourn as many cases as possible in contemplation of dismissal, recognizing both that one mistake should not define a person’s life, and that repeated incidents are best helped with targeted programming, not a revolving door in and out of Rikers. In every other case, I will offer alternatives to incarceration that have been proven to address harm and reduce recidivism.” (Source: tahanieforda.com)
- Aboushi has called for a 50% reduction to the NYPD budget. (Source: 5bd.org)
- She plans to drastically change the close working relationship that currently exists between the Manhattan DA’s office and the NYPD, citing her work suing the NYPD as a civil rights attorney as proof of her commitment. She believes her office can serve as a watchdog over the police. (Source: 5bd.org)
- “Truly meaningful changes to policing must be done through community-based processes, in conjunction with comprehensive divestment from policing and investment in communities, as well as through elected civilian review with teeth.” (Source: CityLimits.org)
- She is not planning to prosecute “cases of social inequities,” including ones caused by mental illness, substance abuse and homelessness, which she believes should be addressed by public health and community-based organizations. (Source: Law 360)
Born and raised in New York City to Muslim Palestinian immigrants, Aboushi is an activist and a civil rights attorney at the Aboushi Law Firm PLLC in New York. She previously served on the board of directors for the New York Civil Liberties Union.
When she was 14 years old, Aboushi saw her father being convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison, leaving her mother to care for 10 children. Her personal experience drove her into law, she said.
In 2017, Aboushi co-led a legal team at John F. Kennedy International Airport, where she helped secure the release of people detained by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol following Trump’s enactment of a travel ban on citizens from predominantly Muslim countries.
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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.
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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.
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The public advocate is a non-voting member of the New York City Council with the right to introduce and co-sponsor legislation.
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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.
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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.
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What makes a good Comptroller?
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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.