StreetsPac: Vote for Tiffany Cabán for Queens DA
Public defender Tiffany Cabán, who has vowed to shake up the Queens district attorney’s office if elected, is far and away the best candidate on livable streets issues and combating road violence, according to StreetsPAC, the political action committee that announced today it is endorsing her in the June 25.
Cabán is running against five other Democrats in the Tuesday primary to succeed the late Richard Brown in the first truly competitive race for Queens DA since before the Mets started playing in the borough. She earned the endorsement of the city’s sole street safety, mobility and livability political group with a pledge to created a Queens version of Brooklyn’s Driver Accountability Program, which has shown promise for reducing dangerous-driving recidivism, the group said in a statement.
“Cabán is also committed to establishing a Vehicular Crimes Unit within the Queens DA’s office, with a special emphasis on helping victims,” the group endorsement continued. “She believes that too often, police and prosecutors fail to bring charges in cases of vehicular crime, defaulting to the ‘Rule of Two’ or failing to rigorously pursue available evidence.”
In a Streetsblog roundup last week, Cabán was not the only candidate who said she would create such a unit. Jose Nieves, a former prosecutor with the Brooklyn DA’s office and former investigator with the state Attorney General’s office, also said he wants such a team to better investigate crashes that cause injuries or death.
But Cabán went further, StreetsPAC said, pledging to appoint a dedicated liaison to work with the state Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure best practices that prevent traffic violence from happening in the first place.
“Victims of traffic violence are rarely treated well or fairly by the justice system. We think that will change significantly if Tiffany Cabán is elected Queens DA,” said Steve Vaccaro, a StreetsPAC board member and attorney who represents pedestrians and cyclists injured in traffic crashes. “Her commitment to investigating crashes and charging drivers when appropriate will make Queens’ streets more safe and livable. We urge voters to support her on Tuesday.”
The group also looked beyond street safety issues in making its first district attorney endorsement ever, hailing Cabán for her progressive values. Unlike her opponents, she is not taking any corporate money in the race.
“While many Queens residents have been locked up or fined for minor, victimless offenses, like being in a park after hours or possessing a small amount of marijuana, reckless drivers who kill or cause serious injuries have very often faced no legal consequences,” said Eric McClure, executive director of StreetsPAC. “Tiffany Cabán recognizes that communities of color and the economically disadvantaged are disproportionately victimized by traffic violence, and she will hold dangerous drivers accountable while also working to support victims and reduce incarceration.”
The StreetsPAC endorsement should never be taken lightly. In the last election cycle, StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates won 10 out of 10 races, with six defeating entrenched incumbents. StreetsPAC volunteers focused considerable energy in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, where Andrew Gounardes defeated longtime incumbent, and street safety pariah, Marty Golden.