Suzy’s Priorities

I am running for District Attorney of San Francisco because I believe that we can do better when it comes to safety and justice for the people of our City. Rooted in our progressive, San Francisco values, I know we can protect the most vulnerable among us, improve public safety for all, and continue the fight to reform our broken criminal justice system. And this is how I plan to do it.

Invest in All of Our Communities

We need to work together, in every community, and have honest conversations about what it will take for everyone in our City to be safe. We need to stand up for the radical notion that safety belongs to all of us – not the province of the few, designated by zip code. But, we must also make clear that safety does not mean we lock everyone up, build more prisons, separate families, and throw people away. As District Attorney, I will bring together women, families, LGBTQ stakeholders, community organizations, law enforcement, city agencies and more to collectively build a San Francisco that will actually make us safer.

  • Invest in Neighborhood Prosecutors who will work collaboratively with community members and law enforcement to address crimes that erode our collective sense of safety in each community
  • Hire Alternative Sentencing Planners to work with prosecutors to design individualized sentences intended to break the cycle of recidivism
  • End the finger-pointing of government agencies blaming one another and instead adopt a problem-solving approach to issues facing our neighborhoods
  • Partner with community members, community-based organizations, and city agencies to implement innovative community-led solutions to address the social and economic factors that detract from our collective safety
  • The best way to address crime and violence is to prevent it in the first place
Be There for the People Who Need us the Most

I want every San Franciscan to see the District Attorney as the People’s Lawyer – fighting to ensure that every person, regardless of their neighborhood, country of origin, or race – is protected and treated with dignity. This means standing up for our victims – from the teenager whose boyfriend threatened her with a knife to the working family who had their car broken into for the fourth time. This also means ensuring that when people are charged with a crime, they are treated fairly.

  • Recognize the impact of trauma and its connection to feeling safe by investing in more resources for crime survivors
  • Protect our crime survivors and witnesses, especially the most vulnerable, like children who have witnessed crime in their community or seniors who are victims of scams or fraud, by eliminating the bureaucracy that stands between victims and the help they need
  • Make sure our immigrant communities feel safe to report crime and engage with law enforcement by ensuring prosecutors consider the immigration consequences of every case
  • Decrease the criminalization of women, girls, trans, and LGBTQ youth of color by developing strategies, in partnership with community members and community-based organizations, to address the underlying economic and social realities – such as sexual abuse, exploitation, and homelessness – that often result in incarceration
  • We have a particular responsibility to protect children and ensure every child can thrive and grow up in safety
  • Children should be treated as children
Deliver Smart Justice

Relying on jails and prison as the first or only mechanism to achieve safety is fiscally irresponsible and doesn’t actually make us more safe in the long run. San Francisco recognized this long ago and has led the nation in pioneering new approaches that move away from our over-reliance on incarceration and instead prioritize rehabilitation, alternatives to incarceration, and other diversion programs that address the root causes of crime. But we still have much more work to do.  While some cases will require serious accountability, there are many more cases where we can leverage smart justice strategies that are cost-effective and lead to better results in ending cycles of crime. In this day and age, data and technology is critical to charting paths toward safety as well as identifying and addressing racial disparities in our criminal justice system.  We also know that exposure to trauma is a public health crisis and when untreated, becomes a public safety problem. We should be learning from survivors of crime and recognize the impact of trauma and its connection to safety.

  • Work collaboratively with our City  leaders – with Mayor London Breed on addressing homelessness, City Attorney Dennis Herrera to seek conservatorship for those with severe mental illness who are unable to care for themselves, with our school system to ensure trauma is identified and addressed early, with our public health system to expand access to drug treatment and care for people struggling with mental illness, with business leaders to expand employment pipelines, and so much more
  • Work with Governor Gavin Newsom to end the incarceration of children as we know it  
  • Expand diversion programs for both youth and adults
  • Modernize the DA’s office to use technology as a means of preventing crime, bolstering transparency and accountability, and confronting and solving the racial impacts of the criminal justice system
Restore Community Trust

While we have seen a decrease in crime rates and shrinking jail populations, many people in our community still do not feel safe, and trust in law enforcement has eroded. I will prioritize rebuilding trust with San Francisco communities – particularly communities of color and immigrant communities – and tackle the misuse of power head on. If we want people to trust those in power, we need to be clear through our actions that those who hold the public trust will be held to a higher standard and will be held accountable for any abuse or misuse of their authority.

Here’s how we build a more just system together:

  • Eliminate bias in charging decisions, jury selection, sentencing recommendations and plea bargains
  • Double down on efforts to reform the cash bail system and other court fees, which disproportionately impact the poor and people of color – eliminating future opportunities for success.
  • Enforce office-wide policies to consider immigration consequences in handling cases, protecting non-citizen defendants from excessive federal punishment
  • Oppose the Trump Administration’s efforts to further criminalize immigrants and co-opt the justice system for immigration enforcement
  • Investigate each officer-involved shooting with the highest level of integrity, independence and transparency to ensure answers are provided and officers are held accountable where they have broken the law
Protect our Progressive Values

Recent upticks in property crime and domestic violence incidents are not an indictment of our progressive, San Francisco values – they are reason for us to strengthen our commitment to public safety strategies that actually address the root drivers of crime. Criminal justice reform doesn’t mean people aren’t held accountable– it means that accountability is proportionate to the harm; we adapt to new strategies that address drivers of crime; and we acknowledge that to be truly safe, our system of governance must also be just.  

 

My record on leading policy reforms is clear. I support:

  • Ending mass incarceration
  • Eliminating the death penalty in California
  • Ending the cash bail system
  • Ending criminal justice fees and fines
  • Protecting the sentencing reforms under Prop 47
  • Ending the war on drugs and replacing it with a war on inequity and lack of opportunity
  • Making diversion programs available to all regardless of a person’s ability to pay
  • Protecting non-citizen defendants from overly harsh punishment and mandatory deportation
  • Reevaluating past sentences to identify people who are not a public safety risk and should be resentenced
  • Ensuring that the measure of justice received never depends on the color of someone’s skin or the size of their bank account
Get Tough on Corporations Who are Harming Our City

I want to reimagine the role of the prosecutor as the people’s lawyer who can protect our communities from the abuses of the most powerful. It’s not enough to pass laws that protect residents from discrimination and other unjust behavior. The District Attorney’s office can and should play a more proactive role in enforcing our civil rights, workers rights, consumer protection, and environmental laws.

  • Do more to hold toxic polluters accountable, tasking prosecutors to enforce our environmental laws and to work collaboratively with Bay Area and State prosecutors to address regional environmental threats
  • Expand consumer protection efforts to prevent and hold corporations accountable for fraud and predatory lending, particularly against our immigrant and low-income communities, and vulnerable seniors
  • Enforce our labor and employment laws to make sure workers are protected from wage theft and unsafe, abusive, or discriminatory working conditions
  • Work with our partners to protect San Franciscans from housing discrimination and predatory landlords