MANHATTAN - Despite almost all candidates in this race running on a message of reform, no career prosecutor will be able to reform the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. It will not happen. A former prosecutor will simply be a continuation of Cy Vance’s policies that fuel mass incarceration and fail to keep Manhattanites safe.
Prosecutors advance in their careers by winning cases or securing plea deals. But too often, prosecutors’ offices fall into a culture that prioritizes a lawyer's “win record” over public safety or fairness.
As one of the few non-prosecutors running to be District Attorney, Dan Quart is the only candidate ready on day one to reform the office and pull it out of a broken culture that rewards the “win records” of prosecutors over public safety or fairness.
“For Democrats out there in Manhattan who are happy with Cy Vance, who want to give him a fourth term, you have five prosecutors to choose from,” said Quart during the debate. “It doesn’t matter what’s on their website, it doesn’t matter what they say at this debate, it’s an extension of the prosecutorial mindset that will continue if any of the five of them are elected.
“For those who want something different, for those who truly want to decarcerate but have public safety, they have three options in this race and it’s the three non-prosecutors. The reason why I think I’m the best suited to be that reform voice to really rebuild this office is my ten years in the legislature. Take police accountability, something that is critical. All of us have said different things about it. I’m the only one who has a record of actually ending the police secrecy laws, working with then-Public Advocate Tish James on body cam footage, all while getting elected six times in the past ten years.
“That’s the most important thing. It’s easy to talk about reform. It’s easy to talk about what you’ll do. But I have a record of actually having done that work while answering to voters. That’s what the next district attorney has to do if they’re going to take the rhetoric of reform and implement it into real policy and changes within this office that’s dying for change.”
A former prosecutor who has spent their career in this environment is not equipped to implement much-needed reforms in the District Attorney’s office. Manhattanites are ready for a District Attorney who will always place fairness and public safety over career progression and accomplishments. Quart is ready to do that.