Press Release

From Hate Crimes To Gun Violence, Dan Quart Has Always Fought To Keep Manhattan Safe

May 5, 2021
Contact: Kate Smart

MANHATTAN - The debate on public safety tonight continues to present the tired, false choice between public safety and criminal justice reform for Manhattanites. We can build a fairer system that doesn’t incarcerate Black and brown New Yorkers and achieve public safety for all communities. Quart has been fighting for both of these for the past decade and he’s ready to continue the work as district attorney.

When asked a question about rising gun violence, Quart responded with his plan to aggressively tackle this violence: “I know this from my personal experience being in the community as a community lawyer. On 108th St. and Madison Ave in East Harlem, about 25 people shot each other two years ago over the summer and there was a twelve year old who was also shot. I met him, I know him, and I’ve seen firsthand the scourge of gun violence in our different communities in Manhattan.

“I would do three things specifically, we know that 80 percent of the guns that come to New York City are from out of state, so I would create a compact with other district attorneys in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states to identify where these guns are coming in so we can get them at the source.

“Secondly, we can’t only prosecute our way out of this. Yes, we’ll prosecute the appropriate cases but as others have said, Eric Gonzalez has a good program in Brooklyn that should be replicated on diversion practice under appropriate circumstances.

“And third.. we cannot ignore the fact that our not for profits are not properly funded, they’re not able to do the work needed in the community. But there is one example that does work. There’s a new program in the DA’s office that I would expand and replicate that provides restorative justice services on a ten block radius. The buyback programs will not work coming from the Manhattan DA’s office, they may work through programs like this. That’s how I’ll do things differently.”

Over six elections, voters have placed their trust in Quart to keep them safe, and he’s delivered:

  • Quart has always stood up fiercely against hate crimes. At a rally demanding justice for Yao Pan Ma, Quart vowed to prosecute the attacker to the fullest extent.
  • Quart has spoken out strongly about ending the scourge of gun violence in Manhattan, including laying out a plan for how he would curb it, and has been endorsed by leading gun violence prevention advocates.
  • In the Assembly, Quart voted to include gender identity under the hate crime statute and supported the creation of New York City’s office to prevent hate crime.
  • Quart co-sponsored the NY Safe Act, which enacted the strongest gun regulations in the country across New York State with stricter permitting regulations and restrictions on high-volume magazines.
  • For the past decade, Quart has stood with advocates to push for universal background checks, the assault weapons ban, ammunition sales limitations, and more safety regulations.

Additionally, a system that fails to hold abusive cops accountable and continues to over-incarcerate Black and brown New Yorkers, is one that does not keep everyone safe. Police accountability and a fair criminal justice system are also public safety.  

About Dan Quart: Dan Quart is one of NYC’s top pro bono attorneys and a New York State Assemblymember representing Manhattan’s East Side. A Washington Heights native who grew up in subsidized housing with working-class parents, Dan was raised by a public school teacher and a social worker who taught him the value of public service. Since graduating law school, he has dedicated his career to standing up for tenants' rights and advocating for criminal justice reform.

As Manhattan’s next District Attorney, Dan will fight to end mass incarceration, hold law enforcement accountable for police brutality, and ensure that all Manhattanites feel safe. Learn more at and