MANHATTAN - As the only elected leader in the race for Manhattan District Attorney, Dan Quart will bring unique experiences as a community lawyer and lawmaker to the office. Quart discussed how he will confront the challenges Manhattan is facing as DA and his plans for a fairer and safer city with amNewYork.
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Tell us about yourself and your experience with the office of the Manhattan DA and the criminal justice system in general.
I’m a Washington Heights native who grew up with working-class parents in a union household. My dad was a public school teacher and my mom was a social worker who taught me the value of public service. I’ve been in the courtroom for the past 25 years as a litigator and was named as one of NYC’s top pro-bono attorneys for tenants rights. In 2011 I ran for Assemblymember and have spent the past decade working in Albany and in the community on criminal justice reform.
What are the biggest challenges facing the criminal justice system and how will you solve them?
The current criminal legal system criminalizes poverty and mental illness instead of prioritizing public safety. As DA I will prioritize criminal justice reform by declining to prosecute low-level charges that don’t pose any public safety threat, I will hold police who abuse their power accountable, and I will work every day to keep Manhattan safe. Every policy platform that I have put forward, from protecting victims of sexual assault to addressing gun violence, works to build a system that is rooted in fairness, justice, and public safety for all Manhattanites.
What’s your political experience?
I’m the only candidate in this race who has held elected office — I’ve been an Assembly Member for the past decade.
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