Press Release

ICYMI: New York County Politics: Dan Quart: From Lawmaker to Law Enforcer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2021
Contact: Kate Smart
617-510-4803
kate@danquart.com

“Assemblymember Dan Quart stands out among the candidates in the Manhattan District Attorney race, for one simple reason; he’s the only one with experience making the laws that he hopes to enforce”

MANHATTAN - Dan Quart is the only candidate running to be Manhattan District Attorney who has experience as a lawmaker and a record of successfully fighting for criminal justice reforms throughout his career. Read more about Dan’s experience, his leadership in the Assembly, and his vision for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office below from New York County Politics.

New York County Politics: Dan Quart: From Lawmaker to Law Enforcer

Assemblymember Dan Quart (D-Murray Hill, Lenox Hill) stands out among the candidates in the Manhattan District Attorney race, for one simple reason; he’s the only one with experience making the laws that he hopes to enforce.

In a recent phone interview with NYCP, Quart said that the “broad executive power” he would wield as DA would help him accomplish more than he currently can as an Assemblymember. However, he added that he is running for DA to further the reform he has already accomplished in the Assembly.

“I can take that experience [as a lawmaker], and also my experience representing people as a civil litigator and my criminal defense work, and change the District Attorney’s office,” said Quart. “So I think I have the right set of experiences as a lawmaker and a lawyer to truly reform the Manhattan DA’s office.”

One of his most noteworthy accomplishments as a legislator was the decriminalization of gravity knives. The illegality of gravity knives disproportionately affected low-income New Yorkers of color, many of whom had to use gravity knives as part of their jobs. In 2019, he sponsored a bill to legalize them, which Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed in May of that year.

“Working with advocates and legal aid lawyers, we were able to decriminalize something that Cy Vance himself used to criminalize poverty,” said Quart. “On occasion, he’d even use it as a felony bump-up to ensure incarceration.”

Quart went on to elaborate on his efforts to resist incumbent Cy Vance’s draconian policies. In the mid-2010s, Vance entered into a memorandum of understanding with the New York Police Department (NYPD). This allowed the NYPD to make arrests for low-level summonses and prosecute the people they arrested. Quart caught wind of this in 2016, when an NYPD officer issued summonses for two Black Lives Matter protesters, Arminta Jeffryes and Cristina Winsor – the former for jaywalking and the latter for disorderly conduct.

In response, Quart formed a coalition of Manhattan electeds to pressure Vance to rescind the memorandum of understanding – which, eventually, he did.

“This was, to me, deeply wrong, that Vance would outsource an essential function of his office… to the NYPD,” said Quart. “The majority of credit goes to the two BLM protesters who refused to take plea deals, but I’m proud of the work I did. But I guess it goes to the point that it’s not only a matter of your years of experience in Albany; it’s what you do with that time in elected office that really matters.”

[...]

“[As DA,] I’d be committed to ending the punishment of poverty where there is no public safety benefit,” said Quart. “That takes a whole host of issues – declining to prosecute crimes, stopping overcharging, sentencing reform, bringing greater synergy with the different departments of this office to ensure a de-carceral approach.”

Read the full article HERE.

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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 DanQuart.com and DanQuart.com/Press.