Press Release

Dan Quart launches campaign for Manhattan District Attorney with announcement video featuring Michael K. Williams, key criminal justice reform activists

February 2, 2021
Contact: Kate Smart

MANHATTAN, NY – Assembly Member representing Manhattan’s East Side, one of NYC’s top pro bono attorneys, and champion for criminal justice reform Dan Quart launched his campaign for Manhattan District Attorney today. Featured in his announcement video are The Wire/Boardwalk Empire actor Michael K. Williams and New York activists T.S. Candii, Jeffrey Deskovic, Joanne Logan, and Colin Absalom. Williams, who grew up in New York, is noted for his work with the ACLU and other organizations as a criminal justice reform activist. The video is viewable at

To highlight his endorsement of Quart, Michael K. Williams released the following statement: “Right now people in power see crimes, not people. We need to flip that on its head and elect leaders who will make sure that justice is served fairly for all. Dan Quart is one of those leaders—at every stage, he has seen people, not crimes, and fought for them every step of the way. As a New York City voter and an advocate for criminal justice reform, I believe Dan Quart is the right choice for Manhattan District Attorney.”

Alongside Williams, four other prominent New Yorkers, whom Dan Quart has worked with throughout his career, also endorsed Quart in the powerful announcement video. In each of their stories, those in power saw crimes, not people. These five stories illustrate a systematic failure to uphold one standard of fairness and justice to all. These stories include: 

  • TS Candii was picked up by police for walking down a New York City Street as a trans, black woman. She later became an activist and community leader fighting for the rights of people in her community and of LGBTQ+ individuals statewide. Dan worked closely with Candii over the past three years to repeal the “Walking While Trans” statute and to fully decriminalize sex work across New York. 
  • Jeffrey Deskovic was wrongfully convicted of murder after police officers who, more interested in getting a conviction than in upholding justice, forced from him a false confession . Jeffrey uses his experience to help other people wrongfully convicted, and he has been working with Dan for five years to provide benefits to exonerees as well as to pass legislation to create a statewide conviction integrity unit. 
  • Joanne Logan was taken advantage of by an unscrupulous landlord who used the legal system to try and displace her from her home. As a pro bono attorney, Dan represented Johann in court and successfully argued to keep her in her home.. 
  • Colin Absalom served time for a crime he committed while he was young. After serving out his sentence, he faced deportation to a country that he never knew. Dan advocated and fought for clemency for Colin so that he could stay with his family in New York. 

At time of announcement, Dan Quart has been endorsed for Manhattan District Attorney by: U.S. Congressmember Carolyn Maloney; activist and actor Michael K. Williams; New York State Senator José M. Serrano; New York State Assembly Members Robert Rodriguez, Ron Kim, Aravella Simotas, and Rebecca Seawright; New York City Council Member Diana Ayala; IATSE Local 1; El Nuevo Caribe Democratic Club; East River Democratic Club; gender justice activists Leah Hebert, Elizabeth Crothers, and Rita Pasarell; and activists Jeffrey Deskovic, Colin Absalom, T.S. Candii, Derrick Hamilton, and Taylonn Murphy Sr.

About Michael K Williams: Michael K. Williams played Omar Little on the HBO drama series “The Wire” and “Albert ‘Chalky’ White” on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. An actor who grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, Williams has worked with the ACLU and other organizations as a criminal justice reform activist.

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