By David Brand
Public defender Tiffany Cabán, an outspoken advocate for criminal justice reform, officially announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Queens District Attorney in a statement Friday.
Cabán is a longtime Queens resident and an attorney at the New York County Defender Services (NYCDS).
“Queens can lead the way for the country and show the world, once again, just how visionary we are,” Cabán said in a statement. “We can end mass incarceration in Queens, end the war on drugs, turn back the tide of the devastating opioid epidemic and model the most progressive DA office in the country.”
Before working with NYCDS, Cabán served as an attorney in The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice. She said her experience defending low-income New Yorkers, primarily people of color, motivated her to run for DA.
“I am running to transform the Queens District Attorney Office after years of witnessing its abuses on the front lines,” Cabán said. “Queens should be the center for progressive activism and restorative justice – we are the district that sent a generational millennial leader to the halls of Congress, and we now have a unique opportunity to center justice here at home.”
Cabán lives in Astoria and earned her law degree from New York Law School.
She joins a crowded field of contenders for the Democratic nomination. Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilmember Rory Lancman, former Judge Gregory Lasak and State Attorney General’s Office prosecutor Jose Nieves have each declared their candidacies and begun fundraising.
On Jan. 21, Cabán attended a rally on the steps of the Queens Criminal Courthouse where community organizations announced a list of reforms they demand from current District Attorney Richard A. Brown and the next DA.
“If I weren’t running, I’d be up there with a sign,” Cabán told the Eagle after the event. “We need to hear the community’s voices and that’s the approach the DA’s office needs to be taking.”