Borough President Melinda Katz and public defender Tiffany Cabán both hit the ground running over the weekend to collect signatures for the Queens District Attorney race.
On March 2, Katz and southeast Queens’ community leaders opened a campaign office in Rochdale Village to rally supporters to petition for the borough president to be on the ballot while Cabán and her followers, members from the city’s Democratic Socialists of America and her girlfriend canvassed Jackson Heights and surrounding neighborhoods.
“The energy and support at today’s campaign office opening show just how deeply Queens residents are hoping for a new direction and new priorities for our next District Attorney,” said Katz. “From getting guns off the streets to protecting workers to making sure every victim of a sex crime is heard and can find justice, we will bring positive change to Queens’ criminal justice system.”
Congressmember Tom Suozzi (D-Little Neck), Council Members Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica) and Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), District Leaders Barbara Jackson, Elizabeth Crowley, Tony Andrews, Ari Espinal, Frank Kotnik were out in the snow to take part in the office’s opening at 134-45 166th Pl. in Building 19.
“Excited to join Borough President Melinda Katz as she hosts the grand opening for her new campaign office!” said Vallone. “Her experience, passion for public service and love of our borough will make for a great Queens District Attorney!”
The Queens Borough President has well over 300 endorsements for the race.
Cabán met up with over 100 hundred supporters from NYC-DSA, her campaign team and girlfriend Judith Massis-Sanchez, an attorney, at Milton’s Fiesta Palace located at 37-62 89th St. in the inclement weather.
“It is humbling and certainly invigorating,” said Cabán about the show of support from the volunteers for her grassroots campaign. “This process is hard and super stressful, but just to see how important it is to so many folks and to know that it is an ‘us’ thing, it is something that we are all moving towards, it just feels more possible.”
Massis-Sanchez was one of her biggest cheerleaders at the canvassing.
“She shows everything that she talks about,” said Massis-Sanchez. “Her passion is there for each and every issue and there is not much she has to do to effectuate this position as DA. She will continue to do what she has done as a public defender every single day. She is putting people first.”
Cabán found that the canvassing aspect of campaigning was a great way to engage and educate the public about the race.
“It was a great way to start a conversation,” said Cabán. “So many people don’t know that you vote for your DA to begin with or they don’t know how much impact this position has on our communities. There is this idea that in the criminal justice system that you can’t talk about housing, healthcare and education and there is so much intertwined.”
Phil Agee, a first-time canvasser was excited to be in Jackson Heights supporting Cabán.
“It is a lot of fun and very interesting to reach out to people to make contact about the race and talk about their concerns,” said Agee. “The opportunity to turn the justice system around is something that we can’t miss and I think that she can do that,” added the DSA member.
Cabán was endorsed by NYC-DSA, New Queens Democrats, One Queens Indivisible and civil rights attorneys Janos Marton, Marc Fliedner.