Former federal and city prosecutor and district attorney candidate Mina Malik had a grand opening for her southeast Queens’ office on Saturday in St. Albans where she met and mingled with potential supporters.

    “I’m here to listen and learn,” said Melake Salman, a Queens Village resident. “I want to know what she is about, and so far it is positive.”

    Ecuadorian immigrant Miguel Lopes, a retired carpenter, came all the way from Flushing to learn more about Malik at her office located at 193-17 Linden Blvd. on April 27.

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    After seeing Malik speak at a forum in Addisleigh Park earlier in the day, Lopes said in Spanish that he found her to be intelligent and supported her initiatives to stop police who are aggressive and abuse their positions of power. He believes that she will bring more equality to the office.

    Queens District Attorney Candidate Mina Malik at the opening of her Southeast Queens campaign headquarters. Photo by Naeisha Rose.

    Kelly Coke, a St. Albans resident, started volunteering for Malik’s team after seeing her at a meet-and-greet in her neighborhood and has been making calls on her behalf and introducing the candidate to friends and family ever since.

    “I like what I heard and I’ve been following her ever since,” said Coke. “I feel with her experience like working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C., working out of Ken Thompson’s office and forming the Conviction Review Unit in Brooklyn and her work on the CCRB is what we need,” said Coke.

    Coke also liked the diversity of Malik’s campaign team.

    “I feel that she is a strong candidate,” said Coke. “Her goal is one of inclusion and diversity and her office is representative of the people that she serves and they know the pulse of the community and the issues that affect them. That’s why I support them and that is why I support her.”

    Malik said that when she joined the race that she was asked to sit out of it and wait her turn.

    “When you are trying to break racial barriers and when you are trying to break gender barriers and break a glass ceiling so that you can have a seat at the table to make decisions that affect our communities, people don’t want you there,” said Malik. “Our voices deserve to be heard in this community and at the top law enforcement office in Queens where 2.4 million people live in the most diverse county in the country if not the world.”

    As the mother of biracial sons who are part black, she wants to end the school-to-prison pipeline. She also wants to decarcerate those who are impoverished, substance abusers or mentally ill, and fund programs that will keep them out of jail.

    “I’ve had already implemented restorative justice, which we need to do in Queens to keep people out of jail and make sure that we are restoring our communities, making people whole again – defenders and victims, and holding them accountable for what they do and while making sure the harm doesn’t repeat itself in the future” said Malik. “We need representation at the DA’s office, from all communities, not just one. So we need to change that.”

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