Tiffany Cabán Is the Queens District Attorney That Communities of Color Need (OPINION)

Jun 18, 2019
1:53 PM

Tiffany Cabán at the 2019 Pride Parade and Festival held in Jackson Heights, Queens. (Photo provided by the Cabán campaign)

For decades, the Queens District Attorney’s office has been complicit in the mass criminalization of Black and Latinx communities. This same office has failed to stand up for immigrant workers being taken advantage of by bad-actor employers, and tenants whose rights were being violated by greedy landlords. The result: an office designed to ensure justice for our communities has often done the opposite—sending our people into cages without regard for their well-being, while failing to hold accountable those who deprived them of their basic rights and needs.

One week from today, on Tuesday, June 25th, Queens voters have the opportunity to turn that around: they can vote for Tiffany Cabán to be our next Queens District Attorney.

Tiffany is exactly what communities of color deserve, and need, to begin a new chapter in Queens. As a public defender, she has devoted her career to standing up for people like us—working-class Black and Brown people who needed legal representation to stand up to a criminal legal system rigged against them.

Her campaign makes her core values clear: while other candidates are fueled by real estate, landlord, and corporate money, Tiffany has refused to take any such contributions. Instead, she has run an entirely people-powered campaign, relying on working-class people of all colors and creeds to volunteer and contribute what they can.

As Queens’s new DA, she plans to put working-class people of color and immigrants first. She has been the pace-setter on several fronts in this race. First, her independence from powerful interests means she will stand up for workers suffering from wage theft and unsafe working conditions. I know she will defend the rights of tenants being harassed and mistreated by their landlords. Immigrant workers are dying regularly on construction sites around New York, and I am confident that Tiffany will do everything she can to hold responsible those who put profits over our people’s safety. Since she’s not taking money from those bad actors, while others are, Queens voters can trust her word.

She is also the candidate with the best de-carceration plan. She will fully end cash bail and decline to charge recreational drug use, sex work, and crimes of poverty, and work to end broken windows policing in New York.

When it comes to immigrant communities, she has vocally called for ending all collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and getting them fully out of the courthouses—and made clear that, where ICE agents are violating people’s rights in her borough, she will prosecute them.

(Research the full list of bold, progressive policies at

The election is days away. That’s why I’m asking members of our community to help make sure that we elect Tiffany Cabán on Tuesday, June 25th. If you’re in Queens or nearby, sign up to volunteer this week or on Election Day. Consider making a contribution. Call all the Queens Democratic voters you know to make sure they have a plan to vote for Tiffany Cabán.

Do everything you can to make sure that this proudly queer Boricua public defender from Queens can win next week and make history. ¡Sí se puede!


Carlos Menchaca is a New York City Council Member. On Twitter: @cmenchaca