May 30, 2019 By Max Murray
Sunnyside Community Services is holding a Queens District Attorney candidate forum next week.
The candidates will meet at Sunnyside Community Services on Monday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. as they battle it out for the Democratic nomination.
Six of the seven Democratic candidates who are vying for the nomination have confirmed their attendance.
The event comes at a crucial time for the candidates, since the primary is less than four weeks away–on June 25. The winner will then represent the Democrats in the Nov. 5 general election.
This will be the first competitive race for the position in nearly 30 years, with the late Richard A. Brown—who had the backing of the Queens Democratic machine—holding the spot from 1991 through to his death last month. Since his death, Assistant District Attorney John Ryan has been serving as acting district attorney.
All seven primary candidates are running on a platform of criminal justice reform. They all state that change is needed in terms of cash bail and how low-level offenses are prosecuted.
“On June 25, the people of Queens will have the opportunity to vote in the primary for Queens District Attorney in the first competitive race in many years,” said Judy Zangwill, executive director of Sunnyside Community Services.
“We are grateful to the candidates for making the time to participate as we feel it is important to not only provide a chance for the candidates to address the community, but to also provide our neighbors with the opportunity to share their questions and concerns.”
The forum is being moderated by Beth Fertig, senior reporter for WNYC News.
The candidates who have confirmed their attendance are:
Tiffany Cabán, a public defender, who has worked with the New York County Defender Services and the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice.
Melinda Katz, the Queens Borough President, who was a member of the NYS Assembly and the City Council.
Rory Lancman, a council member who represents the 24th District and is the Chair of the Council’s Committee on the Justice System.
Greg Lasak, a former New York State Supreme Court judge who previously worked in the Queens District Attorney’s office.
Mina Malik, a lecturer at Harvard Law School and former prosecutor who was the head of the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
Jose Nieves, a former prosecutor in the NYS Attorney General’s Office.
Candidate Betty Lugo, a former Nassau County Assistant District Attorney, has yet to confirm.