April 4, 2019 By Alexa Beyer
Queens District Attorney candidate Tiffany Cabán received an endorsement from Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer on Thursday.
The endorsement is the first one that the 31-year-old public defender has received from a council member, in a Democratic primary where she appears to be emerging as the progressive left’s candidate of choice.
Van Bramer said that he’s endorsing Cabán in the June 25 primary because of her progressive approach to criminal justice reform.
“If we are serious about achieving social and economic justice we’ve got to be serious about criminal justice reform. Changing the system—not just tinkering with it—has to be the goal,” he said.
“I believe that Tiffany Cabán has the relevant experience to transform the way we look at systemic inequality in the law. She knows first hand that building people up, rather than tearing them apart, ultimately makes us all safer.”
Van Bramer’s endorsement follows those Cabán has received from the Queens branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Real Justice PAC, Make the Road Action (MRA) and the Working Families Party. She also has the backing of many grass-roots organizers who got behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ congressional campaign in 2018.
Cabán, who lives in Astoria, is taking on six other candidates in the crowded primary that includes Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Council Member Rory Lancman.
Cabán is an advocate for the elimination of cash bail for all crimes and an end to the prosecution of low-level offenses like fare evasion and marijuana possession.
She also wants to decriminalize sex work and refuses to take contributions from corporations, a decision she says will free her to prosecute landlords who unlawfully evict tenants and corporations accused of wage theft.
She is opposed to the opening of new jails–including the Kew Gardens facility–while calling for the immediate closure of Rikers Island. Her policy is to reduce the inmate population down to a such a level where this could be achieved.
In his endorsement, Van Bramer noted that as a gay man, he was proud to endorse Cabán, who identifies as queer.
Cabán thanked Van Bramer for the endorsement.
“[Councilmember Van Bramer] has spent the entirety of his career fighting for the LGBTQIA+ community. This resilience and courage is an inspiration to me, especially as a queer woman. I am honored to receive this endorsement, and I look forward to working with him to make Queens a model for decarceral and restorative criminal justice reform,” she wrote.