1. Promote professional and congenial relationships with the District Attorney and members of her administration.
2. Establish tangible benefits for members such as:
A. Implementing the recent amendment to Govt. Code section 6254.21 so that the ADDA can act as an agent for its members to get their residence addresses and phone numbers removed from the internet; and
B. Negotiate agreements or draft legislation to permit DDAs to bypass security screening at all courthouses.
3. Develop a strong political presence in state and local politics to place the ADDA in a position of strength when we need to bargain for benefits.
4. Improve ties with fellow law enforcement organizations.
5. Outreach to other prosecutors’ associations to provide mutual assistance and support and to present a unified front on statewide justice system issues.
6. Upgrade the ADDA website and establish ADDA email addresses to make it easier for members to communicate with the Board.
7. During election years, to have endorsements for District Attorney made based on a majority vote of members rather than by the Board.
We as a union deserve a new beginning.
We deserve an organization that both stands up for our fellow DDAs and stands with our victims on public policy decisions. The reasons I joined this union and its board are similar to why I joined this office.
First, I believe as prosecutors we are guardians of public safety. The ADDA as an organization needs to advocate for policies that ensure our community’s security.
Second, I believe in due process of law. That should also be a right guaranteed and enforced when it comes to our fellow DDAs.
Guardians of Public Safety
The ADDA stands in a unique position to fight on behalf of the prosecutors who keep the public safe. Since the passage of Three Strikes, countless who would otherwise be victims are alive and unharmed. Since the passage of the STEP Act, we are winning back control of our neighborhoods from street terrorists. These important pieces of legislation are under attack. They are attacked in the public square every day.
Our fellow prosecutors are accused of being overly zealous and abusing our authority. In the recent primaries, the LA Times expressed that it has had enough of DAs being judges. I will never forget reading an article in the LA Times about a fellow DA, who was both a tireless advocate and extremely ethical. She was being maligned by the Innocence Project about a case that she had won though a judge then declared a mistrial. To see her name dragged through the mud unanswered was offensive. These claims against our fellow deputies must be passionately answered and refuted. We need a voice for the DDAs who daily do their job seeking justice for those whose lives have been impacted by crime. The ADDA should be that voice!
As guardians of public safety, our voice should be heard when it concerns matters of public safety and victims rights. We, as an association of career prosecutors, have an important role to play in this debate.
As a trial DA, there is nothing more frustrating that to see your friends who are tirelessly fighting to protect the public not get the recognition they deserve. On the other hand, it is also infuriating to see those who do less than the bare minimum continue to collect what essentially amounts to welfare from the office. I want a union that will level the playing field and ensure that people are promoted and fired based upon a fair process. This means promoting those who deserve it and firing those who do not pull their own weight. It should be a meritocracy and not a feudal patronage system. Just as a defense attorney’s job is to ensure that we prove our case with evidence, we should expect our managers to prove their case when they are seeking to promote, demote, or terminate. We are expected to be fair when we try to prove someone guilty. I think we should also demand fairness from the people who manage our office.
My goals for this new board term include:
1. Increase ADDA’s influence in local and state politics through our endorsement process and government advocacy. Establish strong ties with county elected officials as a means of bettering our negotiating position with the county.
2. Establish ties with county officials and DA administration officials as a means of gaining contractual and economic benefits for DAs.
3. Establish better relationships with fellow county unions as a means of developing contract negotiating strategies.
4. Establish better communication methods with our membership including the use of a secured website, social media and direct mailing. Revamp the current website to include a secure chat room for deputy district attorney to discuss cases, trial strategy or DA issues. Add Facebook and Twitter feeds to our ADDA website.
5. Make public our DA of the Month awards and invite the County Supervisor in whose district the crime occurred.
6. Establish DA socials two times a year to increase camaraderie and introduce new deputy district attorneys to the office.
Those are my goals this term.
I want to keep you informed and up to date about the ADDA and how it works for you, the members. I will emphasize increased communication via the internet and social media in order to keep our membership informed in the most convenient and accessible means possible.