Women’s Rights Leader Gloria Steinem and NOW-NY Join to Endorse Eric Gonzalez for Brooklyn D.A.
Powerful Women’s Advocates Cite Record of Achievement on Women’s Rights
NEW YORK, NY – Gloria Steinem and the National Organization for Women-New York City (NOW-NY) announced their joint endorsement of Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez for District Attorney of Kings County today.
As the first major women’s endorsement in the Brooklyn D.A. race, Gloria Steinem commended Gonzalez for a strong record of combating violent crimes against women. Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW-NY, cited Brooklyn’s growing national reputation for a progressive approach to law enforcement as reason for her organization’s strong support for Gonzalez.
“I’m supporting Eric Gonzalez as District Attorney of Brooklyn because of what he has done and what he will do,” said Steinem. “He has created a Campus Sexual Assault Initiative that allows survivors to report directly to his office. He has hired immigration attorneys to represent crime victims in immigration matters; thus reducing fear of coming to court. He is strengthening ways of dealing with drug-facilitated sexual assault. And he is treating domestic violence as the probable predictor of other violence it statistically is. Brooklyn will be lucky to have Eric Gonzalez.”
“Eric Gonzalez is working to create a criminal justice system that produces less incarceration of nonviolent offenders and more prosecutions of predators who commit violent crimes against women, girls, and vulnerable people,” Ossorio said. “This approach is smart and it’s right. He is leading his office in a progressive direction, and our endorsement today is a vote of confidence that he will continue to do so.”
NOW-NY provided a list of concrete measures implemented by Gonzalez in his ten months as Acting District Attorney that clinched the organization’s support. They included:
- Making prosecution of sex crimes a top priority, by increasing the number and salaries of Special Victims Bureau (SVB) attorneys and enlisting his investigative bureaus to build prosecutions of perpetrators of drug-facilitated sexual assault.
- Creating a campus sexual assault initiative enabling survivors to report directly to the DAs Office, providing an alternative to campus authorities or the NYPD.
- Strengthening the DAs Office approach to DV by implementing a “lethality risk assessment” protocol; investing in technology to allow DV victims to sign their complaints directly from police precincts via smartphone; and significantly reducing cross-complaints brought by abusers, a common practice used to intimidate victims.
“I am so proud to receive the endorsement of NOW-NY,” said Gonzalez. “It is unacceptable that in cases of rape, which one in five women will experience in their lives, only 3% of the perpetrators ever do time in prison. It is unacceptable that the survivor of a sexual assault who seeks justice from those who are sworn to project us can come away feeling re-traumatized rather than supported. When Donald Trump puts crime victims and witnesses in such fear of being deported and having their families torn apart that they are afraid to come forward to report a crime, we work with advocates and groups in the community to create a safe environment for these women to come forward. I know that together, my office and NOW-NY can address critical issues that are important to this very important organization.”
Eric Gonzalez is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn. He was raised by a single mother for most of his youth, living first in Williamsburg. During the 1980’s, his family moved to East New York during the height of the city’s crack epidemic. Gonzalez is a graduate of John Dewey High School in Coney Island, Cornell University and the University of Michigan Law School where he was president of the Latino Law Student Association. He is married to his wife, Dagmar, and they have three sons.
The National Organization for Women – New York (NOW-NY) advocates for the women and girls of New York, by defending reproductive rights, fighting economic inequality and aiming to end discrimination and violence against women and girls.