NOW-NYC Endorses Melinda Katz for Queens D.A.

Press Releases / May 21, 2019


NOW Leaders Say Katz is Ready to Transform How Crimes Against Women Are Treated

Local chapters of the National Organization for Women have thrown their support behind Melinda Katz for Queens D.A., citing her strong record of leadership on women’s rights and decades of public service in Queens.

“There are few elected positions that have as significant and direct an impact on accountability and justice for gender-based violence. With her longstanding record supporting women’s rights and her deep ties to diverse communities across Queens, we believe that no other candidate is better equipped to improve our criminal justice system, empower survivors of sexual assault, and fight discrimination in its many forms.” said Sonia Ossorio, NOW-NYC President.

“Katz is an effective, experienced, and feminist candidate. She has the right experience, and we trust that she will be a voice for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Julie Kirshner, Brooklyn-Queens NOW President

The organization cited a number of key factors in their decision to put the power of their grassroots support behind Melinda Katz including:

  • Katz’s stance and record on choice: The need to elect strong pro-choice advocates to represent the public at every level of government, in the climate of anti-abortion extremism that is taking place across the country and seeking to criminalize doctors and even pregnant women themselves. Whether it’s ensuring unfettered access to abortion and the safety of patients and medical care providers at our local health clinics or being able to challenge the rampant misinformation about reproductive healthcare, NOW considers it vital to elect pro-choice leaders that will protect women’s health as paramount.
  • Katz’s commitment to holding perpetrators accountable, providing victims with dignity and justice, and preventing and reducing gender-based violence: D.A.s retain enormous discretion in determining what cases of sexual assault are prosecuted. It’s important that the D.A. prioritizes these serious crimes and will invest the resources necessary to investigate and prosecute challenging cases.
  • Katz’s support of the Equality Model: Melinda Katz does not support the wholesale decriminalization of the sex trade, recognizing the harms of an unfettered industry of exploitation and the violence that comes with it. Instead, she supports removing discriminatory laws such as loitering for the purposes of prostitution, decriminalizing people in prostitution, and increasing services to meet their needs, while retaining the power to legally hold sex buyers and pimps accountable.

“After almost 28 years of unchanging leadership, the Queens District Attorney’s office is poised for significant and dynamic changes to ensure justice for people from all walks of life and to update the practices of our criminal justice system to aid victims of crime, secure justice for survivors, and to best serve and defend the most marginalized,” Ossorio said.

Melinda Katz is an attorney and lifelong Queens resident who has served in the New York State Assembly, the New York City Council, and, most recently, as the Queens Borough President. If elected, she will become the first woman to serve as District Attorney in Queens.

NOW-NYC ignites change for the women and girls of New York. We advance laws, promote women in politics, fight for reproductive justice, challenge discrimination and violence against women, and act NOW.

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