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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

Union endorsements for June 22 Primary election

Brooklyn District Attorney: Eric Gonzalez

A Brooklyn native who grew up in East New York and Williamsburg, Eric Gonzalez was the first Latino elected as District Attorney in New York State.

Spending his entire legal career at the Brooklyn DA’s office, Gonzalez worked his way up to Chief Assistant District Attorney. Following the passing of then-District Attorney Ken Thompson, Gonzalez was named acting DA until he was elected for a full term in 2017.

After his election, Gonzalez launched Justice 2020, a 17-point plan to transform the Brooklyn DA’s office into a progressive justice model, focusing the DA Office’s on accountability and community-based preventative solutions, instead of an overreliance on convictions and imprisonment.

Gonzalez is committed to continuing to lower incarceration rates through exploring conflict resolution and other victim-centered approaches. He believes that restorative justice is effective in reducing recidivism and support of victims.

Gonzalez will continue building partnerships with community-based organizations, empowering them and building further trust within Brooklyn. Based on early successes, he will expand programs that rely more on community involvement and less on law enforcement. He believes that his role is to lead a prevention-focused movement, rather than one centered solely on crime response.

Gonzalez knows the COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to better engage communities. The pandemic further shown a light on inequities in policing in communities of color. Gonzalez understands that and knows it is a time for new thinking, not only in justice and law enforcement, but in other areas where communities need support, such as education and transportation.