DALLAS — Today, the ACLU of Texas announced the launch of its “Vote Your DA” campaign to educate Dallas voters about the integral role district attorneys play in the justice system. As part of its public education outreach, the organization will host its first DA candidate forum on Sat., Feb. 10 at the Zale Library of Paul Quinn College.
“District attorneys are the most powerful public servants in our justice system,” said Anthony Graves, smart justice initiatives manager for the ACLU of Texas, a.k.a. United States Death Row Exoneree 138. “And I know better than most what can happen when that power is in the wrong hands. The people of Dallas County deserve a DA who measures their success by their commitment to truth, justice, and community, not by the number of convictions they secure.”
The campaign will focus on informing voters of the DA’s role in critical justice reform issues such as mass incarceration, money bail, biased policing and bringing transparency and accountability to the office. In addition to the candidate forum, the ACLU of Texas has launched the website DallasDA.org, which includes voter registration information, candidates’ platforms and their answers to the ACLU of Texas’s questionnaire.
“The ACLU of Texas will never endorse a candidate, but voters need to be informed of both the stakes and the critical issues involved in choosing a district attorney,” said Sharon Watkins-Jones, director of political strategies for the ACLU of Texas. “District attorneys can either continue to drive mass incarceration in Texas, or they can help shepherd in much-needed reforms to our justice system. It’s essential that voters be both motivated and informed when they head to the ballot box.”