The criminal justice system has a moral obligation to be a voice of strength for those without a voice. As your District Attorney, I will seek to bring justice for victims who are least capable of protecting themselves.
I am running for DA because we face difficult challenges to our public safety. San Luis Obispo County needs a DA who understands these challenges and has a track record of successfully prosecuting criminals. The three most pressing issues threatening the public safety of our community are:
Issue #1: Growing Influence of Gangs
Experience has shown that once gangs are allowed to take root in a community, they grow like a cancer. And where gangs are allowed to take root, violence and drug trafficking are sure to follow.
Gangs from Monterey and Santa Barbara counties are encroaching on our county. We must not allow gangs to gain a foothold here in SLO. In 2011 the Monterey County gang population rose to over 5,500 gang members. That’s why a task force from 1990 is no longer sufficient to deal with the growing threat that we face today. Our gang task force has not been adequately bolstered to deal with the dramatic rise in gang-related crime of the last decade.
Gang activity in our communities is on the rise, and it must be stopped. We cannot wait until San Luis Obispo County’s gang problem reaches Monterey’s level. We must act now.
That’s why as your DA I will make it a top priority to stop the influence of gangs in our communities. I will work with the Sheriff and local law enforcement Chiefs of Police to boost the number of law enforcement officers fighting gang-related crime. We will prosecute gang members to the fullest extent of the law. We will put an end to this growing problem. Make no mistake: gangs are not welcome in San Luis Obispo County.
Issue #2: Hard Drugs in Schools
We also face a tragic trend of hard drugs infiltrating our schools. Recently we have witnessed heroin, oxycontin, and methamphetamine destroying young lives and robbing futures. High schoolers, with their lives ahead of them, have died from overdosing on Heroin. In August of last year the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit arrested a man for possession of about $50,000 worth of narcotics in a house less than 1,000 feet from an elementary school.
Drug users and traffickers need to know that our community’s residents and law enforcement will not stand for drugs on our streets or in our schools.
When I am your District Attorney, there will be no special deals for drug dealers who push drugs on our kids. I will send Deputy DA’s to speak to students and educate our teens on the perils of drugs and crime. I will crack down on those who bring drugs into our schools, and bring to justice those who seek to destroy our childrens’ futures. I will not stop until the influence of drugs ceases to affect the lives of our children. San Luis Obispo will not be a center for the proliferation of drugs, and as District Attorney I will ensure that does not happen.
Issue #3: Jail Overcrowding and Prison ‘Realignment’
A major new challenge is the overcrowding of our local jail due to recent ‘prison realignment’. According to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Annual Report, since October 2011, when Assembly Bill 109 came into effect, the county jail has housed an additional 1,135 inmates. Increases in the local jail population over the last two-plus years forced SLO to approve a $40 million expansion of the county jail and rehabilitation programs and significantly increase funding for correctional personnel.
With our jail filling up with felons that used to be in state prison, we can no longer do business as usual. As your District Attorney, I will work closely with Sheriff Parkinson and the Community Corrections Partnership to balance the state’s realignment program and our local issues. Together, we can do better. I will implement cost-saving reforms and bring the county stakeholders together to find better solutions to jail overcrowding that are good for the taxpayer and do not compromise the safety of our community.
We can meet these challenges together. I am running for District Attorney because I want to keep San Luis Obispo one of the best places to live in California. I want to strengthen the partnership between the DA’s office, law enforcement, and our community by assigning Deputy District Attorney’s to assist the School Resource Officers in our junior and senior high schools. I will fight to eradicate drugs and gangs from our schools and offer these students exposure to a professional career path as attorneys, investigators, and professionals.
San Luis Obispo needs a District Attorney who will prosecute crime to the fullest extent of the law, bring criminals to justice, and ensure the safety and security of you and your loved ones. As your District Attorney, I will ensure that our beautiful County remains one of the greatest places in America to live, work, and raise a family.