The “What a Difference a DA Makes” campaign, a first-of-its-kind voter education campaign launched by the ACLU of Massachusetts, today issued a questionnaire to Massachusetts’ 22 district attorney candidates.
The questionnaire seeks answers from candidates in six contested districts and incumbents on a range of criminal justice issues including fairness in the criminal justice system and community engagement, racial justice, and transparency in the District Attorney’s Office.
“District attorneys make life-changing decisions for thousands of people here in Massachusetts every day,” said Rahsaan Hall, director of the ACLU of Massachusetts’ racial justice program and What a Difference a DA Makes campaign manager. “That’s why we – all Massachusetts residents – must hold prosecutor candidates accountable and insist that they inform us of their values and priorities. Asking these types of questions empowers Massachusetts residents and helps voters choose the right candidate who would help restore and strengthen our communities.”
A poll released last summer showed that people have limited knowledge of district attorneys’ power, budgets, and accountability. Almost four-in-ten voters (38 percent) did not know that district attorneys are elected and accountable only to voters. After hearing facts and messages about the every day impact district attorneys can have on individual lives and in communities, 81 percent of voters said they are more likely to pay attention to their local district attorney race.
Candidates have been asked to respond to the questionnaire by Friday, May 25, 2018.
Next month, What a Difference a DA Makes will host the first debate in the Suffolk County District Attorney race. Set for Thursday, June 7 at 6 pm at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury, the debate will convene the candidates for Suffolk County District Attorney for an engaging exchange about Massachusetts’ criminal justice system.