The Many Roles of Your District Attorney

On today’s episode I sat down to speak with Ana Zamora. She’s the Criminal Justice Policy Director for the ACLU of Northern California and she is running their Meet Your DA campaign here in California. This is a slightly different take on our Policy Change in that instead of discussing the process of changing public policy, we discuss the process of implementing – or not implementing in some cases – a recently changed policy.

Meet Your DA is a slightly different kind of campaign. It’s not directly trying to elect particular candidates to District Attorneys’ offices across California. Rather, the campaign is focused on helping people get to know who their local District Attorney is, and highlight some of the positions those DA’s have taken on recent criminal justice reform ballot measures.

Ana and I also discuss the power and influence that a District Attorney has in local law enforcement and how that influence plays out in the criminal justice and prison systems in California.

We also dive into the different roles that a District Attorney plays. The most obvious is the role of prosecutor and representative of the people in court. But getting back to the Meet Your DA campaign, we also talk about District Attorney’s role as a policy implementer and how embrace, or not embrace, recent criminal justice reform measures that have been passed by California’s voters via the initiative process.