Endorsement: Donna Patalano would lead on criminal justice reform
Patalano puts a heavy emphasis on data-driven leadership and transparency. And she’s made a strong commitment to building a more diverse prosecutor corps, promising to release demographic data on who gets job interviews with her office. She’s also pledged to address a worrisome pattern of turnover in the Middlesex district attorney’s office, creating the stability she’ll need to push through reform.
Together, progressive district attorneys in Middlesex and Suffolk counties could go a long way toward rethinking the role of prosecutor, setting new metrics for success, and putting Massachusetts where it belongs — on the cutting edge of criminal justice reform.
Our Revolution Massachusetts
Donna Patalano is running against the incumbent DA because she thinks it is time for major reform in the way the criminal justice system works... The levels of pretrial incarceration in Middlesex County have doubled since the incumbent took office, and we don’t know why, or where. Disparities exist; Patalano pledges to work towards a justice system that doesn’t treat different people differently.
Democracy for America
"Donna is a uniquely qualified prosecutor who will build the preeminent progressive prosecutor’s office in the country, leading on criminal justice reform to create transformative, lasting change through her support for immigrants’ rights in sanctuary cities, commitment to treating mental health and substance abuse as a public health issues, and implementing an innovative data-collection program on the equitable use of bail recommendations and plea negotiations."
Progressive Democrats of Lowell
“Donna’s message about transparency, accountability, and respect for civil rights resonated strongly with our members.”
Our Revolution Arlington
“We decided by a greater than 90% margin to endorse Donna Patalano as the true progressive reformer in the race, one who can truly implement the recently-passed criminal justice reform legislation on Beacon Hill and take it even further.”
UWUA Local 369
Elected Officials and Policymakers:
Scott Harshbarger, Former Middlesex District Attorney & Massachusetts Attorney General
"Donna's record as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney demonstrates her commitment to fair and equal justice, the rule of law, and the independent, professional, and ethical exercise of prosecutorial discretion. If Donna’s message can be heard, I believe that she can win. At the end of the day this is about the quality of justice in Middlesex county. We need to make a difference and Donna Patalano is that difference.
Adam J. Foss, Founder of Prosecutor Impact
“You have the power to change everything in Middlesex County by electing one person- and it’s Donna.”
Mehreen Butt, Wakefield Town Councilor
"I’m endorsing Donna because she’s dedicated to progressive criminal justice reforms and will bring a new vision of change to the Middlesex County DA’s office. With her diverse background as a prosecutor, a defense attorney and a champion for marginalized communities, Donna is the right choice on September 4th to build a District Attorney’s office which shares the values of our community. "
Julie Smith-Galvin, Wakefield Town Councilor
"It is time for all of us to pay attention to the impact our District Attorney plays in shaping our criminal justice system and, by extension, the communities we live in. Once you start paying attention it is hard to deny that Donna Patalano is the right person for the job. Her commitment to equity, transparency and accountability is what we all need and deserve for Middlesex County. I am proud to endorse her and invite you to join me in voting for Donna on September 4th."
Sumbul Siddiqui, Cambridge City Councilor
"I am proud to support Donna Patalano because she knows that in our criminal justice system, you can't manage what you can't measure. Donna understands the need for transparency through measuring and releasing data to address the gross racial and economic disparities that persist in our justice system. On September 4th, Donna is the right choice to bring a new voice to the Middlesex DA's office, and fight for the progressive values of our community."
Caroline Bays, Watertown Councilor-at-Large
"I am so excited to endorse Donna Patalano for DA in Middlesex County. I have spent the last few years fighting racism in the criminal justice system. Donna Patalano is an ally in that fight. In order to end the culture of mass incarceration, we need a DA like Donna Patalano to advocate for transparent and equal treatment for people of color in our courtrooms. Her goal is to create a safer, less violent society, by pursuing the truth instead of focusing on prosecutions alone. I hope you will join me in voting for Donna Patalano on September 4th so we can bring justice and balance back to our criminal justice system."
Stephanie Hirsch, Somerville Alderman At-Large
"Donna was in my Emerge candidate training program for women, and I have been so impressed with both her personal convictions and her exceptional professional expertise. That combination of values and experience is what we need to run and reform a very complex and high-impact organization. I hope Donna will have an opportunity to do the very hard work of putting her ideas into action to make a difference and make Middlesex County a model for the country on the toughest of community and governance challenges."
Will Mbah, Somerville Alderman At-Large
"I am endorsing Donna because she is willing to lead on issues of criminal justice reform, and will not shy away from the hard fact that racial and economic disparities plague our legal system and are contributing to mass incarceration. We need a progressive, modern vision for policy in the Middlesex DA's office, and Donna is the right person for the job. I urge you to support her on September 4th!"
Matt McLaughlin, Somerville Ward 1 Alderman
"America needs DAs like Donna who believe not just in law enforcement, but social justice as well. Donna will deliver a justice system that works for everyone."
J.T. Scott, Somerville Ward 2 Alderman
"I am endorsing Attorney Patalano because I am hopeful that she will provide new direction for the Middlesex DA's office. We need real commitment from the DA to end the racial and economic disparities that are inherent in our criminal justice system. Donna's experience as a defense attorney, paired with her work to build a culture of professional ethics and integrity at the Suffolk DA's office has prepared her to address these disparities. I believe Donna will lead on systemic reforms that will both make us safer and bring better outcomes to our communities when she is elected on September 4th."
Ben Ewen-Campen, Somerville Ward 3 Alderman
"I’m endorsing Donna because she’s a champion of progressive criminal justice reforms and fight to make the Middlesex County DA’s office more transparent and equitable. As a former prosecutor and a defense attorney Donna has worked on both sides of the courtroom and is the right choice on September 4th to build a District Attorney’s office which shares the values of our community.
Jesse Clingan, Ward 4 Alderman
"As someone who has worked to address the devastating effects that addiction has had on our society, I know the important role our DAs play. I’m endorsing Donna because she’s a champion of progressive criminal justice reforms and will bring a new vision of change to Middlesex County DA’s office. On September 4th, Donna will be the right choice to build a District Attorney’s office which fights for justice with integrity.
Mark Niedergang, Somerville Ward 5 Alderman
"I’m endorsing Donna because she will be an activist as DA and will champion progressive criminal justice reforms in the Middlesex County DA’s office. Donna understands how our criminal justice system has harmed many people whose "crimes," such as possession of marijuana, have been victimless and did not deserve a jail sentence. She has a sense of mission to reform the criminal justice system and compassion, but she will also be tough on real criminals. Donna has been both a prosecutor and a defense attorney and she is committed to making changes in the criminal justice system so that it is fair for people of color and other marginalized communities. I urge you to vote for Donna in the Democratic Primary on September 4th so she has the opportunity to reform the District Attorney’s office so that it promotes the values of our community."
Andre Green, Somerville School Committee Member
"I'm proud to support Donna for DA because she gets that purpose of our legal system is not the pursuit of punishments, but the pursuit of justice. As DA, I trust her to be the partner we need to end the school-to-prison pipeline and build a criminal justice system that works for all, not just the privileged."
Robert Logan, Waltham City Council Vice President
"I’m endorsing Donna because she is committed to bringing a new vision of change to the Middlesex County DA’s office. Having worked both as a prosecutor and defense attorney, Donna has the experience to fight for fairness and equity for everyone in our criminal justice system. On September 4th, Donna will be the right choice to create a District Attorney’s office dedicated to justice with integrity."