Monday, April 30, 2018

A Progressive Candidate for San Diego District Attorney… And She Can Win


Geneviéve Jones-Wright

by RNK and RJP

This year San Diego Democrats have reason to cheer. We have an extraordinary Democrat running for District Attorney: Geneviéve Jones-Wright, who has been serving since 2006 as a Deputy Public Defender, will bring a fresh and welcome perspective to the District Attorney’s office.

A native of San Diego, first generation college student and graduate of Howard University School of Law, Jones-Wright has inspired audiences with her natural charisma and passionate advocacy for groups long neglected by San Diego’s political establishment. See her in action speaking out against criminalization of homelessness, insisting that we cannot "arrest our way out" of this problem. She has also boldly criticized police brutality and reached out to youth in our county who have been subjected to unjust and excess force. Finally, her criticism of mass incarceration as both "expensive" and "inhumane," and her advocacy of a criminal justice system "informed by scientific research into the human condition," has won her the support of activist Shaun King’s Real Justice PAC. Viewing district attorneys as the "gatekeepers of America’s justice system" Real Justice aims to elect progressive individuals like Jones-Wright as a means of reforming our criminal justice system from the ground up.

Jones-Wright can win: San Diego is no longer the "moderate" Republican stronghold that it was twenty-five years ago, when a clique of developers and other provincial conservatives controlled city politics without much opposition. Although progressive Bob Filner’s eventual resignation as mayor under a dark cloud of sexual harassment was a blow to the city’s progressive movement and Democratic Party, his 2012 election demonstrated just how much San Diego politics had changed. Even the more conservative county has lately been moving in a progressive direction.

Still, Jones-Wright faces an uphill struggle and needs all the support she can muster. San Diego’s last elected District Attorney-- scandal-plagued, Republican Bonnie Dumanis-- resigned her office in order to run for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. However, she cleverly appointed the person who is currently running as her replacement. In other words, the Republican candidate for District Attorney, though never elected, will be able to run as the incumbent in the June election. That will give her a big advantage. If the Republican wins it will be business as usual. Poor San Diegans, and black and brown San Diegans will remain marginalized or worse, and that will be unfortunate for the county as a whole.

Not only will Jones-Wright be a wonderful District Attorney; she also has the talent, passion and moral vision to play a major role in California’s progressive movement for years to come. She needs all the help she can get.

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