The ACLU of Oregon recently launched their They Report To You campaign. This campaign “aims first to increase the public’s knowledge about the role of district attorneys (DAs) and second, use that knowledge to push for greater engagement around much-needed criminal justice reforms.”
Information regarding the campaign can be found on their website:
Some of Oregon’s elected District Attorneys are not happy with this campaign as noted by David Rogers, the Executive Director of ACLU of Oregon:
“They Report to You clearly struck a nerve with some DAs as Mr. John Foote (Clackamas) and Mr. Joshua Marquis (Clatsop) have lashed out against us in the press. (Mr. Foote even put out a press release about it.) Their responses underscore exactly why we need this campaign. They are so unaccustomed to the idea that they can and should be held accountable by voters, that the very notion sends them off the rails.
“They Report to You is built on the observation that district attorneys as a collective body have habitually opposed important reforms and they focus on defending a system that they mostly control. Acknowledging that problems exist in a complicated system is not necessarily an admission of guilt; we need less defensiveness. But when any elected leaders deny we still have very serious problems in the criminal justice system, they are clearly part of the problem.”
“No Mr. Foote, everything is not ok.”
“Oregon does not need defensiveness from our elected officials, we need leadership. We need leaders who are willing to acknowledge that core problems like racial disparity exist, that we can’t warehouse people with mental illness in our jails, and that the policies of the War on Drugs are a failure. It is time to be part of the conversation and action focused on solving the system’s problems.”
“Not all DAs are resistant to change, and we would like to work with district attorneys who are open to reforms that address critical issues facing Oregon’s justice system. As I said at our campaign launch on Sunday, DAs have a tremendous amount of power, which means they also have a tremendous amount of power to make change. ”