Ramsey County Attorney
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John J. Choi
If elected, what will your top three priorities be and why? (750 characters)
How has your career prepared you for this role? (500 characters)
What do you see as the biggest challenges to your office, and how would you address them? (500 characters)
How would you work for racial equity in the justice system? (500 characters)
How would you manage conflict within your office, and earn the public’s trust? (500 characters)
1. I will continue to bring our community & law enforcement together to prioritize our response to violence. In response to recent increases in violence, I brought together the Saint Paul Police Chief, Ramsey County Sheriff and top county leaders to create a Violence Reduction Leadership Group that has been developing coordinated responses to shootings and carjackings.
2. I will continue to protect vulnerable victims and ensure justice for survivors of sexual abuse. I will continue to listen, learn, and worked together with survivors to improve the justice system response.
3. I will work to improve the quality of justice for all and build trust with our community. It is essential for us to acknowledge some of the shortcomings of our justice
I have been recognized as a national leader in justice system improvement. My approach to holding abusers accountable, while working to help survivors, has transformed the way government intervenes in domestic violence and sex trafficking. I have successfully advocated to reform drug sentencing laws and reinvest savings in community; and am transforming system responses to address underlying causes of crime, respond more restoratively to youth, and give people second chances.
The increase in violence is a major challenge. Working with law enforcement and community leaders I have secured funding to create a dedicated carjacking and auto theft enforcement team and a sustainable infrastructure of support for people caught up in cyclical violence to help meet their needs to prevent future violence. I will continue this collaborative work to both enforce the law and help people move away from violence.
I will continue to lead reforms that reduce racial disparities: Launched helpsealmyrecord.org to help people seal their records; Reimagining justice for youth to repair harm and address needs so youth don’t return to the legal system; integrity in convictions and sentencings by re-examining past cases; reforming bail so pretrial detention is based on risk to public safety, not wealth; Partnering with police chiefs to reduce equipment traffic stops that diminish trust in communities of color.
I use a collaborative leadership style that allows for open discussion of differences of viewpoint. Our work on increasing diversity has resulted in our staff transforming from 12% people of color to 33% since I took office 11 years ago. I have created a public data dashboard for our office that increases transparency and am engaging in community conversations with the public based on this data not just to build trust, but also to work with our community in building a better justice system.
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