By Robert J Hansen
Alana Mathews, candidate for Sacramento County District Attorney, spoke at an online welcome gathering hosted by the California Working Families Party last Wednesday.
Sacramento City Councilmember Mai Vang introduced Mathews to attendees, telling them why she supports her for Sacramento DA.
“Alana is smart, courageous, bold, she’s fierce and she is never going to stop fighting for all of us and our families. She also has a vision,” Vang said.
Vang said Sacramento needs a DA with a community centered solution to improve safety for everyone in every community.
“For me the choice is very clear because what this comes down to is values,” Vang said.
Mathews said right now, the criminal justice system in Sacramento is causing more harm than benefit.
Mathews loves the Sacramento community and where she has lived for nearly 25 years.
“I want to see it safe, we’re heading in the wrong direction,” Mathews said. “Because we can’t incarcerate our way to safety.”
Mathews said there is a litany of problems with the current district attorney’s office, beginning with a failure of leadership.
“I believe everybody should feel safe where they live, sleep and go to work and the criminal justice system ought to be available to everyone, all the time,” Mathews said.
Anne Marie Shubert has been Sacramento County’s DA since 2015 and has failed to charge any police officers in roughly 50 incidents where police have shot and killed a civilian.
Mathews’ three objectives as DA are justice, prevention and trusted leadership.
“I want to seek justice in criminal cases. It could mean violent, serious offenders, they need to be held accountable. But justice could also mean dismissal of a case or treatment and services,” Mathews said.
Mathews said what drives violent crime must be understood before it can be prevented.
“We’re not in a vacuum where things happen and they’re not related. People are depressed from the pandemic. They’re not themselves, they’re frustrated. We have to recognize what are the drivers of violent crime,” Mathews said. “Then we work to reduce crime, not by locking everybody up, by addressing the root causes of crime.”
Mathews wants to be a trusted leader throughout all the different communities of Sacramento County.
“There’s very little trust in the criminal justice system but particularly in the DA’s office,” Mathews said. “We need a leader who is going to bridge that.”