Commentary: With Celebrity Support, Alana Mathews Likely Front Runner for Sacramento DA

Candidate for Sacramento County District Attorney Alana Mathews at a debate hosted by the Sacramento Bee on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. (Screenshot by Robert J Hansen)

By Robert J. Hansen

Sacramento, CA – There’s one month left before the primary election where Sacramento County’s next District Attorney will be decided between Thien Ho and Alana Mathews.

Edward Calder, a business consultant and coach, watched last week’s debate for Sacramento County District Attorney and gave his thoughts on both candidates.

“I think it’s fair to say that she will be our next district attorney,” Calder said.

Alana Mathews laid out the current legal system, its processes, and its gaps, along with inclusive recommendations, actions, and implementations needed.  

“She defined the urgency around the execution and importance of change management in a legal setting, the layers of application, collaboration, and trust needed to sustain a new inclusive legal system,” Calder said. “She was vulnerable about the underbelly of the legal system, changing the narrative, and the stages and time it will take to ultimately get a community to protect it as they own it. 

Calder said both candidates were articulate and that Thien Ho has been in the role for a while and understands the current system at hand, which is to be expected.

Mathews is endorsed by dozens of groups, elected officials across the state, and many local community members.

Most notable is the endorsement Mathews has by singer and songwriter John Legend who tweeted his support last month for a select number of races across the country.

The California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) was an early supporter of Mathews.

“The CLBC proudly endorses Alana Mathews,” said Caucus Chair Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena). “We are excited about the potential opportunity for her to bring equity, fairness, inclusion, and reform to the prosecutor’s seat.”

Democratic Party of Sacramento County, Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte, the Environmental Justice League, California Nurses Association,

California Working Families Party Central Valley

National Women’s Political Caucus-Sacramento Chapter, and the Latino Democratic Club all endorse Mathews.

Ho is endorsed by many local officials and a handful of organizations and many law enforcement agencies and organizations.

Some include the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs Association, the Sacramento County Probation Association, the Sacramento Police Officers Association and the CA Association of Highway Patrolmen.

Organizations such as the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce, the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce PAC, and the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber PAC all endorsed Ho for DA.

Congressman Ami Bera and State Senator Dr. Richard Pan endorsed Ho along with Sacramento County Supervisor Rich Desmond and Sacramento City Councilmember Jeff Harris.

California State Senators Steven Bradford, Nancy Skinner, California State Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty, Mike Gipson, Mia Bonta, Cristina Garcia, Buffy Wicks, Akilah Weber, and Ash Kalra all support Mathews.

Local leaders supporting Mathews are Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna, City of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, West Sacramento Mayor Martha Guerrero, and Sacramento City Councilmembers Mai Vang, Katie Valenzuela, Jay Schenirer, and Rick Jennings.

Attorney Mark Reichel tweeted his support for Mathews recently.

“From a grateful community, thank you,” Reichel tweeted. “Your optimism and passion for our Sacramento are so needed.”

Calder continued by saying Alana Matthews strongly advocated her proactive policies, extensive courtroom tenure, service, and experience beyond the courtroom and into the community.

“Sacramento is experiencing crime that was never predicted. Crime has become normalized. We need a district attorney that is present and has his/her pulse on the community with a high level of intentionality, urgency, and prioritization,” Calder said.

Alana was clear and concise on 21st-century criminal accountability and rehabilitation. She was consistent on how to disrupt the current justice system, its problems, and the importance of progressive and inclusive pathways according to Calder.

“A new DA in the 21st century has to be in alignment with systems and policies that are co-designed by the people in collaboration with content experts and super-users in the legal setting. Their ideas have to be malleable to encourage reimagination, healthy disruption, and collective accountability,” Calder said. 

He thought that both candidates articulated their case with great intention and preparation, but Alana was able to prove her seasonality and relevance by embracing the values of the 21st century DA. 

“Her presence in the community, education, and law school system, and producing fruit (future lawyers) from the community that has been displaced, proves that she understands the power of empathy and retooling humanity for the greater good,” Calder said.

About The Author

Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Robert is covering the Yolo County DA's race for the Vanguard.

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