Sacramento Bee Sides with Alana Mathews in Sac DA Race

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

by Robert J. Hansen

The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board endorsed Alana Mathews for the next District Attorney for Sacramento County last week.

Mathews was thrilled to receive the endorsement.

“I’m happy that they have talked about my plan,” Mathews said. “I’m the only candidate who is not just trying to coast on my resume but actual solutions that I have created to problems in the community.”

Mathews has mentored women on parole, has built statewide coalitions and developed disadvantaged advisory groups for state agencies, and has developed a metric for equity.

As a law professor at McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, Mathews created a course that brought law students into the community, provided solutions for alternatives to 911 and mental health crisis calls, and worked on the homeless crisis by focusing on those at risk of becoming homeless.

“Having this breadth and depth of diversity and experience, not just with titles but creating solutions,” Mathews said. “It was those levels of solutions that I think was a distinction the Board was able to pick up on.”

Mathews said solutions are needed to combat the rising violence, homelessness, and develop a more equitable justice system.

The Bee said the race between Thien Ho and Alana Mathews is “perhaps the most consequential election in the county this year.”

Whoever wins will also be the first person of color to serve as Sacramento DA.

“It’s clear that traditional prosecutorial tactics haven’t thwarted a recent proliferation of gun violence, domestic abuse, and other crimes. Sacramento needs a district attorney with a fresh perspective who doesn’t resort to erecting a fence around her office,” The Bee’s Editorial Board said.

The Editorial Board said Ho’s extensive list of endorsements and campaign contributions from law enforcement raises questions about whether he would represent a departure from the Anne Marie Schubert culture of not prosecuting police.

Ho has nearly doubled Mathews’ fundraising, thanks to the support of business and law enforcement.

Mathews has refused to accept campaign donations from law enforcement “to establish prosecutorial independence,” and found support from a broader group of small donors. 

“We are in a time where people try to be very political and we tend to look at things as you’re either for or against,” Mathews said. “But the police accountability part of my platform goes to the heart of preserving the integrity of our criminal justice system.”

She said trust in the system is compromised and erodes if the courts are not fair with whom they hold accountable.

“When people do really bad things, nobody comes forward,” Mathews said. “We’re seeing that right now, nobody will come forward. You have to have that trust in the community because that’s who your witnesses and cooperators are.”

Mathews said not accepting money from law enforcement is fundamental to not only establishing prosecutorial independence but also building trust in the community.

“That just gets lost on how much the community is relied upon,” Mathews said. 

She wants to find out how many violent crimes are not solved and find out why.

“Ultimately, building trust in the community is what’s going to keep us safe. It’s not about one individual, one resume. We need a leader at this time who is going to build that trust and bring the community together so we can all be safer,” Mathews 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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