Special to the Vanguard
San Francisco, CA – On Tuesday, Mano Raju was overwhelmingly elected to his first four-year term as public defender. In 2019, he was appointed by Mayor London Breed after the untimely passing of longtime public defender Jeff Adachi.
He was then elected by the voters to fill out the remainder of Adachi’s term and now has been elected to a full four-year term.
His office released a statement by Mano Raju:
“I am grateful and excited to embark on a new four-year term as Public Defender, knowing that San Franciscans have expressed confidence in my leadership and the work that our office does on behalf of indigent community members and their families every single day.
The energy of the community inspires me and reflects a generation that is re-imagining what our systems can look like. I feel incredible gratitude to our public defender warriors for their commitment to justice, high-level representation, and daily dedication to improving the lives of San Franciscans entangled in the criminal legal system.
We are at an inflection point. Not that long ago, people took a knee worldwide to speak out against structural racism in law enforcement and the criminal system. This is something that public defenders are working to expose every day we’re in court fighting for our clients. We will continue to fight for our clients, for the well-being of their families, and for evidence-based strategies that are proven to be effective at improving community health and public safety.
As the only elected Public Defender in California, I take seriously my responsibility and the role of our San Francisco Public Defender’s Office to lead and engage with our peers and community partners around the state. I’m committed to the idea that public defenders, in conjunction with labor, educators, housing advocates, mental health professionals, and immigrant and racial justice advocates, can push an agenda that will lead to truly healthier and safer communities. Our office’s innovative initiatives that holistically support and empower system-impacted community members – such as End the Cycle, Clean Slate, Freedom Project, Young Defenders, Be the Jury, and the Adachi Project; along with our cutting-edge policy work, our demand for police accountability and transparency, and expanding the reach of our immigration unit to fight against unjust detentions and deportations – all move the ball forward.
We have in the Bay Area passionate and committed people who are ready to make some real positive impacts in the fight for legal, racial and economic justice. I am proud of all that our office has accomplished so far, and we are going to continue showing the world what we are capable of – one piece of legislation, one innovative program, one family, and one client at a time.”