My top priorities
Keep your family safe
We have all felt the impacts of surging crime in our region; and as Prosecutor, I will work with our regional partners to make our communities safe.
I believe in second chances, but not revolving doors where the same criminals are repeatedly committing the same crimes. Let me be clear: I will hold offenders accountable. I know how to use our county diversion programs effectively so we can keep the public safe while changing lives.
I will immediately work on clearing the nearly 5,000 felony case backlog. Under the leadership of my opponent, the current Chief of Staff to the King County Prosecutor, there’s 230 murder cases and more than 500 sexual assault cases waiting prosecution. We need justice for the victims of crime.
Before the pandemic, two-thirds of the cases filed were for less serious crimes. Today, violent crimes like murder, sexual assault and assault make up half of the caseload. I have the management experience to solve this problem.
Conviction Integrity Unit
As King County Prosecutor I will create a Conviction Integrity Unit to ensure those in jail should actually be in jail. I will work to adjust Filing and Disposition Standards (FADS) to meet community expectations and hold offenders accountable.
We will immediately reassess the involvement of DPA’s in Task Forces and other non-trial unit responsibilities to address the extensive backlog of cases and trials.
My office will develop a much more robust communication system with partner Cities and law enforcement agencies, as well as with defense, bar, and community agencies.
Fix the Restorative Community Pathways Program.
Without any input from or notice to municipalities, the King County Prosecutor’s Office unilaterally launched a pre-filing diversion program for serious felonies, committed by juvenile offenders, called Restorative Community Pathways (RCP).
Currently, the RCP allows major crimes like bringing a gun to school, robbery, residential burglary, commercial burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm, and organized retail theft to be eligible for a pre-filing diversion program.
This means no case number, no judge, and no measurable accountability.
While diversions are an important part of the justice system and I fully support their use, the RCP as it is currently constituted is the wrong approach to addressing these serious crimes.
Restorative Community Pathways (RCP) is an easily fixable program.
Crimes like bringing a gun to school should not be eligible for this program!
To fix RCP, there must be a judicial component added for accountability to set parameters and check in after completion. There must be a case number to track these offenses and the serious felony crimes should be removed from eligibility.
With these changes, RCP has the potential to be a successful alternative to jail time for first-time juvenile offenders and will have my support.
Protecting Workers Against Wage Theft
What Is Wage Theft?
Some of our most fundamental labor laws protect our right to get paid for our work. Wage theft refers broadly to the many ways an employer can violate employees’ pay rights, such as not paying minimum wage, not paying overtime where required, misclassifying employees’ as independent contractors, requiring workers to work off-the-clock, stealing employee tips, among many others.
How Common Is Wage Theft?
- Wage theft is a widespread problem in workplaces in the U.S., affecting millions of workers each year.
- The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) estimates that in the 10 most populous states, 2.4 million workers lose $8 billion annually to minimum wage violations.
- A groundbreaking survey of over 4,000 workers in low-wage industries found that nearly two-thirds experienced at least one pay-related violation, such as failure to pay overtime.
- A recent national survey of 2,000 people commissioned by the Public Rights Project found that 39 percent of respondents had experienced wage theft.
Who Is More Likely to Experience Wage Theft?
- Wage theft is a gender and racial justice issue. Women, people of color, and immigrant workers are more likely to experience wage theft.
- Industries with particularly high rates of minimum wage violations include the leisure and hospitality industry, especially workers in food and drink service jobs; retail; agriculture; forestry; and fishing.
- Among occupations, workers in service jobs, sales, and office and administrative support experience especially high rates of minimum wage violations.
Wage Theft is a Crime!
In recent years, a growing number of district attorneys (DAs) (Prosecutor’s) and state attorneys general (AGs) across the country have begun bringing criminal prosecutions against law-breaking employers. These prosecutions address a range of employer-committed crimes: wage theft, worker misclassification, evasion of unemployment and workers’ compensation laws, labor trafficking, egregious workplace safety violations, and more. While crimes against workers have not historically been widely prosecuted, DAs and AGs have unique tools and an important role to play in protecting workers from employers who break the law.
“As King County Prosecutor, I will fight to protect working families and prosecute those who commit wage theft. Thanks to Senate Bill 5355, Washington State has a powerful tool to help in this effort.
I have served as a Pro-Labor Mayor of Federal Way and my twin brother and I were raised by a working class single mother. Working families deserve an advocate and I will always keep workers rights at the forefront of what I do as your King County Prosecutor. “