From Kenyan McDuffie <[email protected]>
Subject Public Safety is My Top Priority
Date October 14, 2022 1:42 PM
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Dear John,

As a former prosecutor, I know what it means to hold criminals accountable. I also understand that if we are going to create safer neighborhoods, we need to address the root causes of crime and violence.

Growing up in DC I saw firsthand the toll that drugs and violence took on our city. My experience is one of the reasons I decided to go to law school, become a prosecutor and later a civil rights attorney with the Department of Justice. It also inspired me to leave my dream job at the DOJ and focus on the safety of my childhood neighborhood and the city that raised me, first as a civic association president and policy advisor to the late Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, Paul Quander, and later as the Councilmember representing Ward 5. 

As Chair of the Judiciary Committee, I worked with residents, advocates, and public safety stakeholders to come up with the Neighborhood Engagement Achievements and Results Act (NEAR Act), which prevents crime from occurring in the first place and reduces incarceration. The NEAR Act is a comprehensive set ofevidenced-based, data-driven, public health policies <[link removed]>. The city dispatches violence interrupters to neighborhoods routinely plagued by gun violence, delivers behavioral and mental health services to individuals with unmet needs from law enforcement encounters, collects better data so we get smarter about how we police and connects high-risk individuals with workforce development programs, counseling, and jobs. 

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<[link removed]>WATCH HERE <[link removed]>

My work on public safety goes beyond the NEAR Act. I spearheaded one of the nation’s first police body-worn camera programs here in DC. I also ushered in comprehensive juvenile justice reform to reduce the school-to-prison pipeline, and expand oversight of services to help address the root of problem, not make it worse. I also led the effort to end the indiscriminate shackling of juveniles who appear before the court.

Community policing is just one of many tools that help to prevent and reduce crime. We can continue to improve public safety by focusing on accountability as well as opportunity, ensuring that we are providing the resources that are needed in communities disproportionately impacted by violence.

On November 8, I am asking for one of your two At-Large votes. Let’s make sure we have representatives on the DC Council that have the experience and record to deliver safer neighborhoods across the city. 

In Service,



Kenyan McDuffie 2022 - DC 20018, United States

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