Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Association of Deputy District Attorneys Board Endorses Eric Siddall for District Attorney

In the final analysis, all of us seek the same outcome: to defeat George Gascón and to replace him with a real leader

The Board of Directors of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys ("ADDA") has adopted the recommendation of its Endorsement Committee to endorse Eric Siddall to be the next District Attorney of Los Angeles County.

This endorsement is the product of an exhaustive, months-long, fact-based analysis of District Attorney candidates by the ADDA's Endorsement Committee, a process outlined in the Association's Endorsement Protocol.

The Committee, which was composed of Deputy volunteers, received applications from seven declared candidates: Jeff Chemerinsky, Jon Hatami, Nathan Hochman, Craig Mitchell, John McKinney, Maria Ramirez, and Eric Siddall. George Gascón did not apply. Collectively, the Committee's members contributed hundreds of hours of their personal time to the process. The Committee, along with the ADDA Board, co-sponsored a candidate forum in October, solicited direct written endorsement recommendations from the membership, and conducted in-depth, in-person interviews with each candidate who applied. The Committee also examined traditional political metrics, including campaign finance figures, endorsements, press clippings, and, where available, polling. Committee members met multiple times, for many hours, before finally making an endorsement recommendation to the ADDA Board.

To mount a successful campaign and to serve as the elected District Attorney, the ideal candidate must master policy, politics, and prosecution. She or he should be a seasoned trial lawyer with a track record of filing and litigating complex and challenging cases. She or he should have demonstrable, hands-on, substantive experience with policy formation, advocacy, and implementation. She or he should also possess exceptional political acumen, marked by deep and broad relationships across the District Attorney's Office and in local government, an understanding of and facility with the mechanics of modern political communication, a competent and professional campaign apparatus, and a working knowledge and appreciation of the unique political demands and challenges that face (and sometimes hamper) an elected prosecutor. The ideal candidate should be someone who the ADDA leadership can work with and someone who line prosecutors can trust to address the issues that matter most to our membership. Finally, the candidate must be capable of winning the general election.

On these metrics, Eric Siddall stands apart.

Like many of his colleagues, Siddall has spent his career handling some of the office's toughest cases, from domestic violence to gang murders to crimes against peace officers. His commitment to public safety is unquestionable.

For just as long, he has been an outspoken and respected public commentator-on television, in the press, in court, and in the community-on criminal justice-related issues. He has publicly supported reasonable and sustainable criminal justice reforms. He is a passionate, longtime advocate for the rights of victims and their surviving family members.

Most notably, Siddall is not a newcomer to the fight. His public-facing activism and advocacy predate this election cycle, the one before it, and the one before that. And because he has been involved in and, in many cases, led these very public debates and discussions-as a deputy district attorney and as a union leader-he has developed a deep and comprehensive understanding of the political, policy, and legal issues related to the work that we do. This longstanding commitment to community outreach, activism, and reform is a key reason that the Los Angeles Times accurately identified him as a "thorn in Gascón's side dating to his 2020 campaign" and a "more measured foil for Gascón than much of the primary field." Siddall's experience "in the arena" is an invaluable, earned asset in this election and an essential tool for his success as the elected District Attorney.

As a longtime dues-paying ADDA member and union leader, Siddall has fought for the interests of his fellow deputy district attorneys. Siddall served on the ADDA's Board of Directors for ten years, the last seven as Vice President. He routinely negotiated with officials in the District Attorney's Office and in county government to resolve issues related to wages, hours, and working conditions. He was instrumental in securing additional benefits and historic pay increases for his colleagues. He has worked to protect their civil service rights. He will not face a steep learning curve on these important issues. He would be the first labor leader to serve as District Attorney and his pro-labor record proves that he is committed to supporting the ADDA's goals and furthering the interests of its members.

Siddall's candidacy also represents a necessary generational shift inside the office, one that we hope will bridge the gap between our newer deputies, who take a more contemporary approach to their work, and our veteran prosecutors, many of whom joined the office when the proverbial criminal justice "pendulum" was in a different place than it is today.

Three other competent and qualified career prosecutors from the District Attorney's Office are running alongside him. We are exceptionally proud to be their colleagues. And we admire and applaud each of them: Jon Hatami for his passion, hustle, grit, and commitment to child victims; John McKinney for his talent in court and eloquence on the debate stage; and Maria Ramirez for her tireless and dedicated service to our office. Each is running to change the District Attorney's Office and Los Angeles County for the better. Each is doing so at tremendous personal and professional cost. To them, we offer our praise, our thanks, and our continued support.

Ramirez is an especially strong contender. The Los Angeles Times has called her "far and away Gascón's most experienced opponent." She has spent thirty years in the District Attorney's Office and she has led it, admirably, at the highest levels. Many would argue-and rightfully so-that one of the Gascón administration's many weaknesses is its unfamiliarity with how the District Attorney's Office operates, both on a day-to-day basis and within the context of county government. Ramirez's deep managerial experience would bring stability and administrative efficiency to the office's top job. Both are sorely needed.

Ramirez has also publicly criticized the current administration. Like Siddall, McKinney, and Hatami, she has been a target of Gascón's ire and a victim of retaliatory punitive action.

Ramirez and Siddall are both Spanish speakers. That is an asset in a county where almost four in ten registered voters are Latino. Also, the candidates' mere presence on the ballot is powerful and historic. If elected, Siddall would be Los Angeles County's first openly gay District Attorney while Ramirez would be the first Latina to run the Office.

In the final analysis, all of us seek the same outcome: to defeat George Gascón and to replace him with a real leader. A leader who will put public safety ahead of politics. A leader who will treat the office's career prosecutors as professionals, not props. A leader who will respect victims, not reprimand them. A leader who will be a reliable and effective partner on the issues that matter most to our members and to the people of Los Angeles County.

Winning this race will not be easy. George Gascón has never lost an election. And no matter how unpopular he is, he will have a legion of deep-pocketed donors by his side, each willing to invest millions of dollars to support him and his candidacy.

Eric Siddall is not new to this political battle; he's been waging it for years. We believe that he has the necessary political acumen, policy depth, and prosecutorial experience to take the fight directly to Gascón this November, to beat him in the general election, and, once elected, to move the District Attorney's Office forward in a new, constructive, and modern direction.

Our Board is proud to endorse his candidacy for District Attorney.

About the ADDA

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) is the collective bargaining agent representing over 800 Deputy District Attorneys working for the County of Los Angeles


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