■ WE NEED PROGRESSIVE LEADERSHIP FOR REFORM & PUBLIC SAFETY
Ultimately, Richmonders will only have the criminal justice system we demand. I’m running to carry our demands forward – to turn protest into progress. I will listen when others will give lip service – I will act when others will talk – and I will institute progressive plans for criminal justice reform and public safety in our City.
I’m running as the progressive reformer, leader, and public safety innovator in this primary because that’s what Richmond’s Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office (RVA CWA) needs in this critical, historical moment for our City.
I believe that progressive plans for reform and public safety are two sides of the same coin: we can create public safety and community justice approaches to reduce incarceration, reduce violence, and reduce crime at the same time.
We can implement a progressive plan for reform that empowers community, prosecutors, and police to develop pathways for accountability that address the root causes of crime, while also respecting the humanity of everyone affected by it.
We can implement a progressive plan for public safety that employs innovative, holistic, community interventions to address on-going, potentially violent situations before we have shootings, before we have homicides, and before we are left to deal with tragedies in our courtrooms that should have been addressed in our neighborhoods.
I understand how individually tailored, holistic interventions in people’s lives can work to achieve these results because I’ve been living these reform efforts.
Richmond has been reimagining public safety for some time – and I was deeply involved in that work as a former prosecutor and senior policy advisor on root cause approaches to criminal justice in the RVA CWA’s Office. I remain deeply involved in the reform movement in my work as a private defense attorney and as the Founder & Executive Director of the Virginia Holistic Justice Initiative, an organization advocating for the end of mass incarceration by connecting people to local services they need.
And as a former Captain in the United States Marine Corps with degrees from the University of Virginia, UVA’s School of Law, and UVA’s Darden School of Business, I have significant experience and training in leading public safety innovation. As a foreign military advisor working with security forces in cities and villages in Iraq and Afghanistan, I personally held police forces accountable to high standards of performance in their communities. And I have personally fostered relationships between community and law enforcement to build public trust and confidence.
I will act on these experiences to keep our City safe – and I will use the organizing power of the office to mold consensus in Richmond on reforms for a humane and effective criminal justice system that works for all of us.
I am committed to these issues professionally and personally, as I live a life of servant leadership with my wife, Julia Snyder, a Senior Assistant Public Defender for Richmond. From our home in Church Hill, we are eager to see you out on the campaign trail.