Leaders note the tremendous power of district attorneys in the criminal legal system, wave of progessive prosecutors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Jan 6, 2021

Media Contacts: Irene Rojas-Carroll, Senior Communications Manager, Bay Rising Action, // Amaris Leon, Campaign Manager, Sajid Khan for Santa Clara D.A.,

Today, progressive political network Bay Rising Action endorsed public defender and outspoken civil rights advocate Sajid Khan in the race for Santa Clara County District Attorney. The multi-racial, multi-issue network represents communities of color and working-class communities in Santa Clara County and beyond, whom conventional election campaigns have ignored.

“District attorneys are arguably the most powerful people in the criminal legal system,” said Kimi Lee, executive director of Bay Rising Action. “We’re endorsing Sajid because we want a future where everyone, no matter their race, gender, zip code, or background, feels safe in their own communities. Sajid will do the best job of seeking justice, addressing the root causes of crime, and fighting for the safety and dignity of everyone who lives in Santa Clara County.”

District attorneys in California have tremendous power to impact the lives of millions of people, their families, and entire communities. If someone is accused of committing a crime, it is not the police but the DA who has the sole power to decide if criminal charges are filed and the severity of those charges. They alone decide who is deserving of a jail or prison sentence and who will instead be routed into a diversion program to help rebuild their life, or have charges dismissed.

“I’m so grateful for Bay Rising Action’s endorsement, belief, and partnership in this movement to reimagine the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and transform our criminal legal system,” said Sajid Khan, candidate for Santa Clara County District Attorney.  “Bay Rising Action has resiliently fought for the rights of working-class, immigrant, Black, Latinx, and Asian communities in the Bay Area and I commit to working alongside them as District Attorney to ensure justice, and safety of all people in Santa Clara County and beyond.”

Khan has earned important endorsements, including from the California Working Families Party; South Bay Progressive Alliance; Real Justice PAC; Sunrise Silicon Valley; Hon. Ellen Kamei, Mayor of Mountain View; Alex Lee, California State Assemblymember, District 25; and former U.S. representative Mike Honda. Khan spoke extensively with more than 30 Bay Area community leaders through the California Working Families Party endorsement process, including Bay Rising Action representatives. 

A grassroots, community-led movement is growing to elect progressive prosecutors like Khan who are working to dismantle policies that harm communities and replace them with policies that heal communities. And in election after election we’ve seen candidates for district attorney run on this platform — and win.

The statewide primary will take place on June 7, 2021. The general election will follow in November.


Bay Rising Action is a grassroots political network that champions strong leaders representing our racial, economic, and environmental justice movements and builds the political power of working-class, immigrant, Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. We unite these communities to create a community-based political infrastructure capable of electing leaders who will achieve the bold solutions we need and stay accountable to us, not corporate lobbyists.

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