Why This Negative Ad on Queens DA Candidate Tiffany Cabán Is Upsetting Politicians of Color

Lead Photo: Photo by Remezcla.
Photo by Remezcla.
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Young women in politics face a lot of unwarranted criticism. With an array of snarky comments about their experience, their intelligence, and their harmless actions (see: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), it’s clear many are ready to knock down these young women. And now, Tiffany Cabán – a 31-year-old candidate in the Queens District Attorney race – is on the receiving end of some of these unfair comments. In a recent ad, opponent Melinda Katz called her “dangerously wrong” while downplaying her achievements, and now elected officials of color are calling for her to take down the ad.

Cabán, who is a public defender, wants to shake up the system, particularly by ending mass incarceration, which has hurt so many communities of color. In Katz’s ad, she counters what Cabán said about reduced crime in the city. “Cabán is dangerously wrong,” the ad says. “The truth is, hate crimes are spiking, violent crime is up, and violence against women increased by 45%.”

And while Katz is entitled to dispute Cabán’s words, it’s the use of “dangerously” that has upset some. On Saturday, nine politicians wrote a letter denouncing her words.

“During this campaign, you have claimed to believe, like Tiffany, in the need to reform the criminal justice system and respond to the needs of working-class communities of color,” the letter reads. “To dub the de-carceration of our communities as ‘dangerous’ calls that commitment seriously into question – and has already caused deep offense in our communities.”

In another part of the ad, Katz said Cabán was “barely out of law school.” Cabán, who attended New York Law School, graduated in 2012. She has worked on criminal cases since at least 2011, but the ad, tries to de-emphasize Cabán’s years of experience.

The Democratic primaries for the Queens DA race take place on June 25.