Foremost, being District Attorney is not just about a title for me. Being District Attorney is about helping people, especially those among us who are most vulnerable to crime.
I started my career as a prosecutor in juvenile court two decades ago and worked my way up the ranks to be your District Attorney. I did that by always going above and beyond what was required of me. From the beginning I took any opportunity to volunteer to try any case, anytime, anywhere. I fought for the right to try more cases and harder cases. I did this by taking the cases no one else wanted to try or would try. My passion is being in the courtroom, and I enjoy zealously fighting for victims of crime. I love this job, because I love fighting for the victims in our community.
On my first day as Chief Assistant in 2009, I started working, fighting for victims, by developing our victim advocate program. This included writing a grant for our first bilingual victim advocate to serve our Hispanic population which until then had no voice. I did this to make sure they were heard. Since then, I have written over a million dollars in grants for victim's advocacy.
I have also prepared every budget that was submitted to the counties on behalf of the District Attorney's Office since 2009. I managed fiscal responsibilities of the office during the Great Recession and did not ask any county for a budget increase during that time. Because of Covid-19, we are again facing times of fiscal uncertainty. You can believe that I understand how to navigate the office through these times without causing your local taxes to increase because I have already done it. My commitment to you is to do this again.
Over the years I have worked hard to earn the respect of my peers through the work I have done. The attorneys of the Middle Circuit elected me to serve four terms on the State Bar of Georgia's Board of Governors where I represented them making policy decisions that governed the practice of law across the state. Just as the attorneys of our circuit trusted me, I am grateful that our community trusted me to be their voice as District Attorney.
I have also had the privilege of teaching for the National District Attorney's Association, training prosecutors across the United States. My belief is that being a leader is not about being the best, but it is about making those around us better.