Brooklyn Boro

Acting DA Eric Gonzalez receives endorsement of local activists

July 25, 2017 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Acting DA Eric Gonzalez (second from right) poses with Bertha Lewis (left), the Rev. A.R. Bernard (left) and their families after the duo announced they were supporting Gonzalez in the Brooklyn DA’s race. Photo by Kevin Pratt for Eric Gonzalez for District Attorney
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Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez received a pair of endorsements over the weekend from local activists the Rev. A.R. Bernard, pastor of the Christian Cultural Center; and Bertha Lewis, founder of the Black Institute.

“I am supporting Eric for district attorney because he knows that we can keep our communities safe, all while protecting civil rights and promoting social justice,” said Bernard. “We need someone with his record of experience and commitment of reform to continue to move Brooklyn forward.”

Gonzalez is out to a big lead, as money raised and local endorsements continue to pile up, making him a favorite in the six-person race for district attorney. So far, Gonzalez has raised more than $1.6 million, according to state records.

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The Christian Cultural Center, located within the Flatlands neighborhood of Brooklyn, is a significant endorsement as it has one of the biggest congregations in the entire city with more than 40,000 members.

Lewis was a founding co-chair of the Working Families Party that also endorsed Gonzalez, and is considered very influential in certain political circles. She cited Gonzalez’s work with treatment programs as the reason for the endorsement.

“Eric knows that we keep Brooklyn safe by being smart on crime, and offering drug treatment and diversionary programs to low-level offenders, rather than just locking them up,” said Lewis. “Eric is Brooklyn through and through. He has devoted his life to keeping Brooklyn safe while reforming the criminal justice system and ensuring equal justice for every Brooklynite. He deserves the next four years to continue this important work.”

According to state records, Gonzalez has outraised his five primary opponents by nearly $1 million. However, campaign staffers have told the Brooklyn Eagle that they are not letting the large financial lead let them get comfortable and they continue to seek out important endorsements such as these.

“I am so thankful to Rev. Bernard and Bertha Lewis for being here with me today and their endorsement,” said Gonzalez. “Brooklyn is safer today than it has ever been. We’ve also made it fairer. I’m a child of Brooklyn and I know what is possible. I am asking for everyone’s support in this race because I know that public safety can go hand in hand with civil rights, social justice and critical reforms to our criminal justice system.”

Gonzalez has received endorsements from 12 unions, 10 local elected officials — including Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer — 13 various Democratic clubs, the Working Families Party and the New York Immigration Action Fund.

Gonzalez is one of six Democrats running for the title of Kings County District Attorney. So far, there are no Republican candidates. Also running are Anne Swern, Councilmember Vincent Gentile, Ama Dwimoh, Patricia Gatling and Marc Fliedner.

The Democratic primary will be held on Sept. 12.


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