Linda Champion has announced her intention to run for the position of Suffolk County District Attorney. The following is her statement:
“We are prosecuting people but we are not prosecuting the conditions that exist in our society that cause a person to act out: poverty, substance abuse, trauma and ptsd. In order to prevent crime we need to focus on jobs, education, and housing, these tools have been my core focus over the past 15 years. I will roll up my sleeves and get the work done.” – Linda Champion
Linda Champion is a seasoned litigator, former Suffolk County prosecutor, and community builder who is seeking to be the first Korean-African American woman ever elected to office in Massachusetts.
The daughter of an African-American war veteran and a Korean immigrant mother who met while he was fighting in Vietnam, Linda was raised in Louisiana and Texas before moving to Lowell in the late 1980s. Her father suffered from the effects of the war and she and her sister were raised by their mother. The family struggled with discrimination, poverty and homelessness as her mother worked two jobs to provide for her daughters. Linda graduated from Lowell Middlesex Academy, and she moved to Boston alone, when she was 18 and homeless.
She is a graduate of Newbury College, Suffolk University and Suffolk Law School. She served for two years as an assistant district attorney under Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley, prosecuting criminal cases in juvenile court, Dorchester and Roxbury District Courts. She was promoted to Superior Court prosecutor in 2013 and worked in the Elder and Disabled Victims Unit. She is currently on leave of absence from the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents where she has served since 2013 as an assistant general counsel representing the Workers Compensation Trust Fund.
Prior to her public service, she worked as a private attorney, specializing in consumer protection, real estate law, community development and helping first-time homebuyers overcome financial and discriminatory barriers to housing. She’s also partnered with the City of Boston to teach home ownership programs and been a board member for a subsidiary of the affordable housing nonprofit organization Urban Edge.
Linda has also volunteered for several charitable organizations, including fundraising for Thompson Island, The Dimock Center and served five years on the board of Newbury College and Chung Changing Lives, a nonprofit co-founded by Cecelia Chung that provided free music, athletic and academic programs to adolescents. Linda lives in Hyde Park with her family.
Salary increases. Increase salaries of Assistant District Attorney to a livable living wage. Currently the average hourly salary for entry level prosecutors is about $22.00 per hour. Most of the entry-level prosecutors and victim witness advocates have wages that are totally inadequate. The starting salary for Assistant District Attorneys range from $42,000 – $50,000. Many of these public servants due to the cost of living and student loans are forced to work two-jobs which impacts their ability to focus on the job at hand. We must increase the starting salaries to a minimum of $65,000 – $75,000.
Diversity. As an assistant district attorney I learned that most of my colleagues had little to no personal experiences with communities of color outside their employment. Because they lacked real world experiences with people of different race, ethnic and cultural backgrounds often their perceptions of an individual’s actions were biased. In order to build relationships within the communities we serve and to ensure that justice is equal we have to transform the Office of the District Attorney to reflect the community we serve and affirm the value of our communities of color. This starts with addressing our own race bias through engagement and training to understand the types of violence facing black, brown and indigenous Americans.
Crime Prevention. In order to maintain safe neighborhoods we have to work with the residents in the community. The residents have to feel safe and protected so they can report crime. To create a safe environment we have to a establish a victim and witness protection program that goes beyond giving a person a ride to court and a list of resources to contact. We need a program that includes mental health services to housing relocation and assistance. For residents to feel safe to come forward with information I have to continue to work as a community builder to solidify relationships between the community, undocumented residents and law enforcement professional. One overarching goal is to work with homicide detectives to expand the cold team and to work through cold cases to bring the survivors of homicide closure. This is to identify and segregate those dangerous persons who pose a threat to our safety and the well-being of others. Aside from allocating sufficient resources to witness protection, this policy requires working with law enforcement to increase resources available to detectives and to grow number of detectives assigned to the homicide cold case squad.
Saturday, July 21, 2018
12 – 4 p.m.
184 Dudley St., Boston, MA, 02119
Cookout with the Candidates, meet the candidates running for County, Statewide, and Federal office.