Justice for All
Not your typical candidate
I came to the U.S. when I was 13. In the 1980’s my father and I fled the civil war in El Salvador. We moved frequently as he took whatever work he could find, and I was an undocumented immigrant for 4 years. But coming to the U.S. meant that I had the opportunity to get an education and eventually become part of a community where I could give back.
I’ve been defending the indigent for 23 years as an attorney. Now, I’m running for Judge of the 460th District Court because every single person deserves an opportunity, and to be treated fairly under the law no matter their circumstances. That means making sure our local courts reflect our values, treating every individual as a human being, and focusing on outcomes that deliver justice and safety long-term.
What I will bring to Travis County
Focus On Outcomes
Carefully examine each case, truly listen to everyone impacted, and work to find the best outcome. Sometimes that means sending dangerous offenders to prison, but more often than not it means providing safe spaces for victims to heal and seek justice, providing offenders an opportunity to address the roots of the issues that lead them to commit crimes, and keeping our community safe long term by breaking the cycles of poverty, abuse, violence, and crime.
Diversion & Support
Strengthen diversion and support programs that solve the causes of crime, not just treat the symptoms. Counseling, mental health and addiction treatment, housing, and restorative justice programs are opportunities which should be available to all who need them, regardless of their ability to pay.
Prioritize Dangerous Offenders
When the courts are bogged down with victimless and nonviolent crimes, our community is less safe. Victims get discouraged from seeking justice when their cases never seem to move forward, defendants sit in jail for prolonged periods of time waiting to be heard, and it takes longer for the courts to do what they need to do to ensure justice is served.
Treat every individual as a human being. End the use of cash bail and measure the disparities within the justice system based on race, wealth, identity, and other factors to make sure that justice is applied fairly to everyone. Such inequalities make our community less safe by destabilizing families, encouraging recidivism or repeat offenses, and discouraging victims from seeking justice.
The Right To An Attorney
Ensure that every individual receives quality legal representation by supporting county programs that provide attorneys to those who otherwise could not afford them. Attorneys should be involved earlier in the process so that defendants don’t accept plea bargains or have their bail amount set before they even get to talk to a lawyer.
When violent crimes are committed, our entire community is impacted, and sometimes the criminal justice system makes the situation worse by destabilizing families or trapping people into a cycle of crime instead of confronting the root problems. Financial, housing, and family issues can often encourage crime and recidivism. We can address immediate dangers to our safety, while also making sure that every step of the criminal justice system works together to identify the causes of violence, provide safe spaces for victims to escape their abusers and heal, and rehabilitate offenders.