Once an unknown, today Tiffany Cabán has friends in high places.
"Tiffany Cabán is a once-in-a-generation candidate who represents a full break from the politics of mass criminalization and mass incarceration plaguing our communities since the passage of the 1994 Crime Bill."
The candidate for District Attorney in the New York City borough of Queens has picked up a number of endorsements in the past two months leading up to New York's local elections on June 25, starting with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Congressional freshman sensation, on May 22.
"Our criminal justice system needs to change," Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times in May. "New Yorkers deserve a seat at the table, and a champion who will fight to realign our priorities toward equal treatment under the law. If Tiffany Cabán wins, things are going to change."
Cabán continued racking up support Wednesday when she received public endorsements from the top two progressive candidates for the Democratic nomination for president, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Warren made her endorsement public by tweet, saying she was "proud" to support the public defender and calling for her network to throw their weight behind the Queens candidates.
Half an hour later, Sanders's endorsement was reported by NY1's Gloria Pazmino.
"Like our campaign, Tiffany is taking on virtually the entire political establishment," said Sanders in a tweet. "And like our campaign, Tiffany has put together the kind of grassroots effort it takes to win."
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) June 19, 2019
In comment provided to The Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel, Cabán said she had spoken to Sanders already but not at that point Warren.
The pair's support for Cabán came less than 24 hours after The New York Times announced its endorsement of Cabán.
"She would bring a perspective suited to one of the world's most diverse communities," the Times wrote, "one where elected officials have rarely reflected that reality."
A longtime public defender, Cabán is running on a platform of progressive change that includes ending cash bail, closing the jail on Rikers Island, decriminalizing sex work, and ending drug prosecutions. Her campaign was seen as a long shot until this month.
I’m a queer Latina from a working-class family. People like us are exactly who the system is trying to keep down.
That’s why I became a public defender—and that’s why I’m running for Queens DA.
— Tiffany Cabán (@CabanForQueens) June 7, 2019
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It's a major reformist platform that could make Cabán the most left-leaning D.A. in the country if achieved, as the Center for Popular Democracy Action's co-executive director Jennifer Epps-Addison said in a statement announcing the group's endorsement on June 14.
"Tiffany Cabán is a once-in-a-generation candidate who represents a full break from the politics of mass criminalization and mass incarceration plaguing our communities since the passage of the 1994 Crime Bill," said Epps-Addison.
On Monday, Cabán was joined on the trail by Philadelphia D.A. Larry Krasner, whose work to reduce incarceration rates and bring a progressive D.A.'s sensibility to a major metropolitan area was the first in a series of left-leaning prosecutors that have been elected across the country.
"Tiffany's history matches her words," Krasner said in a statement endorsing Cabán.
Another prominent progressive D.A., Rachael Rollins of Massachusetts's Suffolk County, which includes Boston, expressed her support for Cabán as well.
"This movement is like Halley's Comet," Rollins tweeted. "We don't get opportunities like this and bold change requires exceptional leadership."
This movement is like Halley’s Comet. We don’t get opportunities like this and bold change requires exceptional leadership. I am proud to stand beside my sister @CabanForQueens and endorse her for Queen’s DA. @nytimes, you got this one right. https://t.co/b8UcGkbWL7
— Rachael Rollins (@rollins4da) June 19, 2019
Cabán has been raising money over the past two weeks as well, with NY1 reporting that the campaign took in $233,000 over the last three weeks at an average of $51 a donation.
"We have the most Queens residents making individual donations in this race, far above what anybody else in this race is doing," said Cabán.
That tracks with data analysis done by Boston's Bobby Constantino in early June, which showed Cabán has many more donations from in the borough than most of her opponents, and the most overall. Those numbers indicate Cabán, as Constantino argued, "is the strongest candidate in the race because she has the largest number of supporters eligible to vote in Queens."
By this metric, @CabanForQueens is the strongest candidate in the race because she has the largest number of supporters eligible to vote in QNS. Surprisingly, the bottom three, including the top fundraiser, Melinda Katz, do not even appear to be competitive at this stage. 13/ pic.twitter.com/sfFDOb4Hu4
— Bobby Constantino (@bobbytweetz) June 1, 2019
During an appearance on Democracy Now! on Wednesday, Cabán framed her campaign as a natural outgrowth of the work she'd done for her years in the public defender's office.
"We're in a moment of time where running for district attorney, becoming the district attorney, very much so feels like a continuation of the work that I have always done," said Cabán.
Watch Cabán's appearance: