Tiffany Caban

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Tiffany Caban (right) next to Alexandria Occasio-Cortez

Tiffany Caban is a self-described "a queer Latina from a working-class family" who "became a public defender" because "[P]eople like us are exactly who the system is trying to keep down."[1]

Praise from Natalie Shure

In June 2019, Natalie Shure tweeted [2] that "DAs like Larry Krasner in Philadelphia and Kim Foxx in Chicago have used their offices with explicit intent of reducing incarceration and more broadly, decriminalizing poverty." She additionally said:"Prosecutorial discretion - often reflecting the tough-on-crime political context in which such decisions were made - drove mass incarceration. Progressive DAs like Tiffany Caban can operate within a different ideological framework to help reverse it."

Supporters and endorsers

The La Boom Nightclub in Woodside, Queens, was packed wall to wall with hundreds of supporters. People were chanting “Sí se Puede” and “Black and brown lives matter.” That was the scene at approximately 11:15 pm June 25 2019 when Tiffany Caban declared herself the winner in the Democratic primary for district attorney.

There were eight candidates in the race, but the Queens Democratic Party put its money and resources behind Melinda Katz, the Queens borough president.

Tiffany Cabán was a virtually unknown public defender until February 2019. Cabán built a grassroots campaign that brought in community organizations, such as Make The Road New York, and political groups, including the Working Families Party, Citizen Action, and the Democratic Socialists of America.

Cabán is a 31-year-old of Puerto Rican heritage, a Queer-identified public defender, and a life-long Queens resident. Her working-class parents grew up in the Woodside Housing Projects, and she was raised in Richmond Hill, Queens. Her goal is to bring racial, social, and economic justice to the communities in the district.

Her platform calls for an end to mass incarceration, stopping the war on drugs, and decriminalization of poverty. She plans to tackle corporate crime, protect immigrants and the elderly, and believes that community solutions provide real public safety.

Hundreds of volunteers knocked on 70,000 doors, handed out thousands of fliers, and talked with people in Queens neighborhoods stretching from Long Island City to South Ozone Park and the Rockaways.

All of the local Democratic Party’s resources could not save the day for Melinda Katz. On election night, her supporters gathered in Banter, a cozy bar in Forest Hills where the mood was subdued. Missing were her major endorsers, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Queens has recently been a hub of resistance to politics as usual. It’s the scene of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s election, the successful fight against Amazon, and the first all-inclusive St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York.

In 2019, the same Working Families Party-led coalition that backed Cabán defeated the IDC (Independent Democrats Coalition) that had stymied progressive advances in the New York State Senate by caucusing with Republicans.

Since the defeat of the IDC, the State Senate has passed major rent reform, cemented abortion rights, implemented early voting, and passed a bill for drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants.

One of the new Democrats is State Sen. Jessica Ramos, an early supporter of Cabán. Despite all these progressive gains, Queens also still has a base that supports Trump’s policies. The Republican challenger to John Liu, an anti-IDC Democrat, was a supporter of the Proud Boys.

Cabán was endorsed by Larry Krasner, the District Attorney from Philadelphia who led the way in the movement for transformative justice. Her national endorsers included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as well as Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Local endorsers included: NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer; NYS Senators Jessica Ramos, James Sanders, Julia Salazar, and Michael Gianaris; NYS Assemblymember Ron Kim; and NYC council members Jimmy Van Bramer and Antonio Reynoso.

Actress Susan Sarandon tweeted this morning; “@CabánForQueens victory over the ‘machine’ in Queens makes me proud to be from Jackson Heights and shows once again that a people’s movement can bring real change, real justice.”[3]

Krasner connection

Caban for Queens June 21 ·


Larry Krasner for DA did it in Philadelphia. Rachael Rollins did it in Boston. And in four days, we can bring people-powered justice home to Queens.

Caban fans

Caban for Queens June 23 2019·

Today is a BIG DAY.

We have door-knocking shifts happening all across Queens. Sign up for one (or more!) here:


Then, join us at 4pm for a GOTV rally with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez , Jessica Ramos , Scott M. Stringer, Cynthia Nixon and more! 🎉🎉🎉

DSA endorsement


For the first time in 28 years, there is a competitive election for Queens County District Attorney in New York City. And after significant deliberation and debate about the implications of endorsing a district attorney candidate, New York City Democratic Socialists of America endorsed Tiffany Caban in the June 25th Democratic primary.

Caban is a career public defender and Democratic Socialists of America member who is running a racial justice campaign with a clear class-struggle message. Her campaign is focused on ending the use of cash bail, declining to prosecute a plethora of crimes of poverty such as jumping turnstiles, ending the war on drugs and sex workers, and demilitarizing the police. Moreover, Cabán has promised to use the Queens County District Attorney’s office to prosecute abusive landlords and despotic ICE agents, set up participatory budgeting for the district attorney’s office, and launch a wage theft unit to take on hyper-exploitative bosses.

DSA-sponsored events accounted for thousands of the signatures needed to get Cabán on the ballot, and DSA members also contributed significantly to non-DSA petitioning events. And just recently, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Cabán, throwing the campaign onto the national stage.[4][5]

Tiffany Caban socialist team


Socialist staffer

David A. Lee was Deputy Finance Director at Caban for Queens.

Duhalde connection


Tiffany Caban and Neal Gorfinkle.

Significant support


Working Families Party endorsement

After operating mostly on the fringes of left-leaning politics, the Working Families Party saw nearly two-thirds of its 1,036 endorsed candidates win state and local offices in 2017. Buoyed by a renewed interest in alternative candidates, as evidenced in the success of Bernie Sanders on the left and Donald Trump on the right, Maurice Moe Mitchell led a midterm cycle with some notable wins — defeating conservative Democratic incumbents in New Mexico, Rhode Island and Maryland and contributing to candidates who ended Republican control of the Colorado Senate. Under his leadership, the WFP joined other progressive groups in helping flip the U.S. House of Representatives while supporting insurgent Democrats such as Antonio Delgado in New York and Jahana Hayes in Connecticut.

In June, the party sprang an upset with another rising star, when WFP-endorsed public defender Tiffany Caban, 31, won the Democratic primary for Queens district attorney.[6]


  1. accessed July 10 2019
  2. accessed July 10 2019
  3. PW Socialist-endorsed Tiffany Cabán wins Queens district attorney primary June 26, 2019 2:37 PM CDT BY TINA NANNARONE AND GABE FALSETTA
  5. [1]
  6. [2]