Re-electing Mano Raju for Public Defender is the best choice for San Francisco. He is the only approved Democratic Party candidate from San Francisco. During his current tenure as an elected public defender, Mano’s impressive accomplishments have earned him the endorsement of a broad coalition of leaders that includes *House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, *Congresswoman Jackie Speier, *the Mayor of London Breed, *State Senator Scott Wiener, *Assembly Members Matt Haney and Phil Ting, *Chairman of the Board Shamann Walton, *Supervisors Dean Preston, Connie Chan, Hillary Ronen and Myrna Melgar, former *supervisors Jane Kim and Matt Gonzalez, former *Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and former *State Senator Mark Leno. Additionally, community leaders like Reverend Amos Brown and Mutsuko Adachi both agree San Francisco must re-elect Mano Raju on November 8, 2022.
Mano is one of the best defense attorneys in the country. He first cut his teeth as an assistant public defender in Contra Costa County, where he successfully argued the most complex and difficult cases. Early in his career, Mano focused on holistic client-centered advocacy, which is akin to representing his clients as if they were part of the family. The stalwart defender maintained the same relentless and vigorous advocacy as he transitioned to the San Francisco public defender’s office. As a result of his success in the courtroom in extremely difficult cases, he has become a much sought-after speaker on different aspects of the practice of public defenders and the skilled advocate. While in San Francisco, Mano rose through the management ranks while building his own testing practice and sharing his one-of-a-kind knowledge as Director of Training and then Head of Felony Testing. It is abundantly clear that Mano’s 20 years of criminal justice experience, leadership and policy advocacy make him the clear choice for re-election.
Following the untimely death of Jeff Adachi, *The Mayor of London Breed has appointed Mano to head the Public Defender’s Office. His natural leadership style and reputation as an elite litigator brought immediate stability to the office. He was tasked with continuing Jeff Adachi’s legacy of building the best defense company in the nation while generating impactful policy that would immediately improve the lives of all San Franciscans. Even though Mano had been informed by Jeff Adachi’s vision, in a short time he had surpassed Jeff’s own goals by ushering in record office budget growth, legislating impactful policies that tackled the root causes of our failing system, and while effectively advancing equity and diversity through hiring and promotions.
Perhaps to truly understand why Mano works so tirelessly on behalf of San Francisco, it’s important to examine where he comes from. Mano’s parents grew up in a poor village in India and education represented his family’s hope of escaping poverty. His father was the first to graduate from high school, which paved the way for his further education, allowing him to take the leap to immigrate to America. Since childhood, Mano’s parents instilled the value of public service, the vision and the courage to help those who were marginalized like them. After earning his undergraduate degree at Columbia University, Mano graduated from Berkeley Law School and began his legal career as a labor lawyer, protecting and representing the workers who rock our communities. The fight against mass incarceration and institutional racism within the criminal justice system were the driving forces behind Mano’s prosecution and eventual transition to the office of public defender. Mano’s background places him in a unique position to best lead his Office.
Under Mano’s leadership, the SF Public Defender’s Office paved the way for Be The Jury, a project that compensates financially challenged jurors to increase the economic and racial diversity of juries. Mano has also established programs that are already serving as national models for dismantling the inequalities that fuel mass incarceration. The Young Defender program offers internships for public school youth; the Integrity Unit leads police accountability; the Freedom Project challenges excessive sentences and wrongful convictions; political unity advocates for necessary change in local and state systems; the immigration unit keeps families together by preventing unjust detentions and deportations; and the Youth Advocates Unit leads the country in non-custodial approaches to youth justice. Considering the growth and expansion of such programs should assure San Franciscans that the Office of the Public Defender is leading criminal justice reform in the right direction.
Just as important as these phenomenal achievements, at a time when the courts were completely closed throughout the pandemic, Mano had the courage to defy the justice system by filing a lawsuit that reopened the doors to the courtroom. audience. People who have sat behind bars for over a year have finally had a chance to fight back. It is no understatement to credit Mano with enabling his staff to fight for the release of so many overburdened and innocent clients languishing behind bars.
Additionally, the Clean Slate program was needed more than ever during the pandemic. As people lost their jobs and homes, they turned to Mano to help clear their records so they could pivot and find new ways to support their families. Mano heeded these calls and sought external funding to expand the Clean Slate Unit, tripling legal services to create pathways to jobs, education and housing.
It’s no mystery why so many *Public Defender leaders across the state of California and the country have endorsed Mano. Among others, he is supported by the following leaders: Brendon Woods, Alameda County, Tracy Macuga, Santa Barbara County, Elena D’Agustino, Solano County, David Sutton, Marin County, Ricardo Garcia, Los Angeles County , Erika Anzoategui, Los Angeles County. Alternate Defenseman, Ellen McDonnell, Contra Costa County, Tracie Olsen, Yolo County, Molly O’Neal, Santa Clara County, Erin Brooks, Tulare County, Heather Rogers, Santa Cruz County, Laura Arnold, Former *President of the California Public Defender Association, Lori James-Townes, *executive director of the National Public Defense Association, Martin Sabelli, *president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Lisa Wayne, *executive director of the National Association of Crominal Defense Lawyers. It’s the same reason labor groups like the Teamster Joint Council 7 and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union support Mano. He will always stand for justice and what is right.
This November, join the Rose Pak Democratic Club, the San Francisco Young Democrats and the San Francisco Democratic Central County Committee and re-elect Mano Raju, the candidate uniquely qualified to be San Francisco’s public defender.