Richfield council member runs for Hennepin County district attorney
Richfield City Council member Simon Trautmann announced his candidacy for the Hennepin County District Attorney’s Office, joining two others vying for the post.
Trautmann announced his candidacy on Sunday evening in a press release and plans to hold a campaign launch at noon on Tuesday.
“Across our county, fear and skepticism are high and for different reasons,” his release said. “Few people have confidence that our justice system is a just system. Our campaign will bring voices from across the country to highlight the urgency and common ground on which we must work and expect to ensure a just legal system. . “
Trautmann joins former Hennepin County Chief Public Advocate Mary Moriarty and Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler in the race.
Ramsey County Assistant District Attorney Saraswati Singh said she was exploring a candidacy for the office but has not officially announced her candidacy.
Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman, 73, announced in September that he would not stand for re-election next November. The Hennepin County District Attorney oversees the state’s largest office of its kind, with 98 attorneys in the civil division and 110 attorneys in the criminal division. The office has a total staff of 208 and an annual budget of $ 61.9 million for fiscal year 2021. The current salary of the Hennepin County District Attorney is $ 195,065.
Trautmann said in an interview Monday that the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis custody on May 25, 2020 and the loss of his mother to COVID-19 days before that were factors in his decision to show up.
“It just clarified the urgency and the level of effort that I could contribute to the values that I have,” he said. “We need to recognize that there is a crisis of confidence in our criminal justice system, and that there is a public safety crisis right now and we need to resolve the two together.”
Trautmann said some of his priorities include restoring trust with the community and bringing “fairness and equity” to the office’s role in prosecuting crimes and its many non-criminal functions, such as child support and health and social services.
He also wants to improve the reintegration of people into the community after their incarceration and expand the office’s capacity to prosecute salary theft.
“It is important to recognize that most of the people we send into the criminal justice system will return from the criminal justice system, and we have the incredible burden and responsibility of not only shaping how people enter that system, but how do people get out of it, ”Trautmann said.
Housing and employment support programs are key solutions, he said, along with expanding restorative justice programs, especially for young people.
In an interview in September, Trautmann said one of his goals was to examine “the collateral consequences of mass incarceration”. He said the “punitive incarceration” system creates “thousands of collateral consequences that encourage recidivism and not healthy and intentional reintegration into the community.”
Trautmann’s campaign said he launched criminal justice reforms as a board member and helped found Cities Against Wage Theft and Tax Fraud, a group that fights corporate crime against workers.
Trautmann also sits on the board of directors of Crossing Home, which provides housing and employment for people after treatment or prison.
Trautmann has offered to convene a county attorneys committee to review shootings or deaths involving officers for possible criminal prosecution or US Department of Justice involvement, among other options.
Trautmann, 41, was born and raised in southern Minneapolis. He graduated from North Central University, a private Christian university in downtown Minneapolis, spent two years teaching English in China and then graduated in law.
Trautmann, who identifies as Puerto Rican, is the principal owner of a law firm in downtown Minneapolis that focuses on business law, nonprofits, real estate, and employment law. .
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708