Why I am Endorsing Rebecca Young for Public Defender Instead of the Incumbent

By Geoffrey Brown

I was the elected Public Defender of San Francisco for 22 years. I am endorsing Rebecca Young for Public Defender because she has shown that she will make a great Public Defender. Rebecca has brought the first challenge to the Public Defender race in 20 years. That alone shows her courage. That she is doing it without endorsement from San Francisco’s Democratic Party establishment shows her independence.

Does it matter who the Public Defender is?

The Office of Public Defender must represent persons accused of crime who are unable to afford their own lawyers as well as minors in juvenile court who are charged with crimes or alleged to be mentally ill who the county seeks to conserve. Annually, the Office represents over 20,000 clients. To accomplish this constitutionally mandated job, the office has a staff of 205 attorneys, investigators, paralegals, clerks and social workers.

It is imperative that Public Defender attorneys and investigators provide competent, compassionate and vigorous representation to each client. To fail to do so is to fail the Constitutional requirement of competent representation in all criminal cases.

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