Prior to the engagement of Englander Knabe & Allen (EKA), the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) was a small, inwardly focused organization which spent virtually all of its energy on labor battles with DA management.
That ADDA no longer exists. In 2015, new leadership decided best representation for members required not just labor representation, but a voice in the public debate over the future of the criminal justice system. The ADDA hired EKA to help craft this new direction and working together with EKA a dramatic makeover occurred. Today’s ADDA is a robust, energetic and influential force that’s committed both to promoting the interests of its membership and to effecting meaningful change in the pursuit of justice and public safety.
In addition to growing its membership, the ADDA has become one of the preeminent voices in California for public safety and victims’ rights. Along the way, they have become the credible voice which has shed light on aspects of recent public safety “reforms” “which their proponents would rather remain in the dark.
The primary platform has been their popular blog, which has put the ADDA on the political map. With the guidance from EKA, the ADDA has thrust important issues into the public consciousness, become a go-to organization for the media reporting on public safety matters, and their blogs are closely read by key decision makers throughout the state.
While the primary goal of the ADDA is to advance a work environment that allows their members to focus on their role as the primary guardians of justice in the courts, the organization is interested in all aspects of public safety. With the assistance of EKA, the ADDA has chosen to focus their limited resources on certain core concerns. Most prominently, the ADDA has very publicly exposed the flaws, misleading claims and injustices of, initiatives and legislation which have reshaped the criminal justice system.
For example, although proponents told voters only “non-violent” felons would be released by Prop 57, the ADDA introduced to their large audience to some of the ”violent” felons who have been released under Prop. 57. Those released early under Prop 57’s auspices include inmates convicted of incredibly violent crimes including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and battery.
While education is an important part of their mission, the ADDA is equally concerned with achieving results and forging meaningful change. Toward that end, when the ADDA told EKA that they wanted to become arly and prominent promoters of a concerted effort to roll back some of the damage caused by Prop. 57 and it’s equally delinquent cousins, Prop. 47 and AB 109, EKA assisted the ADDA.
EKA has assisted the ADDA in promoting other causes not just through blogs, but on social media and traditional media. Today, the ADDA leadership team are regular guests on high-profile programs such radio and television programs and are often asked to represent law enforcement/prosecutors at local and national debate forums discussing criminal justice changes.
While the ADDA has accomplished a lot in a short period of time, the reality is their work will never be done. Past changes and proposed changes to the criminal justice system– such as bail reform –have real effects and demand that they speak out..
Understanding that members are critical to their continued success, the makeover EKA implemented has invigorated rank and file DDAs.