John has dedicated his leadership to:
Protecting vulnerable victims and ensuring justice for survivors of sexual abuse
Whether it was children who were being sex trafficked, people who had been victims of sexual assault, or the Archdiocese failing to adequately respond to allegations of sexual abuse, John Choi listened, learned, and worked together with those who had been impacted to lift up their voices, improve the justice system response, engage men and boys and put other mechanisms in place to prevent sexual violence from reoccurring.
Improving the quality of justice for all and building trust with our community
Public safety begins with trust and real justice. It is essential for us to acknowledge some of the shortcomings of our justice system; the disproportionate impact on people of color, those who are under-resourced, and those with mental health challenges; the limits of what any public system can do and the need to partner with our community to build trust and transparency and ensure meaningful accountability and justice for all. John Choi has been a national leader in calling attention to areas in need of reform and bringing those who have been most impacted together with justice system partners to improve responses going forward.
These efforts have included:
✓ Passing the Family Reunification Act into law to reunite parents and children when it’s in the child’s best interest;
✓ Working with families that have lost loved ones in officer-involved fatalities to develop best practices in communication and system response;
✓ Launching helpsealmyrecord.org to help people who have done everything we’ve asked of them to seal their records, removing barriers to safe housing, good jobs, educational opportunities and more;
✓ Reimagining justice for youth to identify and repair harm caused, and address needs so youth succeed and don’t return to the legal system;
✓ Ensuring legally permanent residents of our country do not suffer disproportionate collateral consequences, such as deportation, for minor brushes with the law;
✓ Ensuring integrity in convictions and sentencings by partnering with the Attorney General to re-examine past cases and correct mistakes that may have been made;
✓ Working with our Sheriff’s Office, other justice partners and our community to reform bail so pretrial detention is based on people’s risk to public safety, not the amount of wealth they have;
✓ Reforming our state drug sentencing laws and reinvesting the savings in treatment for people struggling with substance abuse;
✓ Partnering with our police chiefs to reduce non-public-safety-related traffic stops (i.e. for equipment and registration failures) that diminish trust in communities of color and yield minimal public safety results and instead prioritize officers’ limited resources on serious crime and moving violations that endanger people’s lives.
Bringing our community & law enforcement together to prioritize our response to violence
Along with many other communities across our country, we have experienced an increase in violence. In response, John brought together the Saint Paul Police Chief, Ramsey County Sheriff and top City and County leaders to create a Violence Reduction Leadership Group that has been meeting for nearly a year to jointly understand and develop coordinated responses to shootings and carjackings.
By working together, the leaders have strengthened our ability to prevent and respond to violence:
✓ Secured grant funding to create a dedicated carjacking and auto theft team of law enforcement and prosecutors to ensure we’re doing everything we can to hold people committing carjackings and stealing cars accountable and to prevent repeat behavior in the future;
✓ Developed a sustainable infrastructure of support that enables law enforcement to refer people caught up in cyclical violence to social services so they and community partners can help meet their needs to prevent future violence;
✓ Partnered with Congresswoman McCollum to apply for a federal appropriation to combat violent crime; and
✓ Secured technical assistance from the National Network for Safe Communities to help implement Group Violence Intervention, the only evidence-based method proven to decrease gun violence across our country, and we will be the first community in the nation to expand its application to carjackings.