“This old idea of, ‘We’ll just double the penalty, triple the penalty – one time you’re out.” Nobody knows what the penalties are, much less the people who we’re prosecuting for a lot of these crimes. They’re not tracking the decisions being made in the Legislative session. So we fool ourselves into thinking, “oh, I’m going to say these tough on crime things, they’ll read the papers and sit down and do a cost benefit analysis and say, “Crime no longer pays, I’m going to get out of this industry.” That’s nonsense.”

– Mike Schmidt

We are so excited to bring you this interview with Portland’s own progressive district attorney Mike Schmidt. Mike is not alone in his data-driven policies that result in real change that is about reform instead of revenge – he’s one of a handful of D.A.s like George Gascon in Los Angeles and Jason Williams in New Orleans. Now he’s up for reelection in May 2024, and he’s facing a loud and angry opposition that doesn’t understand his approach and are advocating for reverting to decades-long failed regressive policies. In our interview, we discuss the juvenile billboards around town, the obvious but effective solution for catalytic converter theft, and the challenges Mike has faced in his first as our new D.A., including being verbally targeted and attacked by a certain former loser President. And perhaps most critically, why alternatives to incarceration are a core aspect to his approach.


By Kip S

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