Saint Paul, Minn. (April 12, 2010) – The DFL Veterans Caucus has endorsed John Choi for Ramsey County Attorney.“We are excited about announcing the endorsement of John Choi for Ramsey County Attorney,” said Trista Matascastillo, military veteran and Chair of the DFL Veterans Caucus. “It is obvious that John Choi has a strong commitment to serving our veterans,” added Matascastillo, who has served in the Navy, Marines and MN Army National Guard.
“Our Veterans have made a tremendous commitment and personal sacrifice to ensure our safety. As public safety professionals, I am honored to have earned their endorsement,” said John Choi.
After years of war, today’s troops are serving multiple combat tours and significant numbers are returning home bearing injuries, both visible and invisible, that prevent them from getting on with their lives. This is particularly true when injuries bring them into contact with the criminal justice system. Tragic numbers of traumatized veterans of past conflicts spent the balance of their lives imprisoned, homeless or chronically addicted. John Choi is committed to addressing these issues by breaking down stigmas associated with mental illness and training county staff to recognize the signs and symptoms of PTSD and know where to call for help.
“All suspected mental health issues, including PTSD, should be brought to the attention of the courts and not solely left up to the defense,” said Choi. “Mental illness diagnoses should not absolve an individual of guilt, but mitigating factors should potentially be taken into consideration to ensure those with mental illness get the treatment they need.”
John Choi supports ongoing permanent funding for specialty courts that are proven to be effective and is committed to working with Minnesota Veterans Organizations and advocates to establish Veterans Courts in Ramsey County.
Recognized for distinguished public service by his International Municipal Lawyers Association colleagues across the country, Choi has also been endorsed by the St. Paul Police Federation, Firefighters Local 21, St. Paul Regional Labor Federation (AFL-CIO), St. Paul Building Trades, Teamsters Local 120, Teamsters Joint Council 32, Laborers Local 132, the Pipe Trades, Stonewall DFL, Minnesota Nurses Association, and AFSCME (including the attorneys currently in the County Attorney’s Office.)
The mission of the DFL Veterans Caucus is to serve as a voice for the 415,000 Minnesota Veterans in the political process, advise the DFL Party and candidates on veterans’ issues, and advocate for veterans and their families. The DFL Veterans Caucus regularly holds public forums to discuss public policy issues relevant to active duty, guard and reserve, military veterans, their families and survivors and has been screening and endorsing candidates for Governor and other Congressional race.