My name is Bernice Mireku-North and I'm running for State's Attorney for Montgomery County in 2022.
I'm running for State's Attorney because prosecutors have a lot of discretion as to what happens to individuals in the criminal justice system. I want to use that discretion to make our communities better and safer for all regardless of age, gender, race, or income.
Growing up in Summit Hills, families like mine expected to begin better lives than the ones they left behind. Although drugs and police presence were once a constant occurrence, my parents were undeterred in raising me and my brother in Montgomery County for better opportunities. I attended public schools and lived in Summit Hills up until I went to University of Maryland in College Park.
It was a college job in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Maryland where I knew working in the criminal justice system was exactly where I needed to be.
I graduated from Howard University Law School and served as a line prosecutor for the State of Maryland for six years before going into private practice.
As an Assistant State’s Attorney, I saw the justice system through the eyes of a daughter of working class African immigrant parents. I got to see first-hand as a prosecutor how communities were pained by the inequitable realities in our criminal justice system. And years later, not much has changed. We know that justice is not justice for all, but we've done little about it. So it's time for change.
Victims of crime need a prosecutor who will relentlessly pursue justice for them, their family, and their community. Those accused of a crime need a prosecutor who will be fair, unbiased, and keep the justice system accountable.
We need a leader with policies that promote transparency and accountability in the criminal justice system. Policies that treat juveniles like kids and not hardened adult criminals. Policies that decriminalize poverty in the justice system. Policies that work to restore communities.
Whether I'm connecting with clients, working in the community, or spending time with my family I am always thinking about how I can help make other people's lives better and safer than the day before.
That's why I'm asking you to believe in me as your next State's Attorney for Montgomery County and
This is the moment for us, to raise our voice, to say how we want to feel safe in our communities.
Families in Montgomery County are not immune from the trauma that the criminal justice system has created within our communities. The trauma has led to distrust in the system and created an urgency for leadership to restore that trust. Can we trust a system that allows the disproportionate criminalization of African Americans and Latinos in Montgomery County? Can we trust a system that fosters a 5 year old Black boy traumatized by law enforcement? The truth is, we can't.
We need a leader who can usher a fresh vision of a criminal justice system that helps bring justice to victims of crime, a leader who ensures that those accused of a crime are treated fairly and equitably, a leader who works to minimize the perpetual harm of systemic racism in our criminal justice system.
I am proud to have a community of friends and supporters with me on this journey:
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin, Somerset
Ed and Joan King of Silver Spring
Former Takoma Park City Councilmember Rizzy Quershi
Delegate Lesley Lopez
Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins
Delegate Gabriel Acervero