Interview: Meet Eliza Orlins – The Manhattan DA Candidate Primarying Cy Vance
In 2021, a primary will take place to decide who the next Manhattan District Attorney is. The current district attorney, Cyrus “Cy” Vance Jr, has undergone scrutiny for his handlings of high-profile cases relating to Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, and the Trump children – resulting in calls for his resignation. This growing unease with the incumbent has left an opening for challengers who hope to bring what they feel are much-needed reforms to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
The race as it stands today consists of six primary challengers, not including the incumbent who has yet to signal whether he plans to run again. This growing field includes prominent figures with a history of working in New York’s government. Prominent figures such as former state assemblyman Dan Quart (D), Chief Deputy Attorney General Alvin Bragg (D), and a former assistant district attorney, Liz Crotty (D).
Enter Eliza Orlins.
Eliza, a public defender of 10 years and occasional tribe member on CBS’ Survivor, has represented over 3,000 underprivileged New Yorkers. She’s fashioned herself as someone who champions for the underdog, and hopes to bring that same spirit to the District Attorney’s office should she win in 2021.
“People say the criminal justice system is broken. It’s not true,” she responded when asked why she was running. “This is how it was designed to operate. And so I realized that I wouldn’t be able to change the system as a public defender..we can’t change the system unless we change the DA.”