Meet the Hennepin County Attorney candidate: Paul Ostrow

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Paul Ostrow is grateful that the race to be Hennepin County Attorney was nonpartisan.


He said that he receives the most ovations on the campaign trail when he mentions that he isn’t running for party affiliation.


“People are frustrated by the fact that the political system is not working or the party system not working,” Ostrow stated. “We aren’t fixing problems .”


Ostrow (63), said that the Hennepin County attorney is in a unique position to unite the city, exurbs and suburbs as well as law enforcement and various communities. He said these connections are “desperately required.”


span style=”font weight: 400 Wearing an enormous ‘D’ or ‘R on our lapels does not further that interest at any time,” Ostrow stated.


Ostrow was born in Golden Valley and has lived in Minneapolis for over 30 years. He has worked in law enforcement for almost 40 years. Ostrow has 25 years experience as a prosecutor at both the county and city levels. He also served three terms on Minneapolis City Council. He also served as the council president. This was a time when he worked with many communities, which he says led to strong relationships with foundations and members from the business community that he still maintains today.


Ostrow is currently an assistant county attorney in Anoka County’s criminal division.


Ostrow would like to increase transparency, prosecute violent crime, and protect the rights and due process for every resident if he is given the chance to take over Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.


Ostrow stated that he will enforce the law regarding violent crime and would not accept proposals to stop all lower-level felonies being charged.


Ostrow stated that he would not prosecute against a woman’s “fundamental right” to control her reproductive future and freedom. Ostrow did say, however, that he would not charge a woman for her “fundamental right to control her reproductive future and freedom span>


Ostrow stated that he would make fentanyl dealers responsible with harsher penalties, prosecute carjacking cases aggressively, take stolen and illegal firearms off streets, and establish a committee to reduce violent crime.


Ostrow’s plan includes empowerment of victims of violent crime, transparency in all charges decisions and tools such as a public dashboard which will give public data about felony cases. Ostrow vows to end “catch-and release” violence offenses and will find ways to keep violent offenders in jail through higher bail requests. He also wants to reform the juvenile justice system in order to stop violent offenders being released into the community.


span style=”font weight: 400 We’re looking at a few juveniles involved with carjacking rings. This is also true for adult offenders,” Ostrow stated. One of the issues is that only a small number can cause disruption to the safety and security of the 1.3 million residents of the county. We want to see 95% of the juveniles return to their community and provide community treatment span>


Ostrow believes that the best way to protect residents’ rights and due process is to build better partnerships between the county attorney and the police departments. He also wants to gain access to arrest numbers to determine where inequitable enforcement may be taking place. In particular, he wants to end the practice of withholding information from the public about officer violations in the Minneapolis Police Department.


Ostrow suggested that live streaming of police bodies could be used to improve transparency. This could be done to help mental health workers, county and municipal attorneys, or an oversight body to spot misconduct.

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