Remarks by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
6th Annual Victims’ Rights March and Rally
April 11, 2014


Good Morning!

Remembering those we have lost, honoring those who have survived, and celebrating the tenacity and strength of the people who carry on the fight for justice – welcome to the 6th Annual Orange County Victims’ Rights March & Rally. 

Please stand as Vice-Chair of the California State Board of Equalization Michelle Park Steel leads us in a Moment of Silence.

Thank you, Michelle.

Please remain standing.

Now Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas will call to attention the Santa Ana Police Department Honor Guard and lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Deputy District Attorney Anna Chinowth will be singing the National Anthem after the Presentation of the Colors.

You may be seated. I would now like to introduce the other guests who have joined me on stage.

To my left are Dr. Henry Nicholas III, brother of murder victim Marsy Nicholas and chief architect of Marsy’s Law; John Steves, husband of murder victim Mara Steves; and Orange High School 9th grader, Blandina Gomez-Benitez.  To my right is Chief Rojas, Michelle Steel, and Congressman Ed Royce. You’ll be hearing from them shortly.

Before we begin, I want to thank our co-sponsors, benefactors, and volunteers who helped to underwrite and support this event:

First and foremost, I want to thank the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Santa Ana Police Department for their time and support in coordinating this event. The Sheriff’s Department also provided the sound system and its engineers, and Santa Ana PD provided the motor escort and the Honor Guard. I would also like to thank OC Parks for allowing us to use this beautiful courthouse today; Association of Orange County Deputy District Attorneys – Civic Action Committee; Orange County District Attorney Investigators Association; Mothers Against Drunk Driving; Dr. Henry Nicholas III; Mike Schroeder; Susan Kang Schroeder; and Starbucks for their generous donations. I would like to pay a special thanks to Community Service Programs, who not only dedicate their time and service to this event, but who dedicate their time and service to victims day in and day out. Thank you.

I want to acknowledge the elected officials and dignitaries who have joined us for this rally. These political leaders are demonstrating through their presence here today their commitment to victims’ rights and providing our community with the resources to continue preserving public safety. Thank you for holding your applause until the end:

Joseph McNally, Assistant United States Attorney of the Santa Ana Office; County Supervisors Janet Nguyen, John Moorlach, and Todd Spitzer; Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray; Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger; Fountain Valley Councilmember Mark McCurdy; Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper; La Palma Mayor Pro Tem Peter Kim; La Palma Councilmember Steve Hwangbo; Laguna Hills Councilmember Barbara Kogerman; Lake Forest City Councilmember Scott Voigt; Orange Councilmember Denis Bilodeau; Rancho Santa Margarita Councilmember Steve Baric; San Juan Capistrano Councilmember John Taylor; Santa Ana Councilmember Roman Reyna; Yorba Linda Mayor Craig Young; Orange County Clerk Recorder Hugh Nguyen; County Assessor Webster Guillory; and Garden Grove City Councilman and our own Deputy District Attorney Chris Phan. We have representatives from the offices of: Senator Lou Correa; Senator Mimi Walters; Senator Bob Huff; Assemblyman Tom Daly; Assemblywomen Sharon Quirk-Silva and Dianne Harkey; Congressman Darrell Issa; Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez; and County Supervisor Shawn Nelson. We also have the Principal of Orange High School, Assistant Superintendent of Orange Unified, and Yorba Middle School Assistant Principal.

The law enforcement representatives here today are:

Brea Police Department Chief Jack Conklin; Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy; Los Alamitos Police Chief Todd Mattern; Orange Police Chief Robert Gustafson; Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas; and officers from the Anaheim Police Department; Buena Park Police Department; Irvine Police Department; Newport Beach Police Department; La Palma Police Department; Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force; Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and Orange County Probation Department, and US Postal Inspection Service.