DA’s Office & GALA Commit to Collaborative Training
DA’s Office & GALA Commit to Collaborative Training

DA's Office and GALA commit to collaborative training

Author: District Attorney
Date: 9/2/2021 1:37:51 PM

The District Attorney's Office and Gala Pride & Diversity Center release joint statement on plans for collaborative training efforts.

On Friday, July 30, 2021, District Attorney Dan Dow and Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth met privately with the Board of Directors and staff of The Gala Pride & Diversity Center at 1060 Palm Street in San Luis Obispo.

The board of the Gala Pride and Diversity Center requested the meeting after DA Dow’s appearance August 11, 2020, as an interviewed guest on “Washington Watch,” a nationally syndicated radio program of the Family Research Council.

During the July 30th meeting Dan Dow shared the information that in response to a telephonic request that morning, his staff scheduled the interview to discuss his recently reported statement that he would not prosecute people for singing in any house of worship even though state officials had issued a public order prohibiting singing in houses of worship.

Due to time constraints, the requisite research about the radio show was not performed. DA Dow stated that he would not have appeared on the show had he known the implications to the LGBTQ+ community.

The board and staff of The Gala Pride and Diversity Center, though concerned about the long-time delay between the appearance and the explanation, were heartened to hear that this had not been a deliberate decision. Another goal of the meeting was a shared mutual interest to develop a healthy professional relationship between the organizations and increase transparency and trust. 

As a result of the meeting, District Attorney Dan Dow and the board and staff of the Gala Pride & Diversity Center affirmed a joint priority of ensuring that our criminal and victim justice system treats every human being with dignity, respect, and fairness and in working towards the elimination of bias in the legal profession and in society at large.

Toward that end, DA Dow has invited The Gala Pride & Diversity Center to provide training to the staff of the District Attorney’s Office. That training will include the history and issues LGBTQ+ people have experienced as a result of interacting with the criminal justice system, both locally and elsewhere, in order to be better equipped to fulfill prosecutorial duties in a respectful and unbiased manner that fosters trust in our community.  In turn, the DA’s Office has agreed to provide training to The Pride Center’s members about the criminal and victim justice system and the role of the District Attorney’s Office.

The Gala Pride & Diversity Center’s mission is to support and empower people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions to strengthen and unite our central coast community.

“We know that being affirming of a transgender person’s pronouns or understanding barriers to medical and mental healthcare experiences by LGBTQIA+ individuals lead to better outcomes in all areas, and we are eager to share information with the District Attorney’s Office that will be useful to staff in their everyday interactions with our community,” said Michelle Call, Executive Director. “Training from the D.A.’s Office will also enable us to increase the depth of our understanding and better serve our constituents,” she added.

The District Attorney’s Office and The Gala Pride & Diversity Center both affirmed a joint desire to continue an ongoing dialogue and working towards building a professional relationship of collaboration and trust.  “As District Attorney for San Luis Obispo County, I serve all people within our borders and I am firmly committed to treating every individual fairly and equitably when performing my duties and obligations,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “The District Attorney’s Office has a proven track record of taking an aggressive stance in prosecuting hate crimes that target people based on immutable traits or protected legal status and vigorously prosecuting offenders who target the most vulnerable such as children and the elderly.”

The District Attorney’s Office continually provides training on a variety of legal topics for staff including legal ethics and the elimination of bias in the legal profession. In September 2020, at District Attorney Dow’s request, Restorative Partners moderated an office-wide Cross-Racial Community Engagement Panel and implicit bias training event that included personal experiences from several members of our community. In October 2020, the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance (MOT) provided a four-hour training to District Attorney’s Office supervisors and management as a part of the MOT’s Tools for Tolerance® for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice program. This training was focused on identifying and becoming aware of implicit bias.  Similar training will occur on a recurring basis. 

The District Attorney’s Office has adopted the following values: Integrity, Professionalism, Accountability, Communication, and Collaboration. These values support their mission to bring justice and safety to our community by aggressively and fairly prosecuting crime and protecting the rights of crime victims.

The Gala Pride and Diversity Center and the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office intend to continue building on the foundation created in this initial meeting.

For more information, please contact District Attorney’s Office Eric Dobroth at (805) 781-5819 or Gala Pride & Diversity Center Michelle Call at (805) 541-4252.

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