Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney
Boston | Chelsea | Revere | Winthrop

Meet Ricardo

Ricardo was born in Hyde Park, where he was raised by his parents Felix D. Arroyo, a former Boston City Councilor and the current Register of Probate for Suffolk County, and Elsa Montano, a retired Boston Public Schools teacher. From a young age his parents rooted in him a love of service and a responsibility to his community.

Those lessons led him to a career as a public defender at the Committee for Public Counsel Services. As a public defender he represented hundreds of individuals in our courts and witnessed how inequity, the lack of opportunity, and the marginalization of individuals can ravage lives. It was a desire to address those systemic ills that led him to run for the Boston City Council.

As a Boston City Councilor, Ricardo fights every day for those who are too often ignored. He led the fights to declare Racism a Public Health Crisis in Boston and to reallocate public safety dollars to programming for mental health, rehabilitation, and violence prevention. Ricardo understands that protecting civil liberties and promoting public safety are not mutually exclusive but complimentary. He has sponsored and passed the Surveillance Oversight Ordinance, the Facial Recognition Ban, and the Office for Police Accountability and Transparency.

Now Ricardo is running for Suffolk County District Attorney because he wants to build a justice system that protects the safety and dignity of all people. He is committed to a system that reduces racial and class disparities and holds people accountable while offering healing and restoration for victims.

Ricardo attended the Boston Public Schools and holds a B.A. in History from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago. He is a member of the National Lawyers Guild Massachusetts Chapter, Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association, NAACP, and Mijente.

He currently resides in Hyde Park with his partner Jennifer and their two dogs Penelope and Gideon.

  • TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

    • Hold Those with Authority Accountable

      We are all safer when we can trust our criminal justice system, and upholding that trust must be a priority. I will use the power of the District Attorney’s office to hold law enforcement accountable when they break the law. I will ensure that the Do Not Call List, which names law enforcement officers with credibility issues who cannot be called to testify at trial, is maintained and updated as required. Law enforcement officers who are under investigation, have allegations of discrimination, or have been found not credible can and will be added to the list.

    • End Qualified Immunity

      For every profession, there are standards of conduct—and consequences when they are broken. Doctors can be sued for malpractice and lawyers for negligence. Police should be no exception. For too long, qualified immunity has protected the very people charged with upholding and enforcing the law from any consequence for breaking it. Even in the most egregious cases of police brutality, this Supreme Court–invented doctrine has allowed officers to use their badge as a shield, denying accountability for those abused at the hands of the law or for families robbed of their loved ones. Ending the doctrine is an essential step toward ensuring justice.

  • SERVICES NOT SENTENCES

    • Center Treatment, Not Mass Incarceration

      Mass incarceration has not and will not be the answer to our problems. Incarceration should be reserved for violent offenders who jeopardize community safety. Research has proven that the root causes of many non-violent property crimes and crimes of desperation—addiction, mental illness, and poverty—are the actual problems, and we can address those issues with diversion, services, and restorative justice practices. I will allocate resources into community-based alternatives and programs that increase positive outcomes and foster both short- and long-term safety for the community.

  • JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF CRIME

    • Provide Care, Support, and Restorative Justice

      My administration will respond to victims positively and respectfully, in a timely fashion, and allocate resources to ensure that we can provide services in their native language. All staff will receive training in serving diverse communities and racial backgrounds, immigrants both documented and undocumented, the LGBTQIA+ community, and people with disabilities as well as trauma-informed training in issues related to domestic violence, family violence, hate crimes, and childhood sexual abuse.

  • ADDRESS RACIAL AND CLASS DISPARITIES

    • Support the Do Not Charge List

      As an original contributor to the creation of Rachael Rollins’s Do Not Charge list, I strongly support its continuation. The Do Not Charge List creates a rebuttable presumption that the listed offenses will not be charged. Rather than prosecute people for these non-violent offenses, we should provide them with supportive services and offer community service, restitution, community engagement, or other restorative justice options. Research has shown that the decision to not charge a defendant with a nonviolent misdemeanor significantly reduces their probability of future criminal legal contact and as a result lowers crime.

    • Abolish Cash Bail for Nonviolent Offenses

      Pre-trial detention should be limited to only those cases where public safety is at risk. Too often the outcome of a case is determined by the ability to pay bail. We will work to abolish the cash bail system and instead invest in services to support people in coming back to court as needed—including court reminders, free or subsidized transportation to court, childcare assistance, and referrals to social services and community-based organizations—while addressing root causes of criminal justice involvement.

    • End Mandatory Minimum Sentences

      Mandatory minimums stop judges from considering individual circumstances, create racial disparities, and do not promote community safety because prison time increases the risk of future crime. Long sentences make it more difficult for people to reintegrate into society, and our overreliance on prisons makes us less safe by diverting resources from other critical public safety needs. I will lobby for an end to mandatory minimum sentencing.

Led the fight for Boston’s ordinances to ban facial recognition and to restrict chemical weapons and kinetic impact projectiles.

Signed into law Boston’s ordinance to create the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency.

Declared racism a public health crisis.

Signed into law Boston’s surveillance oversight ordinance.

Michelle Wu

Boston Mayor

There’s a lot at stake, and in this moment of tremendous challenge, as we are still trying to pick up the pieces from the pandemic, let us use those pieces to reimagine something bolder, brighter, more equitable, more prosperous for all of us than we ever thought we could be before. This campaign is about possibility. This campaign is about justice. This campaign is about the people. So I’m going to be there every step of the way, just as Ricardo has been there every step of the way for us. In all the ways he has served this community, not only on the City Council, not only as Chair of one of the most powerful committees on the City Council, the steering legislation in that government operations role, but as someone who has been the last line of defense in an unjust system as a public defender. As someone who has mentored and taken care of little ones, and poured his whole being into being part of this community. I am so proud and so honored to stand alongside, to be fighting for, and to get ready to vote for our next District Attorney, Ricardo Arroyo.

Ayanna Pressley

Congresswoman

“Our criminal legal system is broken, and our communities deserve and demand a leader in the District Attorney’s office focused on true justice. Ricardo Arroyo will be that leader. Throughout his career, as a public defender and a Boston City Councilor, he has litigated and legislated with an intentional focus on centering the humanity and dignity of everyone in Boston, and I know he’ll bring that same commitment to the DA’s office. I’m proud to endorse his campaign.”

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. Senator

I am glad to endorse Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney. Ricardo is an experienced and compassionate public servant and attorney with an unwavering commitment to justice. As a public defender and Boston City Councilor, Ricardo has worked tirelessly to address systemic racial and class inequities. With Ricardo as District Attorney, Suffolk County will help lead the fight for equal justice by combating racial and class disparities in our criminal justice system while supporting people’s safety, dignity, and wellbeing.

Ed Markey

U.S. Senator

At the heart of Ricardo Arroyo’s commitment to public safety is the community — engagement, accountability, and trust — and as Suffolk County District Attorney, he will bring his deep roots and experience working directly in the community to build and strengthen our justice system. His leadership defending civil rights, fighting for equity in public services, and promoting transparency in law enforcement are exactly what Suffolk County needs in its District Attorney. I’m proud to endorse Ricardo Arroyo, a true leader for the community and for justice.

Kim Janey

Former Boston Mayor

Ricardo is unapologetic in his fight for what is right, for racial justice, and for equity for all. I know he has the experience to lead the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office and create a criminal justice system that is fair, that treats everyone with dignity, and that cares about victims and survivors. I’m proud to endorse his candidacy.

Sonia Chang-Diaz

State Senator, 2nd Suffolk

I’m proud to endorse Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney,” State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz said. “We have shared a longtime commitment to building healthier communities and breaking cycles of violence and trauma. I am grateful for his partnership in this work and for his leadership on the Boston City Council — and I know he will be a champion for the residents of Suffolk County as District Attorney.

Sal DiDomenico

State Senator, Middlesex and Suffolk

I’m excited that Ricardo Arroyo is running to be the Suffolk County District Attorney because he has made it his life’s work to advocate for people in our communities who are underprivileged and in need of compassionate leadership. I’m proud to endorse him, and I’m confident he will make sure that our cities are safe while promoting a fair and just judicial system as Suffolk County DA.

Russell Holmes

State Representative, 6th Suffolk

As a public defender, Ricardo has fought for residents in our community struggling with addiction, mental illness, and homelessness: populations that are often underserved, unseen, and unheard. I am certain that as our next Suffolk County District Attorney he will see, hear, and serve everyone. He believes in inclusive leadership that lifts up the voices of all of us and not just those with access to power. I enthusiastically endorse Ricardo and look forward to voting for him.

Nika Elugardo

State Representative, 15th Suffolk

In his role as Boston City Councilor, Ricardo has repeatedly and fearlessly taken stand after stand for justice—never settling for justice for some but always fighting for all. His unshakeable integrity, sharpened intellect, and experience as a public defender intermingle to form the kind of solid character and skill set that make Ricardo an ideal candidate to safeguard the gateway to our criminal justice system. For these reasons and more, I enthusiastically endorse Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney.

Jon Santiago

State Representative, 9th Suffolk

Addressing the continued opioid and housing crises has been a major part of my work as a state representative and physician. Our next DA must continue the work to move away from mass incarceration and toward services. I’ve seen Councilor Arroyo’s leadership firsthand on these issues and how he centers the people most impacted. He’ll bring that same commitment to justice and equity as the next Suffolk County District Attorney and that’s why I’m honored to endorse him.

Ed Flynn

Boston City Council President

I am proud to endorse Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County DA because he has a proven track record as a City Councilor of building partnerships across Boston in support of smart policies that increase public safety. As a probation officer at Suffolk Superior Court, I saw firsthand the importance of diversion programming. Ricardo’s experience as a public defender and his commitment to policies that reduce crime while offering diversion and resources where appropriate is what our county needs to build a criminal justice system that holds people accountable while providing paths to rehabilitation and opportunities.

Tania Fernandes Anderson

Boston City Councilor, District 7

Ricardo Arroyo is an accomplished, dedicated activist, lawyer, and politician who consistently centers, within his endeavors, a lens of racial, social, and economic justice. His proven commitment to those at the margins of power functions as a beacon of hope for those of us engaged in the work of progressive politics and the establishment of equitable relations. Ricardo will make a stellar District Attorney for our county. I endorse him wholeheartedly and eagerly anticipate the forward-thinking policies and positions he will craft after attaining this esteemed placement.

Kendra Lara

Boston City Councilor, District 6

I am excited to endorse Councilor Arroyo and his run for Suffolk County District Attorney because I know he will build upon his work to hold the police departments across the county accountable. I look forward to working with him in this new role as we build a more just Boston, one centered on ensuring community safety through investment in our people and not through overpolicing.

Julia Mejia

Boston City Councilor At-Large

I have seen first-hand the work Councilor Arroyo has done to center the many ways racism in public policy affects those often most impacted and least heard. I’m endorsing his run for Suffolk County District Attorney because he is committed to continuing this work, started by U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins.

Ruthzee Louijeune

Boston City Councilor At-Large

I am proud to endorse my colleague Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney. Ricardo has shown as a public defender and city councilor that he is committed to building community partnerships and promoting a culture and system of public safety that will center equity and equal justice for all. As someone who has worked to elect justice-centered prosecutors around the country, I know how important it is to continue innovative policies enacted by former DA Rachael Rollins that decrease interactions individuals have with our criminal legal system. I look forward to continuing working with him as District Attorney to break cycles of violence and trauma through community-informed policies.

Gabriela Coletta

Boston City Councilor, District 1

I am thrilled to endorse Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County DA. Ricardo has been a leader as a city councilor and public defender by championing public safety policies that address the root causes of crime. I trust that as DA he will partner with community leaders, public servants, and people from all walks of life to ensure long-term safety for every neighborhood in Suffolk County.

Joe Kennedy III

Former Congressman

Deeply rooted in the community he serves, Ricardo Arroyo has steadfastly refused the false choice between public safety and equal justice, understanding that the law can – and must – be used to deliver both. From a public defender’s desk to the Boston City Council, Ricardo has proven he has the integrity, public safety experience and policy vision needed to build a criminal legal system that protects us all. I’m proud to enthusiastically endorse him for Suffolk County District Attorney.

Tito Jackson

Former Boston City Councilor and CEO, Verdant Medical

My work on the Boston City Council and now in the cannabis space has proven that policy making can have a direct positive impact on people. I proudly endorse Councilor Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney. His commitment to the transformative role a District Attorney can play in moving away from mass incarceration and toward a system built on restorative justice will ensure that the work that began with DA Rollins continues.

Steve Morabito

Revere City Councilor At-Large

I am happy to endorse Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney,” Revere City Councilor Steve Morabito said. “Revere residents need a DA who is committed to ensuring those most in need receive the diversion and programming they need while ensuring the overall safety of our communities. Ricardo has a record of advocating for policies and practices that do that. I know as District Attorney he will advance equal justice for all.

Damali Vidot

Chelsea City Councilor At-Large

In my time knowing Councilor Arroyo, I know his experience as a former public defender and as a city councilor will inform the ways in which the Suffolk County District Attorney can work with Chelsea. His depth of understanding of racial inequities, housing insecurity, the struggles of folks who struggle with addiction, and their intersections will inform the ways we can improve the quality of people’s lives. By decriminalizing crimes driven by poverty, we can get to the root of the problem and address needs appropriately. I look forward to Councilor Arroyo in a role that allows him to partner with the Chelsea community and city leaders to minimize the harm caused by overpolicing.

Roy Avellaneda

Chelsea City Council President

I am proud to endorse Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney because he has a proven track-record of standing up for those most in need and successfully getting more resources invested in programs that comprehensively address public safety, mental health, substance use, and poverty in a holistic manner,” Chelsea City Council President Roy Avellaneda said. “His compassion and experience is what Chelsea residents need from their District Attorney, and I look forward to seeing him work not only with our law enforcement but also our social and mental health partners to address and reduce both crime and generational poverty.

Giovanni Recupero

Chelsea City Councilor, District 6

I am happy to endorse Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney,” Chelsea City Councilor Giovanni Recupero said. “I know he will make it a priority to address the underlying issues that lead to violence, and engage with every neighborhood in the county. I look forward to working with him as Suffolk County DA to promote public safety and health in our city.

Enio Lopez

Chelsea City Councilor, District 4

One of my main priorities is investing in programs that will reduce violence, incarceration, and protect our immigrant populations,” Chelsea City Councilor Enio Lopez said. “I am happy to endorse Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney because I know he sees the whole picture and is the most qualified candidate to represent Chelsea and every neighborhood in our county.

Boston Teachers Union

Our educators work tirelessly to guide, encourage, and support our young people. We need a partner in the DA’s office who recognizes that safety and resources are necessary to put students on a path to future success. The Boston Teachers Union is proud to endorse Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County DA because he has proven as a City Councilor and public defender that he is committed to building a justice system that ensures safety, dignity, and opportunity for our students and their families, and our communities.

UNITE Here Local 26

Local 26 is proud to endorse Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney. We know Ricardo and we trust Ricardo. Ricardo will bring the urgency and advocacy we need to the District Attorney’s office. We are proud to stand with him.

Iron Workers Local 7

Ricardo Arroyo is the leader, partner, and District Attorney our unions and workers need and we are proud to endorse him for Suffolk County DA. Ricardo’s commitment to violence prevention programs that create good paying union jobs will make Suffolk County a safe place to live and work for all.

Mijente

Mijente is dedicated to building political power for our Latinx gente nationally and locally. And that’s why we’re endorsing Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney! Ricardo Arroyo advocates for the kind of humane, smart, and compassionate policies we need in the criminal justice system. Now he wants to continue the fight he began as City Councilor as the state’s first Latino District Attorney.

Progressive West Roxbury/Roslindale

Progressive West Roxbury/Roslindale members voted overwhelmingly to endorse Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County District Attorney. We appreciate that he will continue and deepen the reforms that Rachael Rollins initiated. His experience as a public defender gives him the insights needed to be a justice-centered DA. We are impressed with his priorities, plans, knowledge, transparency, and commitment to evidenced-based practices. These troubling times call for courage, compassion, and consistent focus on justice and accountability – Ricardo Arroyo is the right choice for DA.

Janet “Mama J” Connors

Community Leader

Ricardo Arroyo is a brilliant, thoughtful, and caring human being. As District Attorney, I believe he will continue to build a better justice upon the restorative foundation already laid in the Suffolk County DA’s office, and he will grow the policies of fairness and humanity implemented by Rachael Rollins during her service to Suffolk County. Punishment is imposed—it comes down upon you. Accountability rises up from within; it comes from the heart and soul. We need to have more heart and soul in the DA’s office in order to have a true restorative, transformative, healing justice for individuals and for the community at large.

Dr. Atiya Martin

Community Leader and CEO, All Aces, Inc

I first met Ricardo Arroyo when I was Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston. I have witnessed him transition from public defender to city councilor and now to running for District Attorney. I appreciate his commitment to racial and social justice, and I am looking forward to seeing him bring this lens and his leadership to the Suffolk County District Attorney seat.

José Massó

Community Leader

I have known Ricardo Arroyo all his life and have the utmost respect and admiration for him. He is one of the reasons I sleep well at night, knowing that our city is in his good hands for the present and future of all of us. I wholeheartedly endorse his candidacy for Suffolk County District Attorney. He will be an unapologetic agent of progressive systemic change in the criminal justice system.