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.


    • 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.


    • 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.


    • 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.


    • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

John Powers

Revere City Councillor, Ward 5

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. Ricardo has family ties to Revere and I know he will work closely with our community.


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.

Right To The City Vote

Ricardo Arroyo is running for Suffolk County District Attorney with an understanding that the old “tough on crime” way is failed. As DA, Ricardo will make sure that issues like crime and gun violence are public health issues, and build a system that protects the safety and dignity of all people. With experience as a public defender before becoming a Boston City Councilor in 2019, Arroyo has led the fight along with RTCV to declare racism a public health crisis in Boston, passed the Facial Recognition Ban, and advocated for re-allocating public safety funding towards mental health, rehabilitation, and violence prevention resources.

Justice For Massachusetts Coalition

Ricardo won our endorsement because he best exemplifies a commitment to progressive change and racial and immigrant justice in the criminal legal system. He is the only candidate with plans for continuing and building on the work begun by Rachael Rollins, and he is committed to bringing equity, accountability, and systemic change to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. We are proud to support Ricardo and to mobilize our communities around a vision for healing, community safety, and justice.

Boston Ward 4 Democratic Committee

Real Justice

Boston Ward 12 Democratic Committee