From Survivor to Being Manhattan’s DA: The Case For Eliza Orlins

Chris Salazar
4 min readMay 11, 2021

Why Eliza Orlins should be Manhattan’s next District Attorney.

In the year 2004, the iconic CBS show, “Survivor”, aired its 9th season. One woman would go on to compete and finish in 4th place. This same woman would later go on to become a public defender in New York City, and after gaining a national following since her appearances on “Survivor,” would then announce her run for Manhattan’s district attorney in the upcoming 2021 primary. Her name is Eliza Orlins.

It is no secret that New York City has become home to dirty politics: Manhattan’s current district attorney, Cy Vance, has played a monumental role in the corruption of New York City’s criminal legal system. Rather than fight for justice, he followed the money by letting those with a financial advantage, such as Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, off with a pass while Black and Brown people and low-income New Yorkers were left to suffer and be thrown behind bars at disproportionate rates. Eliza Orlins plans to put an end to the abhorrent legacy that Cy Vance has left behind.

Not only does she plan to hold the privileged and powerful accountable, but Eliza also plans to hold the police accountable. For decades, members of law enforcement have soaked their hands with the blood of Black and Brown people in New York City, as they have across our nation. They have also often targeted those living in low-income communities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and disabled people. The police claim that they are trying to keep the public safe but, in reality, they are doing this as a hateful act of abuse of power. During her time as a public defender, Eliza has seen this discrepancy firsthand.

Eliza plans to create an independent Police Accountability Unit that will be tasked with handling cases of misconduct at the hands of law enforcement. That unit will partner with the Data, Evaluation, and Research team to create a database of police misconduct cases that will be fully accessible to the public. As District Attorney, she will also ensure that police practice responsible use of technology in accordance with legal standards. This also includes engaging with independent technology and civil liberties experts to suggest whether surveillance and forensic technology should be used in…

Chris Salazar

28 | Fiction Writer | usually writes about anything but, mostly about film