District Attorney - Sacramento County, CA
A graduate of Spelman College, I was the first person in my family to earn a college degree. I went on to receive my law degree from McGeorge School of Law while raising my three children. As a prosecutor in Sacramento County, I worked my way up from misdemeanor jury trials to prosecuting domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, general felony, and prison crime cases. I worked to protect victims in the courtroom and focused on reducing crime in the community. A pioneer in the legal field, I mentored women on parole while leading the Florin Law Academy program to build legal career pathways for at-risk youth in South Sacramento. Eight years later I was recruited to help start the enforcement unit for the California Energy Commission and was later appointed Public Adviser for the agency by Governor Jerry Brown. In this position, Mathews launched the agency’s equity initiative to ensure California’s most vulnerable communities were protected under the state’s clean energy policies, programs, and investments. I expanded this work as Chief Consultant for Climate Change for the California Legislature, continuing to address disparities in policy and practice to protect vulnerable populations.
I now work for the Prosecutors Alliance of California, a coalition of reform-minded prosecutors working to promote criminal justice reform statewide and teach at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. In 2020 I founded the Community Justice Collaborative to empower and educate underserved communities by hosting free educational legal clinics. I am married to retired Army First Sergeant Eugene Arcurio.
Last year we experienced an unprecedented number of protests across the country fueled by a criminal justice system that is still struggling in the 21St Century to achieve equal justice under the law. As a former prosecutor, public policy expert, environmental advocate, executive leader and mom, I have a broad and diverse set of experiences that make me qualified to bring new leadership and direction to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office. I want to modernize our criminal justice system with data driven solutions and common sense reforms that will make our communities more safe and fair while eliminating our high incarceration rates and racial disparities. I’m not running for DA because of some big case I tried that made the headlines, I’m running because my experiences on the frontlines as a survivor of gun violence, racial violence and domestic violence. I am running because I simply want to make Sacramento County, more safe, fair and just for everyone.
Acting with courage and conviction began with my service as a deputy prosecutor where I was an outlier, mentoring women on parole and at- risk you because I believe transforming lives is just as important as protecting them. As the Public Advisor to the California Energy Commission, appointed by the Governor, I pioneered efforts to prioritize equity in the states energy and environmental programs, policy, and investments including leading a statewide effort to address barriers for low-income, BIPOC, immigrant, rural and tribal communities. I expanded on this work as Chief Consultant for Climate Change for the California Legislature. As a law professor, I created the Racial Justice and Equity practicum in 2020 in response to the nations protests. This course paired law students with frontline organizations to address historical inequities in housing, access to legal services, and worked on creating an alternative to 911and increasing informed civic engagement. I also created the community justice collaborative to provide free educational legal clinics during the pandemic, since many closed down. My bold leadership in charting a new course for our criminal legal system incorporates challenging structural racism with better charging and sentencing frameworks, stopping violence by investing in data-driven solutions that address the root causes of crime and supports the movement for black lives by increasing transparency, diversity, and equitable policies. My campaign reflects Sacramento’s diversity in staff and in practice by incorporating the voices of those most impacted by crime and the criminal legal system.