The following was contributed by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.
At a ceremony attended by NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, the local chapter of the civil rights organization on Friday night awarded Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen with its “Wester Sweet Award for Legal Activism.”
The award was given at the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP’s 61st Annual Freedom & Friendship Gala, whose theme was “Voices to the Voiceless.”
Local NAACP President Jeff Moore said his organization gave Rosen the award for his strong support for reforming California’s Three Strikes Law. Rosen was one out of only three state DA’s who publicly supported the reform through Proposition 36, which passed overwhelmingly last year.
“This is a civil rights issue he has taken head-on,’’ Rev. Moore said. “He is doing great work, and we appreciate his support locally and nationally.’’
Rosen, a Los Altos resident, said he was honored by the award and even more inspired by the courage and dedication of those such as Mr. Jealous and Chapter President Rev. Jeff Moore, who have spent their lives fighting for equality and justice.
"I am deeply humbled to receive the Wester Street Award for Legal Activism from NAACP,” the district attorney said. “I will continue working with the NAACP to improve the quality of justice in our community."
Wester Sweet was a trailblazing African-American attorney in San Jose who marched with Martin Luther King. Attorney Sweet battled civil rights issues for more than 40 years in the Bay Area.
The award is inscribed with quotes from Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court justice, including: “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”
Earlier this year, the Northern California Innocence Project honored the DA and Special Assistant District Attorney David Angel with the Justice Award for “their leadership in pursuing truth and justice in Santa Clara County and the State of California.”
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