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Iranian-Americans Have a Rare Opportunity to Make History: Sharmin Eshraghi Bock running for San Francisco District Attorney

Sharmin Eshraghi Bock is currently one of the front runners for San Francisco District Attorney. Bock, 49, was born in Iran to Iranian parents, and came to the United States when she was four. Iranian Americans should be watching this race closely, and getting actively involved in the few weeks that remain before the election, because she is poised to pull an upset.

Never before in the history of the United States has an Iranian American been elected to the top law enforcement position of District Attorney, one of the most powerful and important positions in America. The Iranian American community has a first ever opportunity to elect one of their own to law enforcement leadership in a major metropolitan city in the country.

Throughout her campaign Bock has been outspoken about her Iranian heritage and given credit to her Iranian culture for shaping the person she is today. “I’ve been raised to always work hard and give back and have been supported to do so by a culture that is very embracing, nurturing and warm not just to fellow Iranians, but to everybody.  As a result of my Persian culture, my concern for others-whether they are fellow Iranians or not-is very expansive and far reaching.... My commitment to public service is colored by a culture that supports, embraces, and empowers everybody-whether they are Iranian or not.”

Iranians in America, and everywhere in the world, will be viewed differently if Bock wins. “Ever since the Americans were taken as hostages in Tehran and the tragedy we witnessed on September 11, Middle Easterners, have been viewed with suspicion and distrust. Having an Iranian American elected as District Attorney, a highly visible and influential position in a big city like San Francisco, will help restore to Iranian Americans the honor and dignity that we have unfairly lost. In my 22 years of work as a prosecutor, I’ve learned that the sins of one should not be attributed to the many; we are only responsible for our own actions,” Bock told the Iran Times.

The Iranian American Political Action Committee recently reported that their internal analysis of the race reveals “an unusual opportunity for Bock” due to San Francisco’s unique ranked choice voting system. In San Francisco, voters are allowed to select their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice votes. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, it allows candidates who are the 2nd or 3rd choice of voters to win the race. Bock is the only woman in the race and the ranked choice voting system could move the race in her favor. Bock is also the only candidate running for the job of top prosecutor for San Francisco who is a prosecutor, and this also gives her a big advantage.

After graduating Cum Laude from Georgetown University Law School, and turning down lucrative offers from prestigious law firms, Bock joined the prestigious Alameda County District Attorney’s office. For the past 22 years she has prosecuted almost every kind of serious and violent crime from murder and rape to human trafficking and torture.  She has appeared in court in over 1000 cases and has a 95% conviction rate on felony cases brought to trial.

Bock is not only a veteran prosecutor, but also a nationally recognized leader on cutting edge criminal prosecutions including DNA Cold Cases and Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT). In addition, she leads other critical units including Sex Predators, Special Operations, Policy Development and Public Integrity. Bock is recognized in California and across the country for her expertise. The units she supervises are used as models throughout the country. Bock has testified before the United States Senate, Georgia Senate and the Legislature in Hawaii and California. In 2009 she was awarded the California Women Lawyer’s most prestigious award, the Fay Stender Award. In 2010 the California State Legislature awarded her 2010 California Woman of the Year.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian has recommended that voters support Sharmin and called her an "experienced prosecutor" and specifically noted her achievements and work on behalf of women victimized by crime and her prosecution of rogue elements in law enforcement.  The San Francisco Chronicle praised her lengthy experience, calling her a "hard-charging ... prosecutor".

Bock has very strong support from highly respected political leaders such as Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who encouraged her to run, as well as national political organizations such as Emily’s List and the National Women’s Political Caucus, who do not typically get involved in local races. Bock also has an impressive list of local endorsements ranging from the Sierra Club and the Asian and African American Police Officers to the San Francisco Firefighters, who endorsed her over her main opponent who was the former San Francisco Police Chief. To be endorsed by heroes is a big deal.

San Francisco Chronicle Columnists Matier and Ross reported that "newcomer Sharmin Bock pulled an upset of sorts over District Attorney George Gascon, blowing the doors off the former police chief when they both appeared before the San Francisco Firefighters Union executive committee. As a result, Bock walked away as the firefighters' first pick." The President of the San Francisco Firefighters Union had this to say: "Sharmin Bock is a life-long San Franciscan who has proven in her 22 years in law enforcement she has the passion and the dedication to making our neighborhoods safe."

Iranian Americans have never before had a candidate this strong. We must take this opportunity to help one of our own, an Iranian woman who is committed to serving the American public and also advancing the interests of Iranian American community. She needs our financial support to win and we cannot afford to hold back. So far, Bock has raised $400,000, but only a small percentage of this money has come from the Iranian American community. We must do better.

Please give online now by clicking here. Everyone who is over 18 years old and a legal US resident can give no matter where they live. Spouses can each give $500. Corporations cannot give but partnerships can. Bock needs your contribution in any amount in order to keep her TV ad on the air until the election. To watch her ad, click here. This ad is making a difference and you can too.

“This race is not just about me,” Bock told Iran Times. “It’s also about the advancement of the Iranian community. If everyone donated according to their ability, it would reshape public opinion. Americans across the country can and will view Iranians differently with me in Office. I’m just the vehicle for change. If Iranian Americans came together to financially support my campaign, it would also send the very important message that we are a powerful political block and agent of positive change...If the Iranian community stood up in support and donated to my campaign, it would show that the Iranian community-much like other vocal ethnic minorities in the US-are a force to be reckoned with.”

Early voting in San Francisco started on Tuesday, October 11 and Election Day is on November 8. Please donate $500, $250, or $100 now by clicking here. Time is running out. Everything and anything you can do in the next week, by November 5, will make a difference. Give what you can, ask friends and family to give as well, like and share her FaceBook page, participate in a virtual phone banking program to mobilize voters from the comfort of your own home. To get involved in the campaign or make a contribution you can visit the campaign online at or at You can also call the office at 415-402-0303.

... Payvand News - 10/26/11 ... --

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