Portsmouth’s Stephanie Morales is setting new standards for accountability

The city of Portsmouth, Virginia may be small in size but what Stephanie Morales is achieving deserves national recognition: she is one of a tiny number of prosecutors who has won a conviction against a police officer for killing an unarmed Black man.

At the age of 31, Morales was the first woman to be elected Commonwealth’s Attorney in a special election in February 2015, defeating two opponents, one of whom had the support of the local police union. In a city that is 53% Black, Morales was elected on a platform of addressing systemic inequality and dysfunction in the criminal justice system, and she has followed through on campaign promises:

✅ launched a program to restore voting rights and make re-entry less difficult for the formerly incarcerated, an approach that can help reduce crime by improving rehabilitation and disrupting the cycle of re-incarceration
✅ diversified and improved the quality of the 18 attorneys in her office, and started a program to have local youth shadow her attorneys to illustrate alternative career pathways
✅ upheld extremely high ethical standards, recusing herself to avoid conflicts of interest even when it endangers her allies or poses a political risk to her

Stephanie Morales is breaking the mold of how elected prosecutors are supposed to act, and as a result does not have much traditional political backing and is facing a tough fight for re-election.

Color Of Change PAC is standing with Stephanie because she is delivering important results for her community, and if she can win again, she will become a model for other prosecutors who want to challenge the status quo in similar ways.






















Learn more about Stephanie’s ongoing fight for justice.