County of Marin - Press Releases - Public Defender Award

For Immediate Release
January 17, 2014

Public Defender Staff Honored by Marin Grassroots

Nonprofit showcases department’s mission to uphold mission of MLK

San Rafael, CA – Staff members from the Marin County Public Defender’s Office were honored Jan. 15 at the third annual Be-The-Dream Awards Celebration, hosted in San Rafael by Marin Grassroots.

The public defenders were singled out for the department’s commitment to the principles espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose accomplishments toward humanity will be noted Jan. 20 on the national holiday in his name.

It was the second consecutive year that a County of Marin government office received a special award for exhibiting the spirit of MLK. In 2013, the Probation Department was feted for cutting the rate at which minority children became involved in the criminal justice system.

Public Defender Jose Varela commended his staff for handling tough jobs that deal with difficult personal and legal issues. “Notwithstanding this tough charge, many clients have commented on how this office gives them confidence that they will have their day in court and that they will have someone working for them who is looking out for their best interests,” Varela said. 

The Public Defender’s Office has been lauded for its internship program, taking on children and adults from all walks of life and helping them to reach their potential and envision future possibilities. 

“Our commitment to the communities we serve is one of the cornerstones of our dedicated service,” Varela said. “We should all take pride in this acknowledgement of the work we do and the clients we serve.”

The Be-The-Dream Awards Celebration featured keynote speaker Van Jones, a CNN host and author of best-selling books such as “Rebuilding the Dream.” The mission of Marin Grassroots is “to advance social equity and strengthen the voice of underrepresented communities in public policy decision-making to reduce poverty and improve quality of life for all.”


Jose Varela
Public Defender
County of Marin

Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 139
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6321
Email: Jose Varela
Public Defender website