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When elected into office this past December, many Angelenos had hope that George Gascón would lookout for the best interest and safety of Los Angeles. Less than a year in office, Gascón is already facing much opposition and is in the eye of a Recall Election that hopes to take him out of office.
Mr. Gascón, 67, moved from Cuba to Los Angeles as a kid. Gascón started at the bottom as a beat cop in South Los Angeles in the 1980's - this was a very violent time in Los Angeles with large numbers of gang warfare and in the midst of a crack epidemic. After serving the city of Los Angeles, Gascón went to San Francisco and became the Chief of Police. He was later appointed to replace Kamala Harris as District Attorney of San Francisco. At this time, Harris became California's, Attorney General. Gascón would serve as District Attorney of San Francisco for two terms. He was said to have reduced the number of people that San Francisco would ultimately send to state prisons. This gave him a lot of pride.
Much of Gascón's opposition comes from people who do not agree with his approach to certain issues. In his largely progressive agenda, he plans to review nearly 20,000 old prison sentences, many of the crimes include murder, rape, and other violent crimes, in hopes of potentially giving many of them early releases from prison.
The thought of having convicted murderers and other potentially dangerous individuals getting released early has contributed to the effort to recall Gascón and get him out of office ASAP. Gascón has publically said,
“There’s no way we can get to meaningful prison reduction in this country without looking at more serious crimes.
He would double down and add,
"The public stories you hear are the really scary stuff. You’re talking about the violent sexual predator. You’re talking about some sadistic murderer. The reality is those are really a small number of the prison population and violent crime.”
Gascón said in an interview.
The opposition to Gascón does not only come from the public, but many elected Los Angeles officials support the recall efforts. Officials like Sheriff Alex Villanueva, former Los Angeles District Attorney, Steve Cooley, and many prosecutors working inside courtrooms support the recall campaign and are hopeful this petition will gain enough signatures to get him out of office before more harm is done to Los Angeles.
In order for Gascón to get recalled, supporters would need to collect 600,000 signatures by October to trigger a new election. Volunteers are doing everything necessary in hopes of getting all the signatures needed. There are more than 1,000 volunteers and more than a dozen paid workers working vigorously to obtain these signatures. Many of which are collecting signatures at bail bonds offices, gun stores, and even in front of Mr. Gascón's house.
If Gascón is able to survive the impending recall, he has hopes that California can eventually close two to three state prisons by reducing sentences. He plans on reducing the sentences of many inmates that were young when they committed their crimes.
In 2020, murders in Los Angeles INCREASED by 36%. Many are outraged by this data and see Gascón as a threat to public safety in Los Angeles.