Having survived multiple recall attempts in his first term, LA District Attorney George Gascón officially launched his reelection in October at the SEIU Local 2015 office in front of a room full of supporters—many of them health care workers.
The DA noted that his mother, an immigrant from Cuba, often had to toil, working for below-minimum wages. That has translated in him into a commitment to fight for working people. “We don’t talk about one of the biggest crimes in our history,” he explained. “It’s a theft of wages. A theft of labor. Billions of dollars each and every year—which impacts all of us by the way, because when you steal from workers, you’re stealing from the tax base of our community. You’re stealing from families. You are taking food away from babies. You are often precluding people from having a roof over their heads.”
Gascón also noted that despite the decline in crime, he is being attacked for being soft on crime. He said, “I find it interesting when Republicans like Ron DeSantis and fellow presidential (hopefuls) run out on TV and says, while he’s in LA, he talks about how crime is out of proportion here and how burglars are not being prosecuted, and organized retail theft because of George Gascón.”
He said one of his staffers Googled organized retail theft in Florida. “The first thing that pops up is videos of people storming stores in Miami and other parts of Florida. And then we went to Houston and we looked at some other southern cities. And guess what? It’s a national problem,” he said. He noted that they aren’t pointing this out because it doesn’t fit their narrative.
He said, “We need to make sure that we do not embrace the narrative that the Republicans have been using for the last 40 years. You can go back to Nixon when we were talking about the war on drugs and the war on crime. And it’s the same thing. And it cycles over and over and over again. Even though today, as a nation, we have historically some of the lowest numbers of crime that we’ve ever had.”
He added, “Now we’re seeing crime going down at a very rapid rate and hopefully soon approaching pre pandemic times. And some people say, well, we don’t believe those numbers.” Gascón pushed back, noting that those are the numbers from LAPD and the Sheriff’s Department. “You believed those numbers two years ago. Why don’t you believe it today? We don’t make the numbers,” he continued. He added, “But you know what it really tells us is that we can have reform and safety.”