Why I Support George Gascón for DA

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I am grateful to represent Culver City. grateful to be your Congressperson, and grateful to have the opportunity to continue to support George. I supported him when he ran the first time and I’m supporting him now.

George and his family immigrated from Cuba. He served in the US Army, and he earned his Bachelor and Law degrees while actively serving as a rising star in the LAPD. I think it is important to be supporting someone who knows and understands the culture within that department that works so closely with the DA’s office when that’s what you’re trying to change. 

The theme of George’s campaign and his platform is courage. And we need folks now who are willing to run and serve who have courage. Who have the courage to change the status quo. And we have had a status quo in the DA’s office that has been destructive, that has been punitive, that has been discriminatory, and that has been lazy. It is so lazy to just lean into “Oh, that’s how this group is.” “This is the easiest way to score political points.” “Oh, this is the easiest way to rack up wins.” It is much more difficult and courageous to say, “I am going to try to change the culture of this Department.”

 And we know that when George got in, he shared his platform and it blew everybody’s hair back. Oh my God! And then we heard, “This is going to impact crime. Crime is on the rise. George is here/crime is up.” And we know that’s not true. We know that crime is down. And when you hear Orange County DA Todd Spitzer saying crazy things about what’s going on in LA County, because of George, you need to say to him “Hey, Boo. You got the same numbers in Orange County.” It’s not a George thing. It’s a national thing. And don’t be mad at George because he’s taking a contrarian view to what it means to be a DA. And he’s looking at ways to systemically change both the culture and the practices that are happening in the DA’s office. 

Now if you’ll notice people are not talking a lot about George right now. Do you know why? Because practices are actually working. I have the inside scoop on what George is doing because my husband works in this crazy system, and he delivers the news. “You know. Something’s happening in the DA’s office. I’m not getting the same kinds of reactions from prosecutors that I was under Jackie Lacey.” 

I’ll tell you something else. These people who are running against George: they don’t know what the job is about. You will hear them say “I’m going to prosecute more misdemeanors.” That’s City, my friends, not County. Do your research, if you’re running for a job! 

You hear people say “All of these things are going to change.” Many of these people are disgruntled employees in the system. I’m going to say it, so George doesn’t have to. And they are upset with the changes that George has been fighting to enact. That we voted him in to enact. You hear them say, “I don’t like this. I don’t like that I have to actually look at the charges. That I have to make some decisions about if they’re warranted. I have to have a discussion if there is real evidence. I have to check my own bias against this person and my relationship with the LAPD and my relationship with the court and I don’t want to do that because it is so much easier to demonize these defendants than talk about some of the root causes.” 

Of course, you cannot say because this person lived this life that they bear absolutely no responsibility. But you can change how you look at the information to figure out a way to be restorative and rehabilitative and humane in how we decide to ask someone to be accountable. 

And that’s what we have in George and that’s why I’m supporting him and my family is supporting him and I know you all are supporting him. I hope you will tell others about the importance of supporting him because right now more than ever, we need courage in the DA’s office. And that person with that courage is the next and continuing DA of Los Angeles County, George Gascón. 

This article is a transcription of Representative Sydney Kamlager-Dove’s introduction of George Gascon at a recent Culver City fundraising event.