By Hannah Skepner
LOS ANGELES – The Working Families Party—citing endorsements of progressive district attorneys, members of Congress and others—Monday announced its endorsement of former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón for District Attorney of Los Angeles County.
The Working Families Party defines itself as “a grassroots, multiracial party of working people coming together across [their] differences to make [their] nation work for the many, not the few…to elect leaders that will transform our nation through progressive power in communities all across the United States.”
Last year, WFP “swelled the ranks of Chicago city council progressive caucus, put public education champions on the school board in Milwaukee, helped make Stephen Mason the first Black mayor of Cedar Hill, Texas, helped insurgent Latinx LGBTQ activist Candi CdeBaca oust a longtime incumbent on the Denver City Council, and elected other council members from Morgantown, W.Va., to Phoenix, Ariz.”
Similarly, in 2020, WFP helped elect progressive champions Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones to Congress in New York, ousted five conservative Democratic state senators in New Mexico, helped DC Council Member-elect Janeese Lewis George beat back scaremongering attacks about defunding the police department, aided three progressive district attorneys in Colorado triumph in their primaries and won a slew of elections throughout Pennsylvania.
According to the WFP National Organizer Tiffany Cabán, the voters must use this opportunity to elect a DA that represents change, and send a message that “community safety comes not from locking people up, but from treating and eliminating the root causes of harm. It’s time to close a shameful chapter in our history of being ‘tough on crime’ and write a new chapter of public safety that centers the needs of the communities.”
Regarding the endorsement by the WFP, Gascón commented: “Their uncompromising activism across the country has reshaped the dynamics of politics in some of the most important races in recent years. The choice in this election is stark: stick with the failed, racist criminal justice policies of the past or embrace common-sense reform solutions to keep neighborhoods safe while ending the death penalty, mass incarceration, cash bail and the criminalization of mental illness and children.
“Low-income Angelenos and communities of color have been unjustly burdened by our justice system for years—and now they’re part of the coalition for change on November 3.”
Gascón was born in Havana Cuba, and at the age of 13 immigrated to Bell, CA. After becoming a sergeant in the military and earning a Bachelor of Arts in history from California State Long Beach, Gascón joined the LAPD.
In 2006, he was appointed as Chief of Police for the Mesa Police Department, where he had frequent problems with a county sheriff over targeting of Latinos in the area. In 2009, he was appointed by Gavin Newson as the San Francisco Chief of Police, and two years following, again as the San Francisco District Attorney.
In 2019, Gascón announced his plan to run for LA County District Attorney, running on a progressive platform that includes eliminating the cash bail system, treating substance use and homelessness as public health issues and instituting community-based health and social services as an alternative to jail and prosecution.
The WFP believes that most people want the same things, including a better future for the next generation, healthy food, safe neighborhoods, and to contribute to something greater.
The party also recognizes that the one percent, and the political leaders who play to the one percent, have made it so that the political system allows for them to snatch wealth and power for their own gain. This party defines themselves as “regular people” who put aside personal differences to work collectively to serve the many.”
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