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George GascónGeorge Gascón

I was born in a working-class neighborhood in Havana, Cuba in 1954. My uncle was jailed for more than 10 years as a political prisoner and my father was fired from his job for allegedly speaking out against the government. In 1967, on a Freedom Flight, my family immigrated to the United States as political refugees and settled in Los Angeles, California. I was thirteen at the time and arrived with only a change of clothes in a cardboard suitcase. After dropping out of high school, I joined the Army and then the Los Angeles Police Department, where I rose through the ranks to become second-in­command while earning a law degree.

As a first generation immigrant, I learned that a safer city begins with building trust and partnerships among diverse communities, law enforcement and the court system, based on a commitment to fairness, openness and justice. It is with these guiding principles that I managed more than 8,000 members of the LA Police Department, protected the rights of immigrants and the LGBTQ community as Police Chief in Mesa, Arizona and now direct the policies of the San Francisco District Attorney’s office.
I have over 30 years of experience in working directly with communities-on their streets, and in their homes, community centers and businesses--to lower crime and reduce recidivism. Under my leadership at SFPD, homicides dropped to their lowest level since the 1960’s without a concomitant rise in the jail population.

As District Attorney, I am continuing that trajectory by aggressively prosecuting violent crimes to ensure that those who cannot be rehabilitated no longer remain a threat to society. At the same time, I am diverting low-level offenses to neighborhood courts to ensure that victims are made whole and perpetrators face appropriate consequences, while being given an opportunity to choose a different path by receiving the services necessary to do so.

I’m working with the community and SFPD to implement innovative strategies to reduce crime, reduce recidivism, and prevent youth from heading down the path of a life of crime by keeping them in school and ensuring they graduate.

I am also working diligently to ensure fairness in our criminal prosecutions. I have created a Trial Integrity Unit. A primary focus of the unit is to ensure we are doing everything necessary to comply with Brady. We have completed a 30-year review of the SFPD to assure we are aware of all relevant conduct. Prior to my appointment, this work was never undertaken. We are also working closely with the Public Defender’s Office and the defense bar to assure the integrity of our cases. I am the first DA to go to the Public Defender’s Office for a conversation with the entire staff. I am committed to working with all partners in the criminal justice system.

I respectfully ask for your support for my candidacy.