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Sep 10, 2020 07:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Moderator: Eunisses Hernandez, Co-Executive Director, La Defensa


  • George Gascon, District Attorney Candidate, Los Angeles County
  • Greg Akili, Organizer, Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles
  • Jane Dorotik, Exoneree and Prison Reform Advocate
  • Ivette Ale, Senior Policy Lead, Dignity and Power Now
  • Facilitator: Megan Baca, Loyola Project for the Innocent

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District Attorneys are the most powerful local elected officials in our justice system, and Los Angeles County is home to “the nation’s largest local prosecutorial agency by far.

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The DA Accountability Coalition is leading a new, multi-year campaign focused on district attorney accountability. We are a coalition of local justice reform organizations, advocates, artists, organizers, and people who have been directly impacted by our criminal legal system.

We aim to change the culture of the Los Angeles DA’s office, shift the power and discretion of DAs, establish mechanisms for accountability, and elevate the importance of district attorney elections for voters. Our work consists of public events, education, research, advocacy, and mobilization around elections for LA County DA, including the upcoming runoff election between current District Attorney Jackie Lacey and challenger George Gascón on November 3, 2020.

LA Times Editorial: America’s next most important election? The L.A. district attorney race

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is the nation’s largest local prosecutorial agency by far. Its caseload, together with L.A.’s position as a capital of innovation and a breeding ground for political movements, put the L.A. D.A.’s office in a position to influence justice policy not just here but throughout California and, arguably, around the nation. Practices established in L.A. may well set the course for dealing with homelessness, mental health care, policing and public safety everywhere.

So there is a strong case to be made that aside from the presidential race, the most important item before voters in 2020 will be the race for L.A. County D.A.

Jackie Lacey was first elected to the post in 2012, and she eased into a second term four years later without much notice or even an opponent. This time it’s different.

Two of her deputies are challenging her: veteran prosecutor Richard Ceballos and former defense lawyer and teacher Joseph Iniguez. So, most likely, is George Gascon, a former Los Angeles police officer and San Francisco police chief, who recently resigned his post as San Francisco district attorney and moved to Los Angeles.

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