Morning Brief: Gascon Recall 2.0, Omicron Case at USC, Regional Rain
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Dec. 7.
Recall supporters are taking another run at L.A. D.A. George Gascón.
The backers behind the effort announced the renewed ouster attempt on Monday.
According to the campaign, $2.5 million in donor commitments have already been secured. The last recall effort struggled with financing, and, in turn, signature collection; just $1 million was raised, according to campaign finance records. It was estimated that $5 million was needed for the recall to reach its goal.
The group behind the first attempt conceded in mid-September, over a month before their Oct. 26 deadline. 580,000 signatures were needed; the effort managed around 200,000, according to a source close to the campaign.
The new recall would be expected to make it to the ballot in January or February, pending approval from the Registrar of Voters.
Once approved, those 580,000 signatures need to be gathered in 160 days.
“On behalf of crime victims and their families and in the interest of public safety, we are urging Los Angeles voters to recall District Attorney George Gascon,” read the Gascón recall site.
Since his election in November 2020, the DA has worked to overhaul a draconian criminal justice system that overwhelmingly targets Black and Latino men.
When Gascón took office, he instructed the nearly 1,000 prosecutors in the county to decline charges involving 13 categories of low-level misdemeanors. Misdemeanors can “haunt people for life,” according to Harvard law professor Alexandra Natapoff.
"It is time to change course and implement a system of justice that will enhance our safety and humanity," said Gascón in his inauguration speech. "Today we are confronting the lie that stripping entire communities of their liberties somehow made us safer — and we're doing it with science, research, and data.”
Former L.A. DA Steve Cooley and former L.A. City Councilmember Dennis Zine are listed as co-chairs of the campaign.
Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.
What Else You Need To Know Today
- The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has taken aim at sentencing enhancements. We dove into the numbers behind the policy change and found a tectonic shift in the past year.
- After a six-week dry spell, rain has returned to LA. Here’s what you can expect for the rest of the week.
- A USC returning from a holiday trip to the East Coast has tested positive for the omicron variant of COVID-19. They are fully vaccinated and experiencing mild symptoms. (Link?)
- The LAPD released footage of a security guard being attacked with bear spray during a smash-and-grab robbery at an LA mall the day before Thanksgiving. So far, 14 arrests have been in connection with 11 smash-and-grab robberies in the last two weeks of November.
- Thousands of farmworkers are receiving a pay rise in 2022. Learn more about that the lawsuit that made it possible.
Before You Go... The Best Things To Do In LA And SoCal This Week: Dec. 6 - 9
No pants dance (and singing!). Judd Apatow with a side of bozo nightmare. And a Drag Queen Christmas.
Those are just a few of the great events lined up in L.A. this week. Be sure to check out our curated list of the best things to do this week.