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Morning Brief: George Gascón Is Sworn In As LA District Attorney

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Good morning, L.A.

Yesterday, George Gascón was sworn in as the new L.A. District Attorney, replacing ousted D.A. Jackie Lacey. Gascón campaigned as a criminal justice reformer and promised change. On Monday, he made clear how that might look.

My colleague Frank Stoltze reports that after Gascón’s swearing-in ceremony, the city’s new top prosecutor announced a list of immediate reforms. Those include no longer filing first-time misdemeanor offenses linked to “poverty and mental health,” such as loitering or public intoxication; no longer charging juveniles as adults; creating a board to review shootings by law enforcement officers dating back to 2012; and no longer seeking the death penalty, calling it "racist" and "morally untenable.”

Gascón also announced his plans to work towards eliminating cash bail, including no longer seeking bail for anyone charged with a misdemeanor or non-violent, non-serious felony; and offering bail revocation hearings to people currently in jail for such violations.

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Prior to running here in L.A., Gascón was the district attorney in San Francisco. During his tenure there, he co-authored a major piece of legislation, Proposition 47, which rolled back criminal penalties. It’s all part of his open effort to reform criminal justice.

"It is time to ... implement a system of justice that will enhance our safety and humanity," said Gascón during his inaugural 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.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

What You Need To Know Today

Coronavirus Updates: California is expecting its first shipment of vaccines to arrive next week, and a COVID-19 exposure notification app is set to be released Thursday. L.A. County hospitalizations could soon hit 4,000, after officials reported another 8,000 new cases on Monday. In Riverside County, records for new coronavirus cases were set every day last week, and officials are bracing for even more patients.

Money Matters: Under a new proposal from Democrats in the state Legislature, California’s current eviction moratorium would continue through December 31 of next year. L.A. officials began accepting applications for a program that offers a one-time stipend of $800 to food service workers. The L.A. City Council’s Budget Committee is wrestling with how to “stop the bleeding.”

L.A. Kids: LAUSD campuses that had partially reopened for one-on-one and small-group tutoring and services will be shut down again, starting Dec. 10.

Restaurant Rules: After keeping restaurants open for outdoor dining despite L.A. County's ban, Pasadena must now shut down its eateries because of the state's overriding order.

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Biden White House: If Xavier Becerra is confirmed as HHS Secretary, Gov. Gavin Newsom will have another major appointment to make, in addition to Kamala Harris' replacement.

Here’s What To Do: Sip holiday cocktails at home, explore L.A. architecture in miniature, screen recent Mexican documentaries, and more in this week’s best online and IRL events.

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