LOS ANGELES – Today, George Gascón’s campaign for Los Angeles District Attorney released its environmental justice policy proposal to hold companies accountable for climate change and protect communities impacted corporate polluters.
“With climate change ruining our landscapes and oceans and chemical pollution poisoning our communities, it is essential that Los Angeles has a District Attorney prepared and passionate about taking on corporations and industries that are destroying our future,” siad former District Attorney and LAPD Assistant Police Chief George Gascón. “Jackie Lacey’s priorities have been demonstrably misplaced. She gives corporate polluters who have wreaked havoc on our communities a pass while pursuing low-level misdemeanants with extraordinary zeal. That is not aiding LA’s health and safety, and that is not justice.”
Instead of local authorities playing a leadership role in Los Angeles we’ve seen the United States Attorney step in repeatedly to address environmental hazards created by corporate polluters. In the few cases brought by the Los Angeles District Attorney, corporate polluters have received relatively minor penalties. For example, SoCal Gas was charged with 4 misdemeanor counts in the largest known release of climate-changing methane in U.S. history. The leak caused about 8,000 families to leave their homes for months. Many displaced residents complained of headaches, nosebleeds and nausea. Despite the immense harm caused, the DAs office allowed SoCal Gas to plead to one count (the lowest count) and did not pursue restitution for victims. By contrast, a man who dine-and-dashed plead guilty to multiple misdemeanors, was sentenced to 120 days in jail and paid restitution to victims.
“The injustice and indifference for these victims and LA’s environment could not be more clearly illustrated,” added Gascón.
Gascón’s policy paper outlines important steps like pushing for an oil and gas industry funded climate change adaption program, increasing prosecution of hazardous waste dumping, and insuring that communities most effected by environmental malfeasance are at the table for decision making.
To read the full environmental justice proposal, click here.
George Gascón is the Democratic Party’s nominee. He is endorsed by the LA Times and the LA Daily News, Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris, U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Governor Gavin Newsom, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors, labor leader and civil rights icon Dolores Huerta, and former Chief of the LAPD Charlie Beck. Click here for a full list of his supporters.
Mr. Gascón grew up in Los Angeles after his family immigrated from Cuba. An army veteran, Gascón served as a Los Angeles Police Department Officer for 30 years, rising to the rank of Assistant Chief of Operations. In 2006 he became Chief of Police in Mesa, Arizona, where he stood up to the hateful and anti-immigrant policies of then Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In 2009, then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Gascón Chief of Police. Newsom turned to Gascón again in 2011 when he tapped him to be District Attorney to fill the seat vacated by an outgoing Kamala Harris who had been elected Attorney General. During his tenure Gascón implemented reforms that are being duplicated across the country while overseeing violent crime and homicides drop to rates not seen in 50 years. After being elected to two terms, Gascón returned to Los Angeles to care for his elderly mother and to be closer to his two daughters and grandchildren in Long Beach. Gascón is married to Fabiola Kramsky, a three-time Emmy Award winning journalist and recipient of the “Premio Nacional de Periodismo,” the highest recognition given to journalists in Mexico.