California’s Largest Union Endorses Criminal Justice Reform Candidate in the Midst of the Black Lives Matter Movement
Los Angeles, CA — July 24 — Today, SEIU Local 2015, California’s largest union representing over 400,000 long term care workers, members voted overwhelmingly to endorse George Gascon for Los Angeles County District Attorney. Union members authorized the endorsement in a virtual town hall following a rigorous interview process with the candidate.
George Gascon has committed to improving safety for all LA County residents and modernizing the criminal justice system to meet the needs of all people living in LA County. His background as a police officer, Assistant Chief of the LA Police Department and elected San Francisco District Attorney has given him insight into the roadblocks and inequities created in the current system. Los Angeles is in desperate need of a leader that is dedicated to reform the overly expensive and ineffective system, not a candidate who will fight to stick to the status quo.
During the endorsement process, SEIU Local 2015 members and leadership have required that Gascon sign a pledge to fight for racial justice, reinforcing his commitment to address both implicit and explicit bias.
“For far too long, our criminal justice system has been cruel and unfair to our communities,” said Chiquita Twyman, Member Leader and Executive Board representative. “This is a deeply personal issue for me. My brother, Ryan Twyman, was murdered by LA County Sheriffs in June 2019. To date, they have yet to be held accountable for their use of lethal force and my family’s loss. Justice has not been served for me or hundreds of other families in LA County who have lost loved ones at the hands of law enforcement since Jackie Lacy has been DA.. We need change now. George Gascon has a vision of reforming our broken system and a track record of moving change. He is committed to fighting for and defending all Angelinos. I have been demonstrating every week here in Los Angeles advocating for justice reform. I am proud to stand alongside my 400,000 sisters and brothers to elect George Gascon to be District Attorney in Los Angeles County.”
“Los Angeles deserves a District Attorney that strives for justice for all of its residents,” said April Verrett, President of SEIU Local 2015. “Far too many Angelinos feel that law enforcement officials who are elected to serve and protect our communities have instead turned their backs on the majority of us. George Gascon will change that. We need a District Attorney who is committed to transforming our broken criminal justice system into one that provides real equality under the law for all of us no matter where we live or the color of our skin. SEIU 2015 is committed to doing all that we can to ensure George Gason is elected in November and we are committed to being his partner to make our shared vision of justice for all a reality.”
SEIU Local 2015 represents 200,000 homecare and nursing home workers in LA County, which accounts for half of the workers we represent statewide. Our political program is a grassroots effort focused on our member democracy captains, who are union and community leaders who tap into their own network of co-workers, family members, friends and neighbors to share the importance of getting involved and actively participating in our democracy. The union aims to deploy 250 democracy captains for this election cycle. They will play an active role in DA and other local races and ballot initiative campaingsas part its commitment to being an anti-racist organization and fighting for justice for all.