Former state Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and former Mayor Willie Brown were all on stage for a 90 minute program that included a poetry reading, Chinese lion dance routine, an operatic rendition of the national anthem, two prayers, and the S.F. Gay Men’s Chorus’ take on ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco.’
“I am a San Franciscan by choice,” said the Cuban-born Gascon, who left Arizona in 2009 to be S.F.'s chief of police. The crowd included district attorneys from as far as Sonoma County and city attorneys from as far as Los Angeles, along with Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and Chinatown activist Rose Pak.
During his introduction of Feinstein, the mistress of ceremonies, Newsom said that it took him about 15 minutes to decide to appoint Gascon to fill the vacancy left by departing-DA Harris a year ago, but he wasn’t sure if Gascon was a lawyer. He joked that he’d checked with his chief of staff to see if you had to pass the bar. (Gascon did.) Brown, during his introduction of Gascon, laughed that he hadn’t known Gascon was an attorney, either.
But Gascon wasn’t shy about the influence his career as a cop has on his approach to being DA.
“There is much more to being a DA than being a tough person in the courtroom,” he told a packed auditorium at Mission High School.