What SF’s Chesa Boudin recall says about progressive prosecutor future

An official ballot drop box is seen in front of 808 Kearny Street and City College of San Francisco - Chinatown Center on April 24, 2022. Residents voted to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin on June 7, 2022. Photo by Samuel Rigelhaupt/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect.

San Francisco residents voted to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin on Tuesday, which he acknowledged: “People are angry. They’re frustrated. And I want to be very clear about what happened tonight. The right-wing billionaires outspent us 3-1. They exploited an environment in which people are appropriately upset. And they created an electoral dynamic in which we were literally shadow boxing.”

Recall supporters say the city became less safe due to Boudin’s policies of ending cash bail and not prosecuting minors as adults, plus a rise in anti-Asian violence and smash-and-grab shoplifting on his watch. 

However, Boudin hasn’t ruled out another run. 

What could all this mean for the progressive prosecutor movement, and what might it portend for Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón? 



  • Hadar Aviram - law professor at UC Hastings who specializes in criminal justice, civil rights, and politics