SF District Attorney faces recall election



District Attorney Chesa Boudin is up against a recall election.

Jake Beeman ’24, Staff reporter

Over the past months, those who live and work in San Francisco have heard murmurings of the city’s District Attorney Chesa Boudin in the same sentences as “recall.”

Having just beaten one recall attempt, which according to ballotpedia.org fell less than 2,000 short of its goal, he must gear up to fight the next, with the results being tallied on Oct. 25. 

When discussing the controversy over the DA, it is impossible to not discuss his backstory. While most controversy over a political figure’s earlier days may spring from their actions in young adulthood at the earliest, Boudin’s odd story and unique controversies stem from a far earlier part of his life. 

When Boudin was just a child, his parents were involved in a bank robbery that resulted in the murder of two police officers and a bank security guard. While on its own, that fact would certainly cause great controversy, this bank robbery was additionally committed on behalf of a domestic terrorist organization known as Weather Underground, which had previously perpetrated bombings and orchestrated a violent riot in Chicago. 

Upon his parents’ arrest, he was placed under the care of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, leaders of the group who had allegedly planned and organized the previously mentioned actions. While this upbringing has certainly sparked controversy among some, his parents’ actions were theirs, not his.  

Deacon Joseph LeBlanc ’78, who teaches an ethics class at Riordan, said, “Many people in San Fransisco feel that certain types of crimes are on the rise due to the DA feeling that they aren’t as much of a priority, decreasing the rates of the serious crimes the justice system focuses on, but causing petty crimes that aren’t given as much attention, such as break ins, to rise.” 

This discontentment and general fear of the crime levels is a running theme with almost anybody in the city about the crime levels. The DA, due partially to his own action in some cases, and partially due to public perception of him, has become the defacto figurehead of what many see to be an apathetic justice system, detached from what’s really happening to common people. 

“The DA, even in such a polarized city, has managed to anger everybody,” said Sophie Bücker ’24.

The feeling that the DA does not properly punish criminals as harshly as deserved is the basis of the current recall effort’s rhetoric, with the effort citing his alleged negligence in handling multiple sexual assault cases, and an alleged failure to prosecute repeat offenders of serious crimes.