theGrio’s 100: Jackie Lacey, the 1st female and black Los Angeles DA

Who is Jackie Lacy? 

The 55-year-old was elected in November as district attorney in Los Angeles, becoming both the first woman and the first African-American in the job. The LA native won after working in the office as a prosecutor for more than 25 years.

Why is she on the Grio’s 100? 

Lacey will lead a team of 1,000 prosecutors, the largest such local office in the U.S. The post makes her one of the most important law enforcement figures in the United States. Her office is likely to prosecute more than 60,000 felony crimes over the next year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Today, the voters of this county allowed us to witness that it is possible for a girl from a working-class neighborhood like the Crenshaw District, who was educated in a public school like Dorsey High School, and worked her way up from the bottom can become the district attorney of the largest proprietorial office in the nation,” she said after being elected to the job, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. “How cool is that?”

Her years of experience give people in the city confidence in her abilities.

“Lacey began her legal career in the trenches, where she prosecuted everything from quality-of-life misdemeanors to murder, rising over the years to her current job as chief deputy district attorney in Steve Cooley’s  administration. Management and policy-making in a huge governmental organization are nothing new to her,” the Times wrote, endorsing her candidacy. “Her message is steady and consistent: public safety, fair play, justice. She makes the same case using the same words and the same tone to rooms full of police officers and criminal prosecutors as she does, for example, to an audience of activists in a South Los Angeles church.”

What’s next for Lacey?

She was elected to a four-year term, but could stay in the post much longer. Steve Cooley, her predecessor, served 12 years as DA.

Follow Jackie Lacey on Twitter @JackieLacey