Philly Set Go Statement on the #DAforPHL2021
On May 18th, Philadelphians will head to the polls for the Primary Election. While there are many exciting primaries this cycle, none is being watched more closely – locally and across the country – than the District Attorney’s race.
Over the course of their campaigns, Philly Set Go spoke with Democratic incumbent Larry Krasner, as well as his challenger and former prosecutor Carlos Vega. Both candidates gave thoughtful answers during our individual calls and publicly streamed townhall event. We appreciate their willingness to participate in each. However, as a board, we decided to abstain from endorsing this race.
Philadelphia has reached a point of crisis. Shootings have more than doubled in the past year, and even pre-pandemic, violent crime was on the rise. Homicides are up 39% this year. More than 55 children have been shot in 2021 alone. Our police union is at odds with its Commissioner, enflamed by a summer riddled with civil unrest, scandal, and an officer-involved shooting. Things are trending in the wrong direction.
That said, we also acknowledge that increases in homicides, shootings, and other violent crime are not attributable just to the DAO or the discretion of one prosecutor. These shootings represent the lethal consequences of decades and generations of disinvestment, structural racism, and lack of opportunity in employment and education.
As many millennials begin establishing roots and building families, they should feel that Philadelphia is a place where they can do so safely, regardless of their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or neighborhood. As Philadelphia’s only millennial-focused, nonpartisan political action committee, it is our mission to center the particular needs and concerns of this demographic. While some important policies – like significant decreases to the number of individuals on probation and moves toward ending cash bail – have emerged in the District Attorney’s last term and positively impacted, in particular, millennial-aged Black men who are overrepresented in our criminal justice system, alone these reforms are not enough.
Lasting change involves much greater investment and commitment from all corners of city government and the School District, in meaningful partnership with our communities, grounded in anti-racist principles. These issues and solutions are much larger than just the District Attorney’s office. We hope you’ll join us in demanding greater accountability across all city agencies and pushing for greater funding for evidence-based solutions to reducing violence. Make your voice heard and vote on May 18th.