Homicides and an Opioid Crisis on the rise but the only thing Helen Gym and Larry Krasner want to see go down is Frank Rizzo’s Statue.
PHILADELPHIA, PA– City Councilwoman Helen Gym’s recent tweet created a campaign to remove the statue of Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo (D, 1972-80) from the steps of the Municipal Services Building; in an effort to associate the statue with confederate monuments at the heart of the violent bigoted protest last weekend in Charlottesville, VA, resulting in the senseless deaths of a protester and two state troopers.
As a woman who has spent over two decades as a Philadelphia public servant, I feel compelled to voice my displeasure at Councilwoman Gym for fueling a political side show when she should be dedicating her time to addressing the life and death issues facing our city. While she may have you believe that tearing the Rizzo statue is the most important issue affecting the city now, it is not. This serves as a disturbing example of political opportunism in lieu of real leadership that Philadelphians deserve.
As of last night, there were 195 murders in Philadelphia, up over a 10% from last year. Over 907 people died from the opioid crisis in Philadelphia last year alone. In an interview yesterday, a 10-year old boy spoke about seeing a man shoot up drugs into his neck near McPherson Park. Convenience stores are constantly being robbed. Almost two dozen public officials elected to serve our city in federal, state and local offices have been charged and/or convicted of corruption within the last four years alone; with more investigations currently ongoing. Yet, with all this serious work to do; Helen Gym is using her salary, staff, and municipal resources on her crusade to remove the statue of a former Mayor whose term ended 37 years ago. More disturbingly, Gym is joined by my opponent, whom she has repeatedly endorsed, who continues to campaign for the position of Philadelphia’s chief law enforcement officer on the back of social movements that would best be served by his running for a legislative office.
Philadelphia deserves politicians who don’t seek political capital by going after the legacy of predecessors. Philadelphia has both good and bad history. It should not be eradicated but used constructively to help us move forward and improve. We most always strive to be the City of Brotherly Love. But that can only come with strong leadership that focuses upon the day to day issues of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia should elect a District Attorney who works on behalf of those victimized by crime, seeks to improve neighborhoods, enforces our laws fairly and justly and spends her time meeting with community members impacted by crime. Not one who protests to further an agenda and rhetoric.