I announced my candidacy for District Attorney of Philadelphia on January 6, 2017. Since that time, I discovered something wonderful about the people in the city I love. Despite the Presidential election, which has created an enormous amount of divisiveness throughout our nation, Philadelphians – in our overwhelmingly Democratic town – have treated me, as a Republican candidate, with nothing but respect.
Leading up to the primary and as the only Republican candidate, I was invited to the same events as the seven(!) Democratic candidates. I was given the same amount of speaking time, no one booed me and people asked me incredibly insightful questions. Everyone listened and I met wonderful folks from all parties – Democrats, Green, Libertarians and many Independents. Since the primary, I have been treated with the same respect. Even if someone showed an immediate negative reaction to my party affiliation, almost everyone has given me the privilege of his or her time and allowed me to explain my political past and why I switched parties and became a Republican. And, more often than not, he or she let me tell them about my experience as a prosecutor and why I am running for District Attorney of Philadelphia.
As Tip O’Neill wrote – all politics is local. And some one of the most pressing local issues are public safety and quality of life. And that is the common denominator of most Philadelphians. It matters not whether they live in in Strawberry Mansion, Overbrook, Kensington, South Philly, Frankford, Tacony, Rittenhouse Square – wherever. Philadelphians want to be safe. Philadelphia kids should be able to play outside. Philadelphia seniors should be able to go shopping safely. Philadelphia families don’t want their loved ones to fall prey to addiction to heroin, opioids or crack.
Everyone should be able to live in safe neighborhoods – working folks, unemployed, law enforcement, families of those who are incarcerated and returning citizens.
I am not wearing rose-colored glasses. The public safety and quality of life issues Philadelphians face every day will not disappear overnight. But if elected District Attorney, I would like to treat all Philadelphians with the same respect that has been given to me. And I will do this by running an ethical and upstanding office; by championing the rights of victims and survivors of crime; and by continuing to work with partners in the criminal justice system to bring more reform to our criminal courts.
Philadelphians – thanks for giving me a listen. Hope to see you out there on the campaign trail.