BethGrossman4da

Angel’s story

I am a registered Democrat, mother of an abuse survivor, and support Beth Grossman for District Attorney of Philadelphia.

 

That day, it was pouring rain. It poured so bad the ceiling fell through at work. It was summer, and one of my daughters was acting out at summer camp and was asked to leave. My children’s father and I had only just gotten back together, and the children were happy about it, so we all agreed my daughter would stay with her father during the day while I was at work. This rainy day was their first day alone together so I could work; he sent me pictures of her writing and sitting on the couch. Before this, my daughter would say “Daddy doesn’t like me.” I thought about what a good thing this seemed to be for all of us, and for them to have a Daddy / Daughter day.

 

 

After the ceiling fell through at work, I called him at home to ask him to come pick me up. He said OK. When I got into the car, I was in the passenger side, he was on the driver’s side, and she was behind us. As I sat down, my daughter* said to me, “Daddy made me suck his penis,” and it was as if the world just stopped.

 

I just paused. He said “That’s not what happened.”

 

She said, “Yeah. And you told me not to tell Mommy.”

 

 

I was just totally thrown. I can hardly even remember driving to pick up the rest of our children. When we got to pick up our youngest from daycare I couldn’t let them sit in the car together. So he went in to pick up the baby, and I asked my daughter questions about what happened. And I just knew, I knew, in my gut I knew she was telling me the truth. I was angry, upset, saddened, and all I could think was – ‘What do I do, what do I do?’

 

 

When he came back out to put the baby in the car I got out of the passenger side and after he closed the door we stood in the rain. I screamed at him: “How could you do that!” He continued to deny everything. He couldn’t even look at me.

 

 

I got into the driver’s side of the car. I can’t remember getting home. I drove us to the house and I told him to go into the house, get his things and leave. After telling him to be gone before I got back, I left with my kids. And I cried. I cried for various reasons. I cried for my daughter, and for the situation. What did I put myself into, what did I put my kids into? I called DHS, they helped me make a plan of what to do until we were assigned a social worker. I worried they wouldn’t believe her, but our assigned worker was so nice. They took us down to SVU and St. Christopher’s hospital. They reached out to him to get his response. They couldn’t get in touch with him. We found out that he never went back to work, that he left town, so a warrant was put out for his arrest. Eventually I had to keep a phone I had for him on in order to convince him to come back into Philadelphia and face justice.

 

 

When I say the people in court were wonderful, I mean they were wonderful. It makes me tear up still to think of how strong my daughter had to be to face her father in court, and the prosecutors and advocates were with her the entire time. When it was time for sentencing they asked me if I wanted to make a statement. Standing in front of that full court room, after the judge heard 87 cases that day, they still made time to listen to me, and I really, truly felt heard. The judge gave him the maximum sentence and people in the courtroom, black, white, brown, from all different walks of life, they all cheered for my daughter and me and the justice served.

 

 

The Assistant District Attorney in charge of prosecuting the case told me I could always get in touch with him, especially when my children’s father comes up for parole, but he comes up for parole next year. The idea of someone being in charge of the DA’s office that has no experience being there for victims makes me afraid for my family. So much that I have thought we would have to move out of the city soon. This is why I am for Beth Grossman for District Attorney. I do not want to have to pick up my kids and put their lives into chaos again because of this man. We need a District Attorney that knows what she is doing, my children’s safety is too important to me to vote any other way.

 

Angel*

Social Services Professional, Mother, Concerned Resident of Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

*all names of underage victims and family names have been withheld to protect their privacy

Philadelphia coming together to stop domestic violence

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is now in its 30th year and Wednesday October 4, 2017 marked the 10th anniversary of Women Against Abuse’s ‘I Pledge …’ campaign bringing awareness and connections to community services in Philadelphia during October.

 

Since 2004, almost 2,000 people have been killed in domestic violence incidents in Pennsylvania.  In Philadelphia alone, there are over 100,000 calls to the police department for domestic violence and relational violence incidents. These calls encompass all kinds of violence and abuse between partners and within families.

 

 

Three women are killed every day in intimate partner violence, and women of color are disproportionately affected by this. Nearly 30% of all African American females are victimized by a partner in their lifetime. That is a rate over two times higher than the rate domestic violence affects any other race in America. Homicide is the leading cause of death for women under the age of 44, according to a report by the CDC, and over half of those are at the hands of a former or current intimate partner.

 

 

These crimes against women, and especially women of color, unfortunately do not get the attention in society or the media that they deserve. When a man kills a woman with whom he has an intimate relationship, the average sentence is 2 to 6 years in prison. When a woman kills an intimate partner, the average sentence is 15 years. These disparities must be addressed.

 

 

Domestic violence incidents even make law enforcement vulnerable as well.  Domestic violence incidents are the most dangerous for responding police officers and a study of law enforcement officer deaths from 2010-2014 by the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund found more officers were killed responding to domestic violence calls than in any other response to dispatched calls for service, including robbery and burglary.

 

 

Domestic violence is often left out of public conversations on violence, maintaining the stigma of such violence. Worldwide studies of domestic violence reporting indicate that coverage of domestic violence furthers this stigma and misunderstanding about the seriousness of violence against women. Fortunately, there are tremendous organizations in Philadelphia like Concilio, Congresso de Latinos Unidos, Women Against Abuse, Women In Transition, and now Shared Safety, working together to reduce domestic violence in Philadelphia. Creating these new shared connections between services for those experiencing relational violence in Philadelphia is imperative to keeping all of Philadelphia safe.

 

“Awareness and knowledge are power,” Beth said after attending today’s ‘I Pledge…’ event, “and I encourage everyone to speak up against domestic violence throughout Philadelphia.  Become educated and, if someone you know is being subjected to domestic violence, refer them to the resources available in Philadelphia.  We must fight domestic violence together.”

 

Events related to Domestic Violence Awareness Month continue throughout the city all month and on October 5th Philadelphians can show their support by wearing purple for the ‘Paint Philly Purple’ day.

Regarding the recent FOP fundraiser and BLM protest 

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Unions defend and support their members in many capacities.  That is why they exist and why their members pay dues.  I understand why the FOP defends and supports its members. I also understand why BLM is angry and protesting. Both are within their rights to do what they are doing. However, divisiveness accomplishes nothing and relationships between the police and communities need to be strengthened.
While I received the FOP endorsement, both myself and my opponent were asked to meet with the FOP for endorsement consideration. My opponent not only sought out this endorsement, he campaigned in an attempt to obtain the FOP endorsement.  This included bringing a former veteran prosecutor with him to address the FOP members in seeking out the endorsement.
My 21 years as a prosecutor is the reason behind the many endorsements I have received.  Whether I was prosecuting a police officer, city worker, a pill pushing doctor or child predator, I’ve prosecuted them all with integrity. An endorsement does not mean I wholly support or am obligated to those that endorse me. It means those making the endorsement believe I am the most qualified person for the position.
For the sake of peace in Philadelphia, I encourage Mayor Jim Kenney and members of City Council to facilitate a dialogue between BLM and the FOP. Maintaining divisiveness is distracting from creating greater understanding in our city. A peaceful dialogue needs to be facilitated between these parties by the elected officials of our city to ensure that every Philadelphian experiences the quality of life that they deserve.

Aja’s Story

I am a registered Independent, survivor of violence, and support Beth Grossman for District Attorney of Philadelphia.

 

Since 2008, I’ve worked on social justice issues. Just a few have been; supporting crime victims and their families, projects to assist the incarcerated, supporting conviction review, and ending the death penalty. This is why, when I started working as one of the Deputy Campaign Managers for Beth Grossman for District Attorney in Philadelphia, some people reached out to ask me how this happened.

 

It was only last year that I went through the criminal justice system as the victim of a crime. According to Women Against Abuse, there are over 100,000 emergency calls about domestic abuse in Philadelphia every year. Mine was one of them. In 2001, my cousin Deirdre was murdered in a domestic violence incident in Vermont. The repercussions of domestic violence run deep in my family. Many people do not know how to assist victims and their family members when violence touches their lives and their communities, it is not a job just anyone can perform. I am blessed to have received a lot of support to get divorced and move on with my life. That support came in the form of loved ones, my community, self determination, and services the Philadelphia Police Department and District Attorney’s Office provided and connected me with.

 

…there are over 100,000 emergency calls about domestic abuse in Philadelphia every year.

 

Throughout my case the Assistant District Attorney assigned to it was kind, helpful and communicative. Despite being overworked, she made her best effort to be engaged and direct me to services. She connected me with a victim/witness coordinator that communicated with me frequently. For trials, they had a victim advocate in the court room. All of these; the ADA, victim coordinator, and victim advocate, discussed with me what to expect, helped to ensure I got to and from trials safely, and advocated for what was best for me. They also advocated for the rehabilitation of the person that assaulted me. That is because all good District Attorney’s Offices help victims find justice to become whole while working to ensure assailants have the best chance at a positive reentry into society.

 

 

District Attorneys’ Offices prosecute crimes. Real and significant crimes, involving real and significant people.  The mission of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office starts like this: “The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office provides a voice for victims of crime and protects the community through zealous, ethical and effective investigations and prosecutions.”

 

 

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has as many as 23 diversion programs for offenders. My ex-husband received diversion, an alternative to probation. If a person completes diversion, which includes therapy sessions, they can avoid having a permanent record. Whenever my ex-husband violated the terms of his diversion by trying to contact me or standing in front of my residence, I could reach out to advocates and coordinators at the District Attorney’s Office and local police department for help. He has already finished his diversion program. I can still call the District Attorney’s Office, even now that the case has been closed, when he tries to contact me, and they help me seek out options to protect myself and my family.

 

 

I try to think outside of any party affiliation and have always been a registered Independent. We all know how difficult it is to think outside of party politics, especially right now, but I always try to be a discerning voter. During the primary race, I was wary of the Democratic front runner, Larry Krasner, an experienced defense attorney, because of my personal experiences in the justice system. There are four pillars of his campaign; end mass incarceration, focus on serious crime, stand up for rights and liberties, resist the Trump administration. Those pillars do not reflect the  primary mission of the District Attorney’s Office: being a voice for victims of crime and protecting the community. In fact, only briefly on the Democratic candidate’s site does he mention what he will do for victims of crime. Buried within the pillars of his campaign, there is a single sentence about victims with six words. It says that they will be treated with ‘respect and sensitivity.’

 

Victims coming forward, people who have been assaulted, murder victims’ family members, they deserve better than the bare minimum of ‘respect and sensitivity,’ they deserve to have a voice and they deserve justice.

 

The Democratic nominee’s position not only does a disservice to victims, it denies the tremendous work organizations have done in the city helping victims of crime for many years.

 

Deeper into the site, he briefly expands on the position by making claims that the District Attorney’s Office fails victims, that the city does not effectively utilize trauma informed care. This bothered me, because Philadelphia is known to be “at the forefront of understanding trauma and it’s connection to health, education, and social and emotional well being” for over a decade, using practices that have “drawn national recognition,” and an extensive coalition of victims services working together throughout the city. The Democratic nominee’s position not only does a disservice to victims, it denies the tremendous work organizations have done in the city helping victims of crime for many years. There is always room for improvement, but there is no need to completely omit the tireless work conducted by those who have committed their lives to the service of victims and safety of our city.

 

When I went to the ‘Policy and Positions’ at Beth’s website, the first position listed is ‘Victims and Survivors Rights.’ It goes beyond a single sentence about how victims of crime can expect to be treated by the office; it lists the laws related to serving Victims and Survivors. She recognizes the “tireless work of the numerous Victim-Witness service providers who assist victims and witnesses” enabling them to navigate the criminal justice system.

 

Beth also has other policies I agree with. She is committed to diversion for juvenile offenders. She believes in treating the heroin and opioid crisis as a public health issue for those suffering from addiction, while knowing how to prosecute large scale narcotic traffickers locally. Beth is against illegal gun sellers and those that possess guns illegally. She is for effectively and safely reducing the prison population by supporting re-entry and deterrence programs, and utilizing the Conviction Review Unit to review claims of innocence in previously tried cases.

 

Victims…deserve better than the bare minimum of ‘respect and sensitivity,’ they deserve to have a voice and they deserve justice.

 

She is used to the volume of cases, she knows what teams to turn to when there could be evidence of innocence for a person on death row, she knows who to delegate cases to, she will understand how to speak, with empathy, to a family who has just experienced the murder of a loved one and help them to navigate the criminal justice system, because she has experience doing those things. These are all parts of her policies and why I support her. She is simply the most qualified candidate for the job.

 

Every District Attorney’s Office should keep in mind those they prosecute and do their job within ethical standards they agreed to uphold. Those who commit crimes have resources within the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office that many prosecutors worked hard to ensure in an effort to move towards increased fairness and justice. Those who commit crimes also have their defense attorneys for support, even court appointed over worked defense attorneys. Crime victims have city services, which are in tremendous need of support, that are directly associated with the District Attorney’s Office. The office of a District Attorney in any city should always be putting victims’ services at the forefront of their work. It is the most important quality I look for in any candidate for District Attorney. Only one candidate is putting victims’ rights first, and I support her.

 

Aja Beech

Author, Deputy Campaign Manager, Concerned Resident of Philadelphia

District Attorney Candidate Beth Grossman calls for increased supports through District Attorney Office for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 15% of all violent crimes are violence between intimate partners. In the United States, every day 3 women are killed by intimate partner violence and as many as fifty women are killed every month by an intimate partner. The Philadelphia Police Department alone handles over 100,000 calls about domestic violence every year. Less than 35% of those injured by intimate partner violence obtain medical care for their injuries.

 

Protecting victims of domestic abuse does not end with an arrest. There is strong research that supports ties between domestic violence and depression, suicidal behavior, and physical health issues. Communities can help reduce the stigma and help domestic violence victims form safe new lives with proper support systems, increased job opportunities, and an intensification in awareness. Many of the programs for domestic violence victims in the Philadelphia area are connected with the District Attorney’s Office.

 

“If elected District Attorney,” Beth said “I pledge to handle domestic violence cases with the best-trained staff who understand the complexities of this epidemic. This includes ensuring that our complainants receive support services as well as respectfully considering their input into the outcome of the prosecution of the offender.”

 

Philadelphia Victims Services provides fantastic supports for Victims of Domestic violence, which does not mean we cannot explore how to better help these victims and survivors. “Preventative education about domestic violence should be implemented in our schools.” Beth said. “It is imperative that students know that any type of violence, be it physical, verbal or psychological, in the context of a relationship is not acceptable.”

 

Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline toll free number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-866-723-3014. Services are free, confidential, and bilingual.

More information online on supports can be found at the Philadelphia Police Department for Victims of Domestic Violence website.

National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims

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Today, murder victims’ family members and communities all over the United States will be remembering those lost to homicide. Designated in 2007, the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims is a day for families, friends, and communities to honor those they have lost to homicide. The day also serves as an effort to bring awareness to the effects of homicide on communities and how we can best support murder victims’ families, loved ones, friends, and communities grappling with murders.

 

In Philadelphia, as of 11:59 September 24th, 222 people have been murdered. These murders do not happen in a vacuum, each of those 222 people have parents, families, loved ones, and communities. Their deaths impact thousands of people, those people need our support.

 

On Thursday September 21st, Philadelphia City Council declared gun violence a public health epidemic. This resolution is a symbolic gesture and can have a wonderful effect if the city government officials, together with the citizens of Philadelphia, discuss ways of ending violence in our city, healing those suffering from the loss, and focus on justice for victims.

 

If you, or someone you know, are struggling with the loss of a loved to homicide, here are some organizations in Philadelphia that provide support services.

 

City of Philadelphia Victims Services of the District Attorney’s Office

 

Families of Murder Victims

(part of the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia)

(215) 686-8033

 

Center City Crime Victims Services

 

Congresso

(215)763-8870

 

Concilio 

Serving the 24th, 25th, and 26th Police Districts

(215)267-3100

 

Northeast Victim Services

Serving the 2nd, 7th, 8th, and 15th Police Districts

(215)332-3888

 

North Central Victim Services

Serving the 22nd Police District

(215)763-3280

 

Northwest Victim Services

Serving the 5th, 14th, 35th, and 39th Police Districts

(215)438-4410

 

South Victim Services

Serving the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 17th Police Districts

(215)551-3360

 

West-Southwest

Serving the 12th, 16th, 18th, and 19th Police Districts

(215)386-5757

 

 

The Fraternal Order of Transit Police Endorse Beth Grossman for District Attorney of Philadelphia

The Fraternal Order of Transit Police, FOTP Lodge #109 is proud to announce its endorsement of Beth Grossman for District Attorney of Philadelphia.

As law enforcement officers we feel very strongly about who should be the head law enforcement official of the nation’s 5th largest city. Many of our officers not only work in Philadelphia, but live here as well. Beth Grossman has had a 21-year career with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, serving in a variety of departments and at many different levels of the office. During her time with the Public Nuisance Task Force she addressed public nuisance crimes including drug houses and businesses and quality of life issues.

Beth Grossman will hold everyone accountable for their actions equally and fairly, from public and elected officials to everyday citizens. This is why, putting all personal political opinions and affiliations aside, the FOTP Union’s Executive Board voted unanimously in favor of endorsing Beth Grossman to be the next District Attorney in Philadelphia. We feel she is the best and ONLY option in this election and for the future of our great city.

Beth Grossman for District Attorney!
Fraternal Order of Transit Police

 

 

FOP Lodge #109

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Enough is enough

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On January 6, 2017, I announced that I would run as a Republican candidate for District Attorney of Philadelphia in the May primary election.  On that day, in front of what had been my parents’ candy store on Kensington Avenue, I explained that I was running to free Philadelphia from the dangerous corruption of one-party rule. Democracy only works when there is a system that holds everyone accountable for their actions. Elected officials are subject to the checks and balances put forth by the laws we are all beholden to.

 

Nine months later, corruption continues.  This week it was reported that Municipal Court Judge Jimmie Moore resigned and will plead guilty to making false statements in his campaign-finance filings about a $90,000 payment from United States Representative Bob Brady’s campaign. The filing charged that Moore “knowingly falsified, concealed and covered up the payment from the Federal Election Commission.” All of those dealing with corruption issues since I announced my candidacy are Democrats.  Since 2013, Philadelphia has seen far too many investigations, indictments and guilty pleas or convictions of Democratic public officials. This includes judges, State Representatives, a United States Congressman, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General and Philadelphia’s own District Attorney. I switched parties and chose to run as a Republican because I have had enough with one party rule in Philadelphia for over 60 years.

 

No political party is inherently corrupt, as well, no party is excluded from suffering from corruption. When any party is in power for so long, it can result in complacency. The District Attorney’s Office, with its mission to seek justice and fairly and ethically enforce our laws, is the right office to start making a change and holding people accountable, despite party affiliation.  Public corruption must not continue to be tolerated.  If elected District Attorney, I pledge to prosecute political and municipal corruption because I would truly be the District Attorney of all of the people in our city. Philadelphia and its residents deserve nothing less.

 

This corruption can end by electing someone without the backing of the Democratic party machine. By electing someone whose campaign has not been backed by an out-of-town billionaire with an agenda, who knows nothing about the problems and needs of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.
Philadelphians, we can all make a statement on November 7, 2017. Together we can say: We vote to end the culture of corruption in Philadelphia, enough is enough.

 

 

Restorative Justice: A Chance to Earn a Clean Slate

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Philadelphia, PA- Many of the talking points in this election have revolved around the issue of Criminal Justice Reform. Repeatedly stated are claims that the criminal justice system as a whole is unfair. My opponent has made numerous claims alluding to possible non-enforcement or worse, selective enforcement, of multiple crimes should he be elected. As someone with over two decades of experience as a prosecutor I can personally attest to a strong need to reform, streamline, and modernize the system to make it more user friendly for the victims of crime, suspects, and those paid by taxpayers to administer justice in an efficient and effective manner.

One of the best avenues to be explored in the arena of criminal justice reform is Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice is a framework which has been proposed as an alternative to the current way of thinking about crime and criminal justice. It gives priority to repairing the harm done to victims and communities, while emphasizing offender accountability, where the offender takes responsibility and action to repair harm. Some organizations in Philadelphia, like the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, currently utilize this framework with positive results. For example, 84% of participants in their Restorative Justice Program are not incarcerated again within a year of completing the program.

Instead of simply declaring the enforcement of certain crimes “unfair” and neglecting one’s sworn duty to the public, it is more appropriate for a District Attorney’s Office to explore alternatives which help to make victims whole while initiating a corrections process that doesn’t just punish offenders but gives them an opportunity to turn their lives around, earn a clean slate after demonstrating their rehabilitation, and have the community involved in their re-entry into society.

The National Institutes of Justice defines authentic restorative justice as a continuum that includes underlying principles, basic tenets, general public policies, and specific practices, programs and procedures. In order to accomplish this, the practitioner needs a sound, comprehensive understanding of all the relationships affected by crime and recognize that the criminal justice system must focus on the full circle of injuries, needs and responsibilities of crime victims, the community, government, and offenders.

Therefore, as your District Attorney, I would approach the issue of Criminal Justice Reform by first recognizing that you can’t arrest yourself out of a cycle of crime that is heavily contributed to by a struggling local economy and under-performing education system.

At the same time, it is the sworn duty of the District Attorney to enforce the laws of the land, advocate for the victims of crime, and assure that criminality does not have the opportunity to continue to threaten the safety of our communities.

I take my campaign for District Attorney seriously and have been seeking out best practices nationally to examine how they may be effective in Philadelphia. In doing so, I met with Gen. Sid Baumgarten, the former Deputy Mayor of New York, who helped America’s biggest city address the first major heroin epidemic of the 1970’s. I met with Sid because he sits on the board of New York Therapeutic Communities, and he showed me how their long-term treatment process, coupled with job training, employment, and support for community reentry has a proven 77% success rate based upon a five-year follow-up study in rehabilitating those suffering from addiction who have come in contact with the criminal justice system. In working with our courts, public health, and correctional stakeholders, it is clear we should further explore this alternative to short-term incarceration and lifelong criminal records for those affected by this crisis.

At the same time, I have been lucky to engage policy advisers who have studied law enforcement communities in states like Washington, Florida, Texas and the DC metro areas. By working with courts, instead of simply “doing away” with bail, we can create a surety system similar to many other cities, some larger than Philadelphia, yet with less crime. In those cities suspects can post bail at a small percentage of the total, but are incentivized to return to their court appearances. Furthermore, the use of technology to merge law enforcement databases with courts and corrections is long overdue. Doing so will enable the officers on the street  to monitor conditions of release easily. By using technology and streamlining the processes between law enforcement agencies, the DA’s Office, and the Courts, the arrest-to-trial process can be streamlined, putting more officers on the street instead of spending hours on paperwork or waiting in the halls at the Criminal Justice Center.

I have the experience to know that if you don’t address criminal behavior when it’s still minor; there’s a strong possibility that the offender will graduate to more serious crimes. Any candidate for public office, from District Attorney to Mayor, who feels that laws they don’t agree with should simply be ignored are not only doing a disservice to the taxpayers who entrust them with their public safety, but they are also doing a disservice to those offenders that can be rehabilitated before they possibly commit crimes that are too major to participate in restorative justice efforts.

As District Attorney, I will work closely with state legislators from both the Democratic and Republican parties, as I have maintained strong relationships with both parties, to explore ways to restore someone’s civil rights after they have demonstrated rehabilitation. In looking at Florida’s restoration of Civil Rights and New York’s Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities/Certificate of Good Conduct process, and in the over 20 diversion programs currently in use in the Philadelphia DA’s office, there are demonstrated best practices out there to clear one’s record and restore their civil rights after they have paid their debt to society. This satisfies the responsibility to crime victims while also giving offenders an opportunity at a clean slate.

My opponent and his supporters seem to believe that criminal justice reform can be accomplished by simply giving certain crimes a pass, but my years of experience have taught me that crimes cannot be processed as if from a silo. Every crime needs to be addressed individually, in the best interest of the victim, the community, and even the offender. My plan will hold criminals responsible for their crimes, while allowing the 70-100 million Americans living with a criminal record the opportunity to demonstrate their rehabilitation and get a chance at a clean slate without the costly, highly political process associated with applying for expungement.

These ideas come from experience and collaboration with seasoned professionals, not funders seeking to make a social experiment out of public safety. Experience matters, which is why I’m asking for your vote.

Grossman on the Issues: Don’t be Distracted

Every day, I go to every neighborhood of Philadelphia in my campaign for District Attorney. People shake my hand, give me a hug and tell me what’s on their mind. In doing so, I often get questions from people about what they’ve seen or heard in the papers or on the television news. Nine times out of ten, I educate them on the legality of the issue as a good prosecutor should, and which elected or appointed leader has the responsibility of addressing it…and in almost every occasion, the person who asked me walks away a more empowered, informed political consumer.

You see, many of the headlines in both the local and national news is given coverage because it is sensational; which causes local politicians to jump in on the issue for notoriety. My warning to all who read this is: Don’t be distracted.

In almost every national news interview I have had since running, the issue of immigration is brought up. Now, with the President’s decision to send DACA to Congress for an official vote; this issue is the top story in almost every paper and news broadcast in America.  Why? Because it’s polarizing and sensational. Of course nobody, myself included, wants to see families separated or children deported to dangerous places. However, the actions of local politicians nationwide have turned this important issue into a political distraction from many of their actual jobs.

So when I’m asked about DACA or Immigration, I may give my personal view on the issue but inform the person asking about the law and the duties of the office for which I am proud to be running for. Immigration enforcement and policy are federal issues. Therefore, there is no circumstance in where the Philadelphia District Attorney will prosecute a suspect on immigration charges alone. If the bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) were to serve a detainer order on the Philadelphia Police or Sheriff; it would be because ICE was notified that the suspect in question was already in lawful custody for a local matter; which abides by the Constitution. This was always the policy in Philadelphia and the politicians protesting over it are well aware of it.

Regardless, my opponent and his supporter, Council Member Helen Gym was out protesting the President’s DACA decision as they did weeks before over the statue of Mayor Rizzo. While they are well within their rights to lawfully protest any issue they want, all of you should be asking why they aren’t talking about the life-and-death issues that are in their purview.

So when you see any local politician in the news, myself included; please use critical thinking as to whether they are doing their respective jobs in serving you before grandstanding on issues that are not in their responsibility.

So, when you see my opponent marching arm-in-arm with BLM and AntiFa to protest the statue of a mayor who left office 37 years ago; ask why he hasn’t addressed the 207 people who’ve been murdered in Philadelphia this year, the 278 murdered last year or the shocking 907 who were victims last year of the opioid crisis in Philadelphia alone? Maybe it’s because he wants you to concentrate on these polarizing identity issues while ignoring the shocking criminality that will be under his responsibility to address if he were to become Philadelphia’s to law enforcement officer. Why, because his total lack of requisite experience becomes obvious when he tries to weigh in against someone like me who has two decades of the type of work he is running to try and learn about on the job.

When you see Helen Gym marching with my opponent, ask her why almost every one of her appearances involves a polarizing social issue linked to identity politics when we most need our Council for real issues, like a totally underfunded pension system and crumbling infrastructure? I’m not running for a legislative seat, but I’m pretty sure the members of District Council 33, 47, Local 22, FOP 5, and other unions representing municipal employees would like to know why our Council Members are spending the majority of their public influence protesting federal issues and statues while their pension funds are disappearing.

Lastly, ask yourself why the one local Democrat who will actually have a vote on DACA; Rep. Bob Brady, wasn’t at the protest with the Council Member and DA candidate from his own party?

Folks, I am not running for District Attorney to become a politician. I am running because in my 21 years of service to the DA’s Office, I experienced the issues or crime and public safety effecting the citizens of our city first-hand. In this race, we should be talking about our responsibility to the victims of crime and sworn duty to uphold the law and make our city safer. Elected office should be a meritocracy, based on one’s resume and ability to hold the office in question…and not their political affiliation or ability to get millions in outside funding.

Philadelphia: Don’t be distracted.