Young Philadelphians deserve to inherit a city that is safe and united.
Most young people want reasonable policies on crime that are lenient when appropriate. We don’t want youth who commit minor offenses to be locked in a cycle of incarceration. We don’t want the poorest among us to languish in prison because they can’t afford bail. We can work toward all of these goals, and we can do so by casting a vote for Beth Grossman. She will eliminate bail for low-level, nonviolent offenses, work with diversion programs to rehabilitate young offenders, expand the review of convictions, and offer assistance, not incarceration, to those with drug addiction.
On the other hand, Soros-funded Larry Krasner ostensibly wants safe streets for young people, while he subtly drives a wedge between local communities and the police. Krasner’s thinly veiled capitulation to the criminal class, which lives and operates in every community, tears under the slightest scrutiny. We need only recall the chants of his supporters on the night of his primary win: “No good cops in a racist system.” Our potential future DA’s response? “I’m a great believer in free speech…That does not mean I always agree with everything that is said.”
A note to Larry Krasner about stating the obvious: Most Americans believe in free speech, but a candidate for DA, the lead law enforcement agent in a city, should not obfuscate when such vile phraseology is employed by his supporters.
This weakness of approach is both telling and consistent. When asked about convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, a cause célèbre for those who seek to vilify our police force, he replied, “I’m not commenting.” The Officer Daniel Faulkner memorial highway happens to start near my home in Northeast Philadelphia, and perhaps Mr. Krasner should keep Abu-Jamal’s victim in mind as well.
This capitulation is not just a matter of ideological difference; it has profound impacts. Since the uproar in Ferguson, those who study crime have observed what has been termed the “Ferguson effect.” In light of a national wave of anti-police sentiments among both protesters and supportive politicians like Mr. Krasner, police have refrained from the proactive policing critical to their success. Arrests in St. Louis City and County fell by a third after the shooting, as they did in many major cities. It would be excellent if there was a mass reduction in criminality, but there wasn’t. As criminologist Heather Mac Donald notes, “2015 closed with a 17 percent increase in homicides in the 56 largest cities, a nearly unprecedented one-year spike. Baltimore’s per capita murder rate was the highest in its history in 2015.”
In this context, the words of Philadelphia’s Spanish American Law Enforcement Association president, in response to Krasner’s primary win, are foreboding: “It puts you on edge…Now you’re going to have to second-guess yourself.”
Krasner’s prosecutorial prospects show no improvement after a crime is committed either; Krasner will refuse to seek the death penalty in any case, no matter how heinous. This ideological rigidity renders Krasner’s views impenetrable by the nuances of a particular case. If his issue is the conviction of innocent people, then his lack of confidence in his own prosecutorial abilities is mildly concerning — though what am I to expect from someone whose experience amounts to zero seconds as a prosecutor?
Larry Krasner has also made a commitment to continuing Philadelphia’s disastrous sanctuary city policy, showing complete contempt for law and order. Krasner claims he will “protect immigrants while protecting everybody,” but the sanctuary city policies protect undocumented immigrants, not those who adhered to the proper legal process to become Americans or residents. Young people in Philadelphia, especially those who live in sanctuary campuses like Penn, do not object to diversity, and they welcome legal immigrants of all races and religions. Refusing to help ICE deport dangerous felons doesn’t protect Penn’s campus or any other. In fact, it doesn’t protect anybody — not those who have been here for generations, nor those who have just arrived.
Thankfully, we have an alternative to the vision of Larry Krasner, and we can stop that vision from becoming reality. Beth Grossman’s plans will have an actual impact on Philadelphians — when we identify dangerous properties or businesses that are a nuisance to the community, we’ll have the ability to report them to a local prosecutor assigned to our area of the city. She’s proven herself as a prosecutor working on the Public Nuisance Task Force by dealing with properties used to sell drugs and with negligent landlords causing quality of life issues. For young people and students choosing whether or not to stay in Philadelphia to work and live after attending university, how our elected officials deal with these problems will undoubtedly play a role in our decision.
Though there exist many divisions in our politics, we ought to be able to unite around prosecuting those who harm Philadelphians and around basic decency and respect for those in law enforcement. These fundamental values are now in question, and voters should choose to defend them. Beth Grossman offers that choice by forwarding reasonable approaches to policing and prosecuting without the divisive rhetoric and disqualifying inexperience of Larry Krasner.
The young people of this city, in casting their vote for a brighter future in Philadelphia, should keep Krasner far, far away from the office of District Attorney.
Author: Michael Moroz is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, studying Economics at the Wharton School and International Studies in the College. He is the co-director of the editorial board for the UPenn chapter of College Republicans. He also serves as Vice President of the campus’s Students Supporting Israel chapter.