Election 2017: Civil Rights Groups Celebrate Election of New Philadelphia DA

Candidate for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (right) on the campaign trail in October 2017. (photo: Global Women’s Strike)

HOUSTON – Groups that worked at the grassroots level to elect a new district attorney to represent Philadelphia are cheering in Houston this evening where many women are attending the 40th anniversary of The National Women’s Conference.

Larry Krasner, a civil rights attorney received broad support from groups such as the Transport Workers Union, AFSCME, Black Clergy of Philadelphia, Global Women’s Strike, Philadelphia Gay News, Philly SURJ, MoveOn.org, Erotic Service Providers Union, Pa. Association of Staff Nurses & Allied Professionals (PASNAP), Color of Change, Food and Water Action Fund, and Reclaim Philadelphia among other social justice groups.

(photo: Global Women’s Strike)

Krasner ran on a platform of ending mass incarceration in an office that he described as broken, and promised to run an office focusing on serious crime, defending rights and liberties, and resisting the Trump administration.

To end mass incarceration Krasner promised to stop prosecuting insignificant cases, and to focus more on the 6% of offenders who commit 60% of the serious crimes in Philadelphia.  Krasner vowed to review past convictions, free the wrongfully convicted, stop cash bail imprisonment, to treat addiction as an illness instead of a crime, and to bring police communities together.

The platform especially appealed to mothers, caregivers, and to women who are impacted by poverty, mass incarceration, and cutbacks, and who turned out in numbers on the campaign trail to voice issues of holding families together, the impacts of police and prison guard violence, losing children to the Department of Homeland Security, and the criminalization of sex work and crimes of poverty.  Krasner’s campaign appearances were often crowded with those affected by welfare cuts, the lack of a livable wage, and caregivers of children and the elderly.

In a statement Krasner said,

“Prosecutors must consider the consequences of incarceration on the defendants, and the defendant’s family, just as they do for the victims. Any judge or prosecutor who ignores the reality that making the decision to put someone in jail is going to push children into foster care is not doing their job. There may be exceptional situations where that is necessary, but it should be an absolute last resort.”

On issues of rights and liberties, Krasner said he would stop pursuing death sentences, end illegal stop-and-frisk, and end civil asset forfeiture abuse.

Krasner specifically addressed the Trump administration and said that he would “Protect immigrants while protecting everybody, reject a return to the failed drug wars of the past, and would stand up to police misconduct, fight fraud corruption.  He even added protections to the environment to his list of promises.

Carolyn Hill (right), Every Mother is a Working Mother Network; & Pat Albright Global Women’s Strike (photo: Global Women’s Strike)

Turning out in numbers to support his campaign was the Global Women’s Strike who said in statements, “He’s about helping people that are in jail because they can’t pay their bail. He’s all about tackling injustice for Black and low income people. I’ve been handing out Krasner flyers on the bus, at the store, wherever I go,” and “I’m a mom who feels so strongly about this race – Larry defended my son’s best friend – that I spent Mother’s Day canvassing for him.”

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