Having just finished our Environmental Action Forum, we have a lot going on over the next couple of weeks, including a BLM Teach-In (today) and a hearing on reopening our schools. But first, we start with an important endorsement in the District Attorney’s race.
PNN Endorses Larry Krasner for District Attorney
The votes are in! Over the past two weeks members of PNN were asked to vote on who they want our organization to endorse in the upcoming Primary election for District Attorney. You overwhelmingly voted for the incumbent Larry Krasner. Due to his record of enacted reforms and commitment to further reforms, PNN is proud to endorse Larry Krasner for District Attorney.
When Krasner ran four years ago, he promised to roll back needless incarceration, focus on more serious offenses, and institute a no-tolerance policy for corruption. He has made significant progress on all these fronts:
The county jail population decreased by 40% and this summer fell to its lowest level since 1985.
He has exonerated 18 innocent individuals with his newly instituted Conviction Integrity Unit.
He shifted resources to solve serious crimes. Just before the pandemic effectively closed Philly courts, a greater share of homicide cases ended in convictions than in any year since 2014 and the conviction rates in shooting cases were likewise at the highest point in years.
He changed the DAs policy on cash bail by not asking for cash bail in petty cases where public safety is not at issue.
He held police accountable by developing a database of police misconduct and charging and prosecuting police officers for abusing their power.
At the same time, Krasner has taken a public health approach to drug use, expanded diversionary programs, and implemented a restorative justice program for juveniles. Equally important, Krasner launched the CARES program that provides intensive support for 45 days after the homicide of a family member.
We believe that Larry Krasner is the right person for DA at this time and will continue to make a difference on the issues that are critical to criminal justice reform.
Now it’s time for us to get to work to back up our endorsement. On Tuesday, Feb. 16th at 7PM, we will be holding a Signature-Gathering planning session via zoom. We will map out our plan to safely gather signatures to assure that D.A. Krasner once again appears on the ballot, and you’ll have an opportunity to sign up to take part in this effort.
Environmental Action Forum Recap & Next Steps
We had a great Action Forum last Saturday as Christine Knapp, Director of the Philadelphia Office of Sustainability explained the work her team has been tackling on our behalf. Then we got a glimpse of the work that we’ll be taking on as part of working groups for Waste, Energy, Public Health and the Environment, and Community Education.
If you missed it, see it on our YouTube channel.
Next Steps: Now is the time for you to take action by choosing to join one or more working groups. Here are the meeting times and zoom links for our four Working Groups. Each group will be choosing environmental issues for potential action that have specific relevance to N/NW Philadelphia. For more information and to RSVP, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.Public Health Working GroupSaturday, Feb. 20th, 4PMZoom Link TBDWaste Working GroupSunday, Feb. 21st, 4PMZoom Link HerePhone: 929-205-6099Meeting ID: 838 6276 8293; Passcode: 963132 Energy Working GroupSaturday, Feb. 27th, 4PMZoom Link HerePhone: 929-205-6099Meeting ID: 834 8108 9699; Passcode: 140927Community Education Working GroupThursday, Mar. 4th, 7PMZoom Link TBD
Hearing on Safely Reopening Our Schools
The District has announced its intention to partially open schools on February 22 for primary grade students. There have been many concerns raised about the safety of the children and the buildings. Please come to a public hearing at Philadelphia City Council on February 17 at 2 pm that will address the safe reopening of schools. Watch the hearing on City Council’s live stream, or tune in on FIOS Channel 40 or Xfinity Channel 64.
If you would like to testify or submit testimony, please contact Bach.Tong@phila.gov or call Councilperson Helen Gym’s office at 215-686-3420.
Come to the Philly BLM Teach-In Today, Feb. 12th @ 6PM
The teach-in will be divided into two parts. The first half will focus on youth and the injustice system while the second half will explore the centrality of Black women in education. The first panel will feature Mike Africa, educator Ant Smith, and an adjudicated youth in a moderated discussion. The second panel will feature Parapower President Leah Wood, Educator Dana King, and the multi-talented Tamara Anderson. The event is free.Click here to register for the BLM Philly Teach-In.
Catch City Council Political Education Series on YouTube
If you missed the City Council Political Education Series that PNN presented last Fall, now you can watch it on the Philly Neighborhood Networks’ You Tube Channel. As the Council session gears up again, these sessions might come in handy to support your organizing:How A Bill Becomes A LawHow To Read LegislationBudgets 101The Ward SystemRedistricting
This Week in History
Feb. 12, 1809 – “Honest Abe” Born. Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgeville, KY. He was a postmaster, surveyor and shopkeeper before entering politics as an Illinois legislator, left to pursue law and was elected as our 16th president in 1860, presiding during the Civil War and is most famous for his Emancipation Proclamation.
Feb. 12, 1909 – NAACP Born. W.E.B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells-Barnett were among African American leaders who announced the formation of a new organization. Called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, it has had a profound effect on the struggle for civil rights in our nation.
Feb. 18, 1930 – Pluto Discovered. Pluto was discovered by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ. Coincidentally, the observatory was named after Percival Lowell, the scientist who predicted the existence of a ninth planet.
Thanks for your activism!
Tim Brown, Organizing Director