(Photo via Flickr user JB, used under a Creative Commons license)
This coming Tuesday, Philly residents will be voting for their next district attorney, among other government positions.
The race has been in the spotlight since the announcement of the many charges against our current DA, Seth Williams, who as of this week is facing even more federal corruption charges.
And Philly’s Democratic party not endorsing any of the seven Democratic candidates running (with only one Republican candidate) has left the race open wider to the voters to decide for themselves who should fill in this important seat.
Some local groups, such as the 20-org strong Philadelphia Coalition for a Just District Attorney, are pushing the candidates to address some of the city’s most important justice-related issues, like our high recidivism rate. A millennial-focused group like Philly Set Go (PSG) was just one of several organizations that held town halls to hear directly from each candidate and their positions on criminal justice reforms.
At the end of the day on May 16, though, it’ll be our votes that decide the future of what our DA’s office looks like. Here are some resources to check out to educate yourself further on the race and each of the candidates.
For a two-minute primer on what Philly’s DA is responsible for, here’s from Meghan Claiborne, a board member of PSG:
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The ACLU of Pennsylvania, as part of a national campaign from the ACLU, has been pushing to educate voters on the issues it advocates for as part of its #VoteSmartJustice campaign, which is something that the org has traditionally stayed away from. Here’s where the candidates stand. (Only four of the eight running candidates responded to a questionnaire from the ACLU of PA.)
The #DecarcerateDA campaign, focused on criminal justice reforms, has its own page dedicated to the positions each candidate holds on issues like the cash bail system and immigration.
WHYY’s RadioTimes with Marty Moss-Coane recently had a whole episode with WHYY’s Dave Davies and Philadelphia magazine’s Holly Otterbein, two local reporters who have been covering the DA race in-depth, to talk about each candidate.
And for the super clueless among us, there’s always Billy Penn’s “The procrastinator’s guide to the May 2017 Philadelphia primary election.”