PHILADELPHIA (November 30, 2022) – A growing number of elected officials, community organizers, gun violence survivors, and civic leaders continues to denounce MAGA GOP lawmakers’ anti-democratic effort to remove District Attorney Larry Krasner, who has committed no impeachable offense, from office and subvert the will of Philadelphia voters. PA Rep. Rick Krajewski:
“What we are seeing is Republicans trying to reprimand us for even thinking to dream that there can be a different system. This is not about the actual safety of Philadelphia. This is not about them trying to use a real, legal process. This is them trying to say that we cannot dream and reimagine the real version of safety that we know our Black and brown and our working class communities deserve.
“I’m going to lay out three reasons I’m really clear that this sham is actually not about the safety of Philadelphians: 1) We know for years that Republicans in governing power have not actually given Philadelphians a livable wage that they deserve, a path to labor jobs that can actually provide the kind of economic stability that they deserve so that we don’t have these cycles of crimes of poverty that continue to devastate our communities. They haven’t given our schools the kind of funding and infrastructure that they deserve, given our young people an actual chance to learn. 2) For folks that looked at the impeachment process and the report that they came out with, that was more of an indictment of police accountability than our district attorney. Record low clearance rates, not actually trying to do the work to keep our communities safe. There are real recommendations there about things that can be done that had nothing to do with Larry. 3) They brought this up after they got whupped in this election. Let’s be clear about what this is: This is them being a cornered animal, making as much noise kicking and screaming out the door as they can.” City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier:
“The very idea that this impeachment effort should be pushed forward by Republican politicians, many of whom live hundreds of miles away from Philadelphia, is laughable and insulting. Not only do these lawmakers know nothing about our communities; they are the very same people who time and time again have refused to pass gun legislation that could promote the welfare and safety of people here in Philadelphia.
“We are a tough city. We are a smart city. And we know what BS looks like when we see it. You can’t feign care about gun violence in our communities and at the same time refuse to assist us with getting guns off the street. You can’t pretend to care about Black and brown people in Philadelphia while at the same time you fight us at every turn when we try to get resources for those same communities so they can truly be safe.
“You can’t trick us into thinking that you have our best interests at heart while at the same time disregarding our votes and trying to essentially overturn the election of the DA that we overwhelmingly supported two times. Philadelphians see through you, and we know that this is really about disenfranchisement and control.”City Councilmember Sharon Vaughn:
“We cannot let other politicians from outside of Philadelphia dictate who we decide to elect.
“It is absolute foolishness to believe that DA Larry Krasner is setting criminals free. We know that that is just propaganda. We know that is not true. We know that this man has been fighting for people who look like me for a very long time.
“I believe he will continue to protect the city to the best of his ability. Let’s not get caught up in the game. Let’s not become part of the scam. Let’s keep fighting for what we know is right.”Former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart:
“Our District Attorney, Larry Krasner, was elected and overwhelmingly re-elected by the voters of Philadelphia. An impeachment vote does nothing to address rising gun violence and only serves to further disenfranchise voters in our communities and city. Stopping gun violence needs concerted action from our leaders at the state and local level, not political actions such as this impeachment vote and trial. As leaders in this city and commonwealth, we won’t always agree, and I have been critical of some of District Attorney Krasner’s policies, but we all must work together to address the violence and crime in our city. Philadelphians deserve better, Pennsylvanians deserve better.”
Lorraine “Mrs. Dee Dee” Haw, Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration (CADBI):
“I’m a sister of a brother that was murdered by gun violence, and a mother of an only child that’s been incarcerated going on 28 years. DA Larry Krasner has done more for me than anybody that’s connected to the impeachment effort.
“He is doing what we the people asked him and voted him in to do. It’s only that when he decided that he’s going to arrest corrupted police officers, that the apple fell off the tree. Nothing more, nothing less. He didn’t break no law.
“I need to really let people know that if y’all kick him out, y’all kicking all of us out.”Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry T. Jordan:
“In the waning days of their political power, the fact that these Republicans have chosen divisiveness, racism, and a willful commitment to putting their heads in the sand about real issues facing Pennsylvanians should in fact surprise none of us.
“Let me be very clear: the crisis of gun violence is extraordinarily serious. It is one of if not the most significant challenges not only affecting our city, but our entire nation.
“It is not one that is borne out of Larry Krasner’s policies, and it is not one that will be solved by impeaching a justice-minded District Attorney. This entire stunt is a desperate attempt by House Republicans to cling to one of the last bastions of power.
“I am once again calling on the legislature to actually work to solve the issues that they are elected to address — not engage in political theatrics and threaten the very democracy that we all hold, or should hold, dear.”
Kadida Kenner, CEO, New Pennsylvania Project:
“I lead a voting rights organization whose primary purpose is to register folks to vote. There’s 1.7 million Pennsylvanians who are eligible to vote but don’t. Why don’t they? Political theatrics just like we’re seeing today. This is an act of voter suppression and disenfranchisement.
“How is this a suppression tactic for voters? So many, when we talk to them throughout the state and here in Philadelphia as well, will say, ‘Whatever’s going to be is going to be, my vote doesn’t matter.’ This is exactly the point of what these Republicans are trying to do right now in Harrisburg. If they actually want to do something to bring about change, they could increase the minimum wage, they could actually fund our public education, they could spend billions of dollars sitting in a rainy day fund when it is raining on all of us, they could pass some sensible gun legislation to ensure we are protected in our homes. But they choose in this moment to suppress votes and disenfranchise us. We’ve been here before and we will not allow this to continue.”
Mohan Seshadri, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance:
“On my way over here, I called community leaders in our Vietnamese and Chinese communities across South Philly and Chinatown and asked them what they thought of the DA. They said that he was the first DA that they have ever seen sit down and listen to our immigrant families who are victims of crime. They said that he was the first DA who made undocumented victims of crime feel safe enough to come forward, have their voices heard, and get justice. And in a time when violence against our communities and our small businesses is at an all-time high – violence stoked by the same political faction that’s trying this stunt right now – we need our DA listening to our communities, not dealing with this end-run around democracy.
“Asian Americans have been in the Commonwealth for 400 years, but in so many cases our folks came here for the promise of democracy, for the promise of self-determination, for the promise of freedom of speech. The message that state legislative Republicans are sending them right now is that that’s not Pennsylvania, that’s not the United States. We’re here to protect that hope, we’re here to protect that American dream, we’re here to protect our people’s self-determination. And that means standing with democracy and standing with DA Krasner.”Nic O’Rourke, PA Organizing Director, Working Families Party:
“Race is not real, but racism is. It shows up not just in the face-to-face encounters with Black people, but upon those who are literally working to mitigate the harm upon Black people.
“The City of Philadelphia is a majority Black city. The voters here voted for the current District Attorney twice – overwhelmingly, with a mandate the second time. And by doing the work to actually mitigate harm inflicted upon our bodies and our people, we see what kind of stuff we come up against.
“The will of the people is more important than the opinions of a powerful few. This latest stunt to impeach DA Krasner is less about keeping Pennsylvania safe and more about stripping away the rights of any Pennsylvania community that dares to elect someone who would challenge Republicans’ dedication to ruling for the wealthy white few.”Jarrett Smith, Legislative Director, SEIU Healthcare PA:
“Time and time again we hear from rural Republicans who live hundreds of miles away from Philadelphia saying how much they care about Philly and our well-being. This is a blatant lie. If they cared about Philadelphia, they would be investing in our schools and our children. If they cared about Philadelphia, they would be getting a living wage for service workers across the state. If they actually cared about Philadelphia, they would be passing commonsense guns reforms to get the guns off our streets. If they cared about Philadelphia, they would be protecting queer people like me from threats of violence. If they truly cared about Philadelphia, they would not be trying to disenfranchise the hundreds of thousands of voters of Philadelphia who chose Larry Krasner, not once, but twice, by a margin of two to one.
“In our democracy, the voters decide — not a few white politicians in Harrisburg. Running impeachment over a set of policy differences sets a dangerous precedent, where any elected official could be impeached in the future. We cannot walk back from that.”
Kris Henderson, Executive Director, Amistad Law Project:
“Part of the reason we worked to get Larry elected and re-elected is because he believes in second chances. What that has meant concretely is that there are people who are home right now from prison who would not have been if we had a different DA.
“One of the things that we have gotten with this district attorney is this desire and this actual move toward holding police accountable when they shoot and kill people. When the police officer who killed Dennis Plowden, Jr., was convicted and then sentenced to 11 and a half months to 23 months, it’s not that we wanted that person to get more time because we believe that it would make him a better person. We wanted him to get more time because there’s a double standard. There are people across the city who served much, much more time than that who never killed anyone.”
Clips of all speakers at DA Krasner’s community-led impeachment response can be found on the DAO YouTube page. Additional photos are available upon request. DA Krasner’s legal filings on the impeachment and other documents are available here: https://linktr.ee/phillydalarrykrasner.
Jane Roh, 215-686-8711, [email protected]
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually. Learn more about the DAO by visiting PhillyDA.org.