An Election Victory for Criminal Justice & Judicial Justice

In the November General Election, progressives won a major victory for criminal law reform and judicial justice. Receiving 75% of the votes for district attorney, Larry Krasner earned a convincing victory and a clear mandate for criminal law reform. And 5 of the 8 Democratic candidates we supported and worked for also won their seats at the appellate court level – Supreme Court: Debra Todd; Superior Court: Maria McLaughlin, Debbie Kunselman, Carolyn Nichols; Commonwealth Court: Ellen Ceisler. This is a step forward for equal justice and civil rights and hopefully will propel us to more victories in 2018.

We could not have accomplished this without the activism of NN supporters. Led by Field Organizer Andrea Putnam, Neighborhood Networks conducted a targeted GOTV campaign, which enlisted 60 volunteers to canvass their own neighborhoods, distribute literature, and work at the polls. We know the word got out in the divisions where we worked because time and again, voters came to the polls already with NN GOTV Lit in their hands.

As the room filled with a diverse group of activists at the election night celebration, the next Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner led a chant “This is what the movement looks like”. In this election, NN worked in a coalition with other progressive groups, such as Reclaim Philadelphia, 215 PA Alliance and Working Families Party, who were also hitting the streets to help elect a candidate- Larry Krasner- who pundits said could not get elected. And have no doubt about it, NN is part of a movement that can get votes to elect progressives to office.

Of course, much lies before us as we enter 2018. We must continue to work hard for progressive candidates, organize to Turn PA Blue, and democratize the Democratic Party starting at the grassroots committeeperson level. We need to continue working with OurCity/OurSchools coalition which is on its way to abolishing the SRC and instituting local control in our Philly public schools.  And we have to support a Peoples Platform for policies and programs that are important to most Americans like health care for all, livable wages, and quality education. When our message is clear and right, the people will be there.

Yes, this is what the movement looks like with people voting in elections, advocating for progressive policy in legislative halls, and rallying for needed change in the streets.  With your participation and support, may it continue to grow and provide the way forward for our city, state and country.

Thank You.

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Margaret Lenzi

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