Philadelphia is a Democrat city… at least as party registrations are concerned. The Mayoral primary is scheduled for next Tuesday and the field of six are beating the bushes trying to secure enough votes to get on the November ballot (and almost certain victory).
Big money is in the race too. Two candidates, Anthony Hardy Williams and Jim Kenny have been supported by deep pockets, Williams by suburban based financiers and Kenny by city based unions. The other candidates have been left to pass the hat. Not surprisingly, Kenny and Williams appear tied in polls.
The local TV and newspapers have done a reasonably good job interviewing each candidate and making available to the public the candidates’ views on a wide range of issues, from taxes, to schools to policing. All of the candidate looked like utter fools with their proposals on school funding, most likely because they were advised to wait until elected mayor before telling the public that taxes must be increased. Never the less, the public has an idea of who’s running.
One of the policies on the minds of about 45% of Philadelphians is the stop and frisk police procedure. For many African Americans this is a discriminatory practice and should be stopped. Hmmm.
Since the current Mayor (Michael Nutter) took office and appointed Charles Ramsey Police Chief, the homicide rate has decreased each year and stands now 46% of 2007. Part of Ramsey efforts has been “stop and frisk”.
Williams said this week that he would fire Chief Ramsey if elected because the Chief was the architect of “stop and frisk”. Williams said he was listening to the people and would take this action once elected. Hmmm.
Mayor Nutter who has stood mainly on the sidelines during the primary campaign and who is term limited and can’t run, issued a statement that said “if someone is not smart enough to recognize the decrease in homicides, then that person is probably not smart enough to run the rest of city government”.
Of course a poorly managed “stop and frisk” policy could run the risk of violating individual rights. And with the recent spate of “police on black” incidents, Philadelphia “stop and frisk” also needs to be carefully administered or excesses can happen.
For a city which once boasted over one homicide per day, it is refreshing to see this senseless number decreasing. And more than anything else, guess which section of Philadelphia where these homicides take place?
I hope African American voters can see that Williams is probably not smart enough for their best interests.