Welcome back to Broad + Liberty’s Candidate Spotlight Series! Each week, we reach out to candidates all across the Commonwealth up for election to public office — an equal number of Democrats and Republicans; incumbents and challengers. We ask one question per week about public policy pressing to you. Those who choose to respond will have their answers shared on our website every Wednesday through Sunday.
If you are a candidate for public office in Pennsylvania and would like to participate, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s question: Recent years have seen a surge in violent crime not only in Philadelphia, but in smaller cities like Allentown and York. What is your plan to support good and effective policing and prosecutions? Do you support the actions of prosecutors who decline to enforce state law?
Austin Davis (D), Running with Josh Shapiro
Nearly 17 years ago, a man was shot at the end of my family’s block, no more than 50 feet from our front door. The shooting inspired me to take action and put me on a path to public service. I started a youth gun violence prevention program at my high school, and after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, I returned to McKeesport to work for the Allegheny County Executive and start the violence prevention office within the Allegheny Department of Health.
That shooting put me on a path of public service and inspired me to improve my community and combat the senseless violence that takes the lives of far too many of our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers. But nearly two decades later, Pennsylvania communities continue to suffer from the scourge of gun violence and violent crime.
That’s why Josh Shapiro and I have and I have put forward a plan to tackle this issue head on in the Commonwealth. Josh and I will make our communities safer by closing the ghost gun loophole, enacting universal background checks, and passing stronger red flag laws here in Pennsylvania. We will also bring legislators – from both parties – together to invest in mental health by putting a mental health counselor in every school building in the Commonwealth and give our law enforcement more resources and training so they are prepared to deal with mental health crises.
These are solutions that we should all be able to get behind, and they will save lives. The status quo isn’t working, but if we have the courage to break the partisan gridlock and bring people together, we can keep our communities safe.
Carrie Lewis DelRosso (R), Running with Doug Mastriano
Violent crime is tearing communities apart because Democrat-backed prosecutors have abandoned law enforcement heroes and abdicated their responsibility to enforce our laws. When Democrat Josh Shapiro had the opportunity to prosecute gun crime in Philly, he did nothing. First and foremost, I will support our law enforcement and first responders. I will make sure they are fully funded and fully aware that the new administration stands with them 100% as they protect our communities. Second, the job of public prosecutor is to prosecute crimes, plain and simple.
Taxpayers would agree that any prosecutor who refuses to do his or her taxpayer-funded job should not enjoy a taxpayer-funded salary.
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