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Citizen Frustrated with Lack of City Action on Violence

With the new year, Philly sets a tragic new record for murders in the city. In 2022, what do you most hope the city improves upon? Send your thoughts to voices@philadelphiaweekly.com.

Image | Rhea Ball

I’m just another concerned citizen in a sea of broken promises, campaign slogans, and politicians that are sadly concerned about personal agendas and throwing money at programs without oversight instead of focusing on solutions to actually stop crime and create better outcomes for those suffering in poverty.

The ignorance that Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner goes beyond the typical “Democratic” machine and presents itself as mere incompetence and negligence. No one wants crime, I am assured that they do not want it either. However, these two men, and also City Council that has been notably silent, have actual power to create changing and lasting laws that can help fight crime, create changes in our local judicial system to prevent recidivism, create changes to our school system and turn Philadelphia around to invite the best and brightest in cutting edge organizations instead of treading on the same unstable ground for decades.

Every murder should pierce the soul of every elected official and create a source of outrage that should permeate in City Hall to find solutions to stop these problems now.

Our City is a national embarrassment and it should never come to giving money to non-governmental programs without any oversight to help future problems that honestly do nothing for now. Additionally, years of neglect from politicians that enact Quid Pro Quos, elected people that neglect areas such as the Philadelphia School District and outside hires of departments that have not made sustainable connections within the stakeholders of the City is not an action that has worked.

Waiting out a second term to use as a resume to springboard to a state or federal office is an action that does not work. Creating the guise of a “progressive” agenda that has done nothing but not only regressed our City but has offended every black and brown citizen including myself does not work. A 17-member legislative body that enacts policies that further bind police to do their jobs, while some on that legislative body has curried favor with organizations over constituents does not work. Most importantly, lack of incarcerating repeat offenders does not work, and is highly insulting to the families of the victims and the communities of our City.

What works are sensible policies that are respective of race, gender and community. What works is action taken to not only hold people accountable for crimes but to create opportunities for redemption through incarceration and actual time served, while creating standards to show that crime pays a heavy price and that is time served. What works are politicians that place constituents over cash and favors. Lastly, what works is a dismantling of a “Democratic” network that only pushes favorites and does not allow for fresh voices and opinions with no fiduciary ties and ideas and actual vision for our City that generates growth, excitement, and passion back to our City.

For the 500 plus and sadly counting murder victims in our City and the many more families that are affected by violence that Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw claims are just a “small demographic,” my utmost and heartfelt prayers goes out to each and every one of you for comfort and healing during this time. We are all grieving together.

And for the current elected officials that are not trying to make the City a better place, that are placing personal agendas over actual progress, I have one question that I hope you can look in the mirror and ask: What are you doing? And if that answer is “I am doing all that I can…but” (insert excuse); then shame on you for letting down our City.

I would love to run for City Council in 2023, but ask the question often, what can one citizen do in this trying time?

I’m just another concerned citizen in the City of Philadelphia.

Frank Clement

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