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GIORDANO: Next Mayor’s Race Is An Inflection Point for Philly

I hosted six Democrats and one Republican running for Philadelphia mayor on Talk Radio 1210 last week. A listener from Delaware County tweeted at me, “Totally awesome format! I am not a resident of Philadelphia, but I live in DELCO, so what happens there affects me.”

Public safety was the key issue that I raised with the candidates. If you live in the suburbs but work or play in Philadelphia, you want to feel safe when you visit the city. Under the current administration and District Attorney Larry Krasner, no sane person feels safe.

Maybe, more importantly, the lawlessness in Philadelphia is bleeding into the suburbs. Abington Police Chief Pat Molloy is often on my show. He tells me that since the Philadelphia City Council, supported by Mayor Jim Kenney, passed the Driving Equality bill, Abington officers are making many more car stops for vehicles with no registration and often with illegal guns and drugs.

The premise of the bill is that cops can’t be expected to stop people of color for motor vehicle violations relatively. Therefore, for a significant number of violations, they are to write down the license plate information and send a ticket in the mail. A mayor concerned with public safety would veto a bill like this.

A Philadelphia mayor concerned with public safety would also remove Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw from her position.

Outlaw was hired because Kenney promised to put a Black woman in that position. I don’t see any clear plan from Outlaw to turn things around, and according to several sources, the morale in the police department is very low.

Only Democratic candidates Derek Green and Jeff Brown said they would remove Outlaw, and Republican David Oh would replace her with a former or current member of the Philadelphia Police Department. Allan Domb told me he believes Kenney tied Outlaw’s hands. On a very positive note, a candidate said to me off the record that former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsay would be in charge of public safety if that candidate were elected. That would be a tremendous development.

My biggest disappointment was that the candidates did not seem energized by my argument that Philadelphia needs at least a thousand more cops, and the current police salaries are not moving the needle. I argued that we need to increase wages a great deal more but also need to develop a campaign using athletes, celebs, influencers, etc., to say that being a cop is a great, noble profession.

This problem of recruiting cops is not just confined to Philadelphia. David Kennedy, president of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, wrote in the Pittsburg Tribune that when he applied to be a state trooper in 1995, he had to compete for the position with 10,000 applicants. Last year he reported that last year the Pennsylvania State Police had only 1,000 applicants.

I don’t recall any widespread issues with the state police, but it indicates progressive critics’ tarnishing of the profession. This trend cannot continue without putting every citizen at risk.

I’m still hopeful that even though I say deficiencies in the candidates, every one of them would protect Philadelphia better than Jim Kenney. The candidates in descending order that I trust the most to get a handle on crime are David Oh, Allan Domb, Cherelle Parker, and Amen Brown.

Former Councilperson Helen Gym declined to respond to our invitation. If she is elected mayor, Philadelphia will become more lawless and violent. The phrase “inflection point” is often overused, but this mayor’s race result is clearly an inflection point.

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GIORDANO: If Gym Gets In As Mayor of Philly, I’m Outta Here

When Delaware Valley Journal asked that I make my last column of the year about the biggest stories of the year, I was thrilled.

I decided that right out of the box I’d tell you 2022’s biggest story was the fact that we have nine candidates to become Philadelphia’s next mayor. And I believe at least three of them would make a marked difference in increasing public safety.

But one would make public safety much worse if elected.

I have interviewed former city council members Allan Domb and Cherelle Parker and state Rep. Amen Brown on several occasions and they are solidly pro-police and have good plans to turn Philadelphia around. Parker last week on my show unprompted attacked so-called safe injection sites and amplified her big plan for community policing. Domb was very adamant that he would flood Kensington with cops and shut down area drug corners. Brown has gone after the Philadelphia district attorney’s lenient on criminals policies and is very pro-police.  These three candidates would give Philadelphia a fighting chance to turn things around.

However, if former city councilperson Helen Gym becomes mayor, I will move out of Philadelphia.

She is the darling of every radical group in the city and many across the country. She would drive hundreds of policemen and women to leave the force and the woke policies she would enact would also set Philadelphia back. She might even make Jim Kenney’s eight years look decent.

The biggest suburban story this year was the work of Bucks County activists Megan Brock, Tim Daily, and Simon Campbell, Pennridge School Board President Joan Cullen, and the leaders of the Central Bucks School Board. Brock, who was voted the person of the year by my listeners, developed a number of devastating stories about local doctors and hospitals supporting minors using puberty blockers and getting surgery to change their biological sexual identity. Daily and Campbell won a big lawsuit against the Pennsbury School Board over First Amendment issues. Cullen and also leaders of the Central Bucks School District had to weather tremendous assaults from local activists and groups like the ACLU. They championed parental rights in the middle of numerous controversies.

The two biggest stories that gave me and my listeners the most satisfaction due to our involvement were the impeachment of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and the removal of the box that was covering the Columbus Statue in Marconi Park in South Philly. One listener said we got Columbus out of the box and put Krasner in the penalty box.

I love sports and the Phillies surprise run through the playoffs and World Series was fun and dramatic. And the Eagles with the best record in the NFL conjures up thoughts of the championship of 2017. The Lia Thomas swimming drama at the University of Pennsylvania came a happy ending to me when Thomas was defeated at the NCAA swimming meet.

2022 was a year that had everything for our area. Sadly, Philadelphia passed 500 homicides again and set records for people shot and carjacked.

So, when I had Steve Keeley of Fox 29 on my show and I asked him about the story that jumped out at him, he came up with a big silver lining. Steve recounted the story of Buddy the Cat, who had been mauled by dogs turned on him by some kids in Philadelphia. Buddy was saved by great medical people and adopted by one of them. Thanks to Keeley, the inspiration of Buddy will be top of mind when I think of 2022.

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