Report: 2020 Philadelphia Ballot Guide

In addition to our three PHL-DSA–endorsed candidates, who we're very proud to have supported since their primary campaigns, our Electoral Committee has shared recommendations on this election's Philadelphia ballot questions.

Endorsed Candidates

 

Philadelphia Ballot Questions

QUESTION 1: STOP & FRISK

We, the citizens of Philadelphia, call upon the Police Department to eliminate the practice of unconstitutional stop and frisk, consistent with judicial precedent, meaning an officer must have reasonable suspicion that a person is engaged in criminal activity in order to stop that person, and, therefore, an officer cannot stop someone unlawfully because of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religious affiliation or expression, or other protected characteristic.

Recommendation: Vote YES. 

Stop and frisk is an illegal policy that disproportionately targets poor black and brown communities. Any step toward ending it should be supported. 

 

QUESTION 2: VICTIM ADVOCATE

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to create the Office of the Victim Advocate to advocate for crime victims and to work with victim-services providers to coordinate, plan, train, educate, and investigate issues relating to crime victims?

Recommendation: Vote NO. 

Despite the positive-sounding title, in practice an Office of the Victim Advocate is under no obligation to actually advocate for victims, and in some cases can do the opposite. 

 

QUESTION 3: POLICE COMMISSION

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to provide for the creation of a Citizens Police Oversight Commission, and to authorize City Council to determine the composition, powers and duties of the Commission?

Recommendation: Vote YES. 

Simple reform efforts like this have been tried many times in many places, and they don’t address the underlying systemic causes of police violence. But even if the commission can only mitigate a small amount of the harm, it’s still a step in the right direction. 

 

QUESTION 4: BOND ISSUE

Should the City of Philadelphia borrow ONE HUNDRED THIRTY FOUR MILLION DOLLARS ($134,000,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?

Recommendation: Vote YES.

The city needs these services. Down the line, corporate interests will lobby for austerity to repay the debt, but we’ll fight as we always do to make corporations and billionaires pay their fair share instead.

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