Lilac Philly

2020 Ballot Question Voting Guide

By Lilac Electoral Working Group, Oct. 20, 2020

  1. Vote Yes: Stop and Frisk is a racist policy that allows the police to search people without any justification. The PPD makes about 10,000 of these stops a year allowing them to freely harass oppressed communities and contributing to mass incarceration.
  2. Vote No: Victim’s advocate organizations promote “tough on crime” narratives that help justify police brutality and mass incarceration. Many of the proposed “responsibilities” of the Office already fall to the District Attorney, who carries them out dutifully and (overly) aggressively. While City Council envisions that the Office will aid victims of gun violence and other crimes in our city, in reality, it will simply duplicate the efforts (and funding) of the police and prosecutorial arms of the justice system. Unfortunately, this Ballot question is simply a stalking horse for Marsy’s Law undermining the rights of defendants, which are already so imperiled in our courts.
  3. Vote Yes: The current Police Advisory Commission is toothless. It lacks funding and subpoena power to get the documents it needs. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw refused to give any documents to the PAC following the highly publicized police crackdown on George Floyd protests. The PPD also blocked a PAC investigation into the 300 police who made racist posts on Facebook. The new Citizens Police Oversight Commission does not have many specific implementation details, but there is potential to close some of these gaps if proper pressure is applied to City Council. Adding this commission to the charter enshrines its duties like any other institution of the city, rather than acting at the whim of the mayor like the PAC currently does.
  4. Vote Yes: This is a just a routine budgeting question that’s necessary to keep the city running. However, there aren’t any restrictions on how this money will be spent. Will it be used to help underserved and marginalized parts of the city? Probably not. The status quo here is untenable. When City Council and the Mayor ask for unrestricted funds, we must question who benefits from this borrowing? Will it protect, will it ameliorate the lives of the marginalized in our City? Will the sixty two million dollars allocated to our municipal buildings ensure that those buildings are energy efficient? Will the seven million to parks and recreation succor the rich in Center City or create green spaces all across our city?