Krasner Reveals Himself as Grossman No-Shows

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DEMOCRATIC DA candidate Larry Krasner had a chance to share his policies solo with the audience at Arch Street United Methodist Church when his Republican opponent, Beth Grossman, canceled her participation owing to a schedule conflict. Photo by Elizabeth Crawley

Democratic DA candidate Larry Krasner fielded questions from voters at the Arch Street United Methodist Church on Saturday. “A Conversation with Krasner,” a Facebook event hosted by Philadelphia United for Progress (Philly Up), was supposed to be a forum for voters to query Krasner and GOP DA candidate Beth Grossman. After Grossman cancelled – James Williams, her campaign manager, cited “a scheduling issue” – the event was reformatted. Mimi Salazar, Elections Committee chair of Philly Up, said, “This is really to get to know Larry.”

Krasner revisited his views on civil asset forfeiture and sanctuary cities in Saturday’s conversation, which were key topics disputed during Thursday’s DA debate. He said the amount of asset forfeiture in Philadelphia is “more than twice the total amount” in areas such as Brooklyn and Los Angeles combined.

“If you were wondering why, that’s simple: It’s because they got to keep the money. That is unfortunately how the DA’s office ran. That’s how the Public Nuisance Task Force ran. I’ll just leave it at that,” said Krasner.

Civil asset forfeiture is a key issue that Grossman, former chief of the Public Nuisance Task Force for eight years, holds a favorable position on.

The conversation also covered topics on prison reform, victim’s rights, police reform and institutional bias of African Americans and women.

Audience members asked how Krasner would pursue improving assistance for victims. Stan Horwitz, an audience member, asked, “Some of your detractors question your commitment to victims’ rights. How to you respond to that concern?”

Krasner responded, “They (other candidates) knew as a criminal defense lawyer my usual client was not a victim. But it’s not accurate.” He said there is a “lack of will” in the District Attorney’s Office to help victims of crimes.

Questions also focused on race and gender. In response to how he would change racial bias once in the office, Krasner suggested he could start with a program to investigate for institutional bias.

“We have a system that disproportionately incarcerates men and women of color. I think that that has to do a lot with why this campaign has been a movement,” he explained.

The event received positive feedback from attendees. In response to the event, audience member, Robert Boyden said, “I live in Delaware County. I can’t even vote in Philadelphia. He is so enlightening; I said this guy has to get into office. So I’m volunteering, I’m doing canvassing” for Krasner.

Despite Democrats holding a nearly insurmountable advantage over Republicans in registered voters in Philadelphia, Krasner is making an all-out push to reach voters prior to the election on Nov. 7.

“We are going to be pursuing what is called ‘The Least of These Campaign,’” he emphasized. “We are deliberately going to voters who are usually not contacted. For too long, political operatives have gone to the same voters and it doesn’t grow democracy – and it doesn’t grow the vote.”

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