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New leadership must end the lawlessness in Philadelphia.
The stories about increased crime rates, murders, gunshot victims, assault, and carjackings continue to dominate the local news and social media in the Philadelphia region.
Citizens on both sides of the aisle are discussing crime rates and safety concerns impacting daily life in the city. National and regional chains from Wawa to Starbucks, Walgreens and CVS are closing locations or not renewing leases based on safety concerns for their employees and the never-ending shoplifting problem.
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My far-left friends are concerned. My center-left friends in the city are scared, and looking at options to move. My independent friends believe it is a gross dereliction of responsibility to let the city collapse this way. My center-right friends aren’t going to the city anymore. My far-right friends believe it is a war zone. There is no political affiliation that believes things are going well in the City of Philadelphia.
Everyone acknowledges there is a serious crime problem in the city. The mayor and the district attorney offer no aggressive solutions to protect the citizens. The police feel abandoned by the district attorney’s office and the time it takes to process a criminal is longer than the criminal will spend in jail.
As the windows of my restaurant were shattered on Sunday night, I realized like many of the citizens of Philadelphia there will be no justice in this case. There will be no real investigation and nobody will be held accountable. The resources of the police department are razor-thin and a smashed window is not a priority.
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This is how a city falls. A smashed window becomes acceptable and part of life. Next, it’s a stolen car or a home burglary. Eventually, violent crimes, gunshots, and carjackings become an acceptable risk to living in the city. Walking around a corner and being mugged or beaten is now more of a concern than ever for tourists and citizens.
One of the fundamental responsibilities of city government to the taxpayers is to provide a safe and secure environment in our neighborhoods, schools, and business communities. If a citizen makes a decision to purchase a home, rent an apartment, or open a business they should feel confident their investment will be safe and protected by the law.
If there are no protections for people or property, why should someone choose to invest and commit to being part of the fabric of the community? Basic protections are the fundamental responsibility of our city government. They have failed in this endeavor and it is time for a dramatic change in leadership.
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People of all parties and all walks of life deserve to live in a safe, non-violent, and thriving city. The policies currently in place are proven failures and continue to erode the residential and business environment that will help all citizens live a better life.