Shared from the 5/10/2021 Philadelphia Inquirer - Philly Edition eEdition


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Krasner committed to police reform

After the police shootings of multiple victims of color in cities all over the country, and the resulting emergence of the national Black Lives Matter movement, it is obvious that we are facing a very real need for police reform. We are blessed in Philadelphia to have District Attorney Larry Krasner, a leader in the national movement of progressive DA’s who are committed to reforming our justice system, from police conduct to cash bail, to rules of probation, and mass incarceration, all of which penalize people for being poor and are based on racist ideology. The candidacy of his opponent in this primary election is supported and financed by the Fraternal Order of Police and like-minded organizations who have a long history of overlooking misconduct of those within their ranks, failing to take meaningful disciplinary action, and opposing reform of any kind. We must assume that Carlos Vega’s election will mean an end to police accountability and the reform that is needed if our justice system is to work for everyone.

Andrea Preis, Philadelphia

Independents silenced in primaries

Pennsylvania’s primary election is May 18. I can’t vote. Why? Answer: I’m an independent, along with more than 1.3 million registered voters in the state of Pennsylvania. That number continues to climb as dissatisfaction with partisan politics and legislative gridlock grows.

Pennsylvania’s closed primary system requires us to join a political party in order to participate in the primary election, even when: 1. the primary election is an integral stage of the public election process, 2. all taxpayers fund the primary election, and 3. the primary election is the only competitive stage of the election. This cannot stand. No voter should be required to join a private political organization as a condition of participating at this critical stage of our public election process. Pennsylvania protects the private rights of two political organizations at the expense of the voting rights of its own citizens. Let all voters vote.

Jennifer Bullock, chair, Independent Pennsylvanians, Philadelphia

Calls for governmentowned broadband

In a recent article (April 24), The Inquirer explores calls for government-owned broadband networks. Unfortunately, these networks often fail as local governments lack the institutional knowledge to deploy and maintain networks themselves. Rather than trying to reshape our approach to broadband deployment drastically, state legislatures should instead look for more practical reforms where they do have expertise, though in an admittedly more mundane area: local regulatory oversight.

Broadband providers need permits for everything from zoning and construction to access to local rights-of-ways and utility poles. But these costs quickly become prohibitive to private providers, making communities unprofitable for investment and additional deployment.

In the R Street Institute’s latest “Broadband Scorecard Report,” which scores states on these more mundane laws that inhibit investment and innovation, Pennsylvania received a C. With a streamlined deployment process, legislators can help spur competition without the risky, costly, and often problematic solution that is municipal broadband.

Jeffrey Nims Westling, Washington, D.C.,

Clearing the Record

In Trudy Rubin’s Sunday Worldview column, the number of new daily

COVID-19 cases in India was incorrectly stated, referring to those cases as deaths. There have been

300,000 new COVID-19 cases daily in India.

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