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Green Party LogoPhilly Greens Respond to Mayor Nutter on Crime Prevention


February 2, 2012

Chris Robinson, 215-843-4256 and

On January 26, Mayor Michael Nutter presented his new "crime fighting measures," which was widely reported. As if to publicize the monophonic nature of the new plan, Nutter was accompanied by Police Commissioner Ramsey and District Attorney Seth Williams, both of whom represent law enforcement.

The Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, points to the fact that Nutter's new measures sound much like previous plans with an emphasis on militarization of the anti-crime effort. The mayor specifically called them "fighting measures," relying on an increase in new police, additional overtime for police, stricter enforcement of gun laws and new surveillance technology. Nutter also wants better coordination of federal, state and local police agencies.

The Green Party City Committee says, "Nutter's tired and one-sided approach to crime fails to consider important complementary strategies, such as building community, protecting human rights, revitalizing the economy, and providing citizens with education, jobs and healthcare. These types of strategies, which the Green Party supports, offer alternatives to mass incarceration and an endless revolving door back to prison for offenders."

Vivek Ananthan, chair of the GPOP City Committee, said, "Greens believe community is the basic unit of politics because that is where each member of society can have an impact. Community involvement should be the foundation of any public policy, including crime prevention. I did not hear that in Nutter's presentation."

"Oh, this is not right," said Carol McLean, the Green's membership secretary. "In order to deal with the root causes of violence and crime in our society," explained McLean, "there should be a coalition of agencies focused on building community. The causes of violence and crime must be eradicated through education, job creation, healthcare, and social services. Law enforcement never deals with the socio-economic causes of the problem."

Hugh Giordano, at-large member of the Green City Committee, said, "Nutter missed his chance to end the War on Drugs and replace it with a War on Unemployment. Drug addiction can be cured through universal single-payer healthcare. What we need now is full employment with a living wage for everyone. This will require the revitalization of Philadelphia's economy through a Green New Deal."

Another out-spoken critic of Nutter was Chris Robinson, at-large member of the GPOP City Committee. "Nutter's crime reduction measures rely on a racially discriminatory increase in the prison population. Greens believe that racially-selective mass incarceration is wrong," emphasized Robinson. "Crime can only be prevented when all of our neighbors' human rights are protected. Greens would rather see Nutter end the school-to-prison pipeline."