Joe Khan Meets with Community as DA Race Heats Up
“We need to pursue a broader vision of justice which treats people as people whether they’ve been affected by the justice system as witness, victim, or defendant,” Joe Khan said at a meet-and-greet event in Fairmount on February 24th.
Khan, a former federal prosecutor, is a candidate for Philadelphia’s soon-to-be vacant office of District Attorney. The event was held at the upstairs bar of Rembrandt’s Restaurant at 23rd and Aspen. Khan addressed those assembled in a formal question and answer session and then was available for one-on-one conversation.
Topics covered in the Q&A portion included:
-Holding police to their constitutional responsibilities. “The short answer is training,” Khan said. He spoke a little about the leverage the DA’s office has in cases of officers using excessive force. The DA’s office can choose not to prosecute these cases unless the officer in question has undergone an agreed upon course of training.
-The temperament required to do the job. “It can be exhausting to be vigilant, but the district attorney must be vigilant. The day the DA can’t do that is the day he needs to resign.”
-Bail Reform. “Nobody should be held because they can’t afford bail. We have to ask if the person is dangerous or a flight risk. If the answer to those questions is ‘no’ then we can find a way to get them out of prison.”
-Relief for refugees and immigrants. “Philadelphia is a sanctuary city and Philadelphia will remain a sanctuary city. We are in a moment where there is no question about where the president stands on immigration policy. I want to go beyond defying the efforts of ICE. I want to make Philadelphia the leader in combatting human trafficking. “
Many of those assembled seemed already familiar with Khan and had nice things to say about him.
“We felt we had to take some kind of action after this election season. We’re impressed with Joe’s strength of character” said Caroline Cahill, a petitioner for the campaign who met Khan years ago through their church.
“As soon as he announced I was excited because he is a wonderful candidate,” said James Berardinelli, himself a candidate for judge in the Court of Common Pleas.
“I think his message and unique background as a litigator will help him stand out,” said Linto Thomas, Khan’s finance director.
Khan’s legal career began as a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office where he dealt with complicated cases of rape, child abuse, and domestic violence.
“I like that he’s progressive. I feel like we’ve lost control over the federal government and grassroots [candidates] like Joe help us regain control over our party base.” Hudson Smith, an attendee, said. Smith was too young to vote in the primary although he says he would have voted for Bernie Sanders. The general election was Smith’s first time casting a vote.
More information about Joe Khan and his campaign is available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JoeforPhilly/