ACLU Launches Campaign to Educate Voters on Role of Police Lobby in Philadelphia District Attorney Race

May 11, 2021 4:45 pm

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PHILADELPHIA — The American Civil Liberties Union launched an advertising campaign in the Philadelphia primary for district attorney, including digital ads on social media and text messages to voters. The campaign aims to educate voters about the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the lobby which represents current and retired police officers. The FOP has spent six figures in this race. The ACLU doesn’t endorse or oppose candidates but believes an informed electorate is good for our democracy. In 2017, the ACLU began educating voters on the importance of the role and influence of district attorneys with a door-knocking campaign led by formerly incarcerated canvassers having conversations with voters.

Taylor Pendergrass, deputy director of campaigns at the ACLU’s Justice Division, issued the following statement:

“This campaign seeks to educate voters about the role of the police lobby in influencing the results of a district attorney race. The Philly FOP has come out strongly against reforms of the criminal legal system. This campaign will educate voters on where the FOP stands and encourage voters to make informed decisions.”

Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, issued the following statement:

“Philadelphians have come out loudly, especially over the last year, to make their voices heard as they call for change in our criminal legal system. We want justice for people — disproportionately Black and Brown people — who are entangled in the criminal legal system, killed by police, and otherwise penalized for going about their daily lives. The people of this city are demanding better of our system, and the FOP has made clear it will fight those demands.”

The ACLU is spending $250,000 on the advertising campaign.

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