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Roundup: New candidates to challenge District Attorney Seth Williams

January 6, 2017

Tribune Staff Writer

One Republican and a new Democrat this week announced their resepective candidacy for District Attorney, challenging incumbent DA Seth Williams and increasing to five the number of people opposing him.

Former Assistant DA Beth Grossman announced her candidacy for the Republican DA primary Tuesday while another former Assistant DA, Democrat Michael Untermeyer, announced his candidacy on Wednesday.

Grossman seeks to challenge Williams in the 2017 election with the campaign slogan “Beth NOT Seth” leading the way.

“It is a tragic irony that Philadelphia’s chief law enforcement officer is himself the target of a law enforcement investigation,” Grossman wrote in her campaign announcement.

Newly announced candidate Untermeyer said in a statement, “It is time for the top law enforcement official in Philadelphia to set the standard for innovation, integrity and sound management.”

Three other Democrats, former city managing director Richard Negrin, former federal prosecutor Joe Kahn and former Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni, are also running.

Sen. Daylin Leach

supports Women’s March

Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach endorsed the Pa. chapter of the Women’s March on Washington, he announced on Tuesday.

The Pennsylvania chapter of the Women’s March is working to organize women in the state and get them to Washington D.C. in time for the Jan. 21 march, expected to draw around 200,000 marchers.

“Women’s rights, civil rights and environmental protection all face an existential threat,” Leach said in a statement. “The Women’s March on Washington brings attention to those important issues and spurs effective action.”

Leach said he and his 15-year-old daughter, Brennan, will join the marchers in Washington.

Alongside his support and expected attendance at the march, Leach is hosting “Daylin’s Resistance Forum” at Upper Merion Middle School in King of Prussia to “provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss the best ways to protect progressive policies and institutions.”

Philadelphian Burley makes Forbes List

Former Executive Director of the Philadelphia Youth Commission Jamira Burley, 28, has landed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for her work in law and policy. Burley worked as the National Deputy Millennial Vote Director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and previously served as the manager for Amnesty International USA tackling gun violence, criminal justice and police accountability.

The Philadelphia native graduated from Temple University and currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Sheriff’s Office

boosts success of Unit

After being placed under the control of the Sheriff’s Office, the Fugitive Warrant Unit has arrested 4,412 out of 6,678 people with outstanding warrants, a 66 percent success rate, Sheriff Jewell Williams announced last week.

The Fugitive Warrant Unit was placed under the supervision of the Sheriff’s Office in July 2014. It was then that Williams realized the unit’s members were not properly trained or certified by the state to carry out their duties. Warrant Unit officers were placed under direct supervision of certified deputy sheriffs until they could complete a 19-week certification program.

“The work is dangerous,” Williams said in a statement, stating that Inspector Vernon Muse, in charge of the Fugitive Warrant Unit, broke his leg chasing a suspect.

Along with making arrests, the unit also managed more than 600 people on house arrest.

Local politicians ring in new year with celebration

Local politicians joined hundreds of Philadelphia youth for a “village” style New Year’s Eve celebration at the Olney Arts Center.

The family-oriented New Year’s Eve event was coordinated by the P.L.U.S. (Peace, Love, Unity and Soul) Movement, an organization dedicated to overcoming injustice, and featured musical performances like one from activist Michael “OG LAW” Ta’Bon, food and vendors.

Registration open for China Study Abroad Program

Registration is open for college students to apply for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s China Study Abroad Program. The program is available to Black students living in or attending school in the district of a Congressional Black Caucus member.

Dwight Evans is the U.S. Rep and Congressional Black Caucus member for Philadelphia students attending schools including University of Pennsylvania, Drexel and Temple University. Students must be enrolled in a four-year university or graduating from community college in May 2017 to be eligible.

The two-week program will take 18 students around China where they will learn Mandarin, attend lectures on Chinese history and culture. and tour landmarks like the Great Wall and various museums.

An application for the program can be found online at https://cbcfinc.academicworks.com/opportunities/388.

Report: Women make up less than 20 percent of Pa. General Assembly

A report by the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University revealed that the state ranks 40th in the nation for representation of women in the state legislature, with women making up less than 20 percent of the seats for 2017 General Assembly. Of the more than 250 General Assembly members, 49 of them are women.

The report found that 58 percent of women candidates won their races compared to 65 percent among men.

A preview of the report can be found online at http://www.chatham.edu/pcwp/research/ and a full report will be released this spring.