Sherrell Parker’s victory in the Philadelphia mayoral primary over a progressive challenger who drew extensive media coverage has left Democrats on how to deal with concerns about crime and safety in the big city. It highlighted the internal division.
Parker, an establishment favorite who ran for a hard-on-crime policy, won out over rivals calling for a more lenient approach to addressing the city’s security concerns, slashing liberal condemnation in major urban areas. cramped.
Her success is the latest example of how crime is polarizing within the Democratic Party, with some supporting moderate politicians like her and New York City Mayor Eric Adams (Democrat). Some lead left-wing candidates to victory in cities such as Los Angeles. , Boston and Chicago.
Centrist Democrats see Parker’s victory as a sign of a successful strategy.
“This trend seems undeniable. With a few exceptions, the far-left progressive ‘Stop Funding the Police’ movement is outright rejected in urban America,” says the center-left think tank. said Jim Kessler, executive vice president of policy at The Third Way.
“It’s worth noting that many progressives operating in urban areas are abandoning their previous ‘stop funding’ positions as soon as possible,” he said.
Parker’s win on Tuesday makes her the first black and female mayor of Philadelphia, a significant departure from dozens of white male predecessors.
“There is another unmistakable trend that most people are unaware of: the rise and success of a new generation of centrist, African-American urban politicians. Eric Adams, Justin Bibb, Sherrell. Parker, Colin Allred,” Kessler said. “The future of the Democratic Party may be seen in these prominent members of Congress.
Parker, a former state congressman and city council member, faces Republican David Orr in the general election, but it is not expected to be a close race. Pennsylvania is poised to deliver big results in 2024, so her chances of winning in November are drawing attention to her crime-fighting platform.
Democrats admit that crime is one of the most difficult things to discuss effectively. While most agree that more needs to be done to make Americans across the country feel safer, they are more concerned about how to do it in a way that doesn’t alienate or insult people. have very different views.
Democrats want to strike a stark contrast with Republicans, who many believe are wrong and inhumane in their approach to crime. They see this as a win-win problem for their side and are working hard to straighten out the twists in the message.
So far, centrists and progressives seem to agree that there have been some positive outcomes compared to Republicans.
“A lot of those places [Republicans] We haven’t seen the success we hoped for in criminal attacks,” said Democratic strategist Eddie Bale.
“lots of [Democrats] A very balanced response has been found, recognizing that there are areas where crime and people are more concerned, but which support criminal justice reform of the police and prosecutors while having an effective police strategy. It’s not an either/or,” he said.
Victories are encouraging in some areas, but many believe there is still room for improvement. The variability in major city mayoral primary results, which has become more pronounced in recent weeks, shows where the party remains fragmented.
“It’s important to properly fund and support law enforcement,” said activist Karen Tiernan, who was a delegate to Senator Bernie Sanders (Berney, Vermont) in 2016. .
But Tiernan and other progressives suggest there are layers of complexity in the issue that the party misses the mark. Crime and police enforcement, he believes, are interconnected with other quality-of-life issues and should be addressed in a more holistic manner.
“A focus on work that improves quality of life, addresses mental health issues, and makes our world a safer and fairer place should be the focus of Democrats,” he said.
That wasn’t necessarily the case in Philadelphia, where Parker’s platform was seen as tougher than most Democrats seeking to alleviate growing safety concerns in the city.
She called for a revised version of the controversial “stop and frisk” policy that many criminal justice advocates have long argued is outdated and harmful to residents, especially people of color. Neither of her main primary antagonists, Helen Jim and Rebecca Reinhart, supported her position.
She is running for the Philadelphia Patrol on the premise of adding hundreds of police officers, and wants significantly more funding for police recruitment, an area that many progressives have struggled with. thinking.
This severity is especially evident in the post-George Floyd era of politics, where Democrats from both parties are said to be working hard to rethink police enforcement as atrocities continue to ravage communities. Says.
Progressives and some centrists hoped Jim and Reinhart’s softer platform would inspire residents to think differently about how to reduce crime and invest in their communities. In Chicago, the victory of Brandon Johnson (Democrat) laid the rough blueprint. He ran to the left of police union-backed opposition Paul Vallas. Paul Vallas is an older white man who even some moderates admit to making a series of mistakes.
But after Parker’s victory, Democrats were once again tasked with considering what factors contributed to Parker’s victory and whether adjustments should be made for future campaigns. A major Democratic polling firm with ties to a key ally of President Biden has released an analysis that shows perhaps more nuanced results than those obtained at the ballot box.
“In yet another metropolitan municipal election in which crime and security dominated the debate, voters again demonstrated a much more complex and nuanced understanding of these issues than political discourse and conventional wisdom would suggest.” A Lake Research analysis states: Found a partner and her Vera Action.
“The most traditional law and order candidate endorsed by the Philadelphia Police Fraternity received less than 10 percent of the vote. ‘s leading candidates Rebecca Reinhart and Helen Jim have responded to voter enthusiasm with a platform that offers a comprehensive approach to preventing crime and providing safety.”
But he also noted that Parker has issued a caution in addressing residents’ concerns.
“72% of voters prefer an approach to safety that focuses on preventing crime and addressing its root causes. In fact, a quarter of all respondents prefer ‘tough on crime’ policies. less than (22 percent),” the study states.
Democrats argue that size and candidate composition matter in urban elections, perhaps even more so than policy leaning toward the center or left.
“The simplest explanation might be the size of the playing field,” Vale said. “In New York and Philadelphia [the] The votes were split between enough candidates that their tougher message was enough win. “
What worked well in New York and Philadelphia “doesn’t appeal enough in smaller stadiums or head-to-head,” he added.
It also applies to non-urban areas as well. Other Democrats say they see differences within the same party in urban primaries, but look at the rest of the country and the math is quite different.
Democrats will need to take that into consideration when trying to send a message about violence and crime ahead of the fall matchup.
“Democrats are caught up in the metropolitan media market, just like we are caught up in the presidency,” said one Democratic strategist who has worked on several recent presidential campaigns. They “neither recognize nor accept that the local media in small towns…is the cause of our defeat.”
https://www.wtaj.com/news/regional-news/democratic-divisions-over-crime-on-display-after-philadelphia-race/ Democratic schism over crime revealed after race in Philadelphia | WTAJ