Philadelphia-Based Community Organizations Speak Out Against Joe Biden’s Candidacy

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Philadelphia-Based Community Organizations Speak Out Against Joe Biden’s Candidacy

PHILLY -- This Saturday, May 19, Joe Biden will formally launch his Presidential campaign in Philadelphia on the Ben Franklin Parkway. In response, Philadelphia-based community organizations -- 215 People’s Alliance, Reclaim Philadelphia and One Pennsylvania -- released the following statement. All three organizations are active in Philadelphia and statewide in fighting for racial, economic and gender justice, and play a significant role in local, state and federal elections. Last year alone, collectively the three organizations knocked on over 360,000 doors and played critical roles in electing: District Attorney Larry Krasner, and State Representatives Elizabeth Fiedler, Chris Rabb, Malcolm Kenyatta, and Joe Hohenstein.

Statement from 215 People’s Alliance, Reclaim Philadelphia and One Pennsylvania in response to Vice-President Joe Biden’s Philadelphia Presidential Campaign Launch:

While we in Philadelphia are deeply focused on our local municipal elections this coming Tuesday, nationally we recognize that the Presidential race is in full swing. As Pennsylvania-based organizations, we recognize our state’s importance in this race. Our organizations’ have worked tirelessly over the past 3 years to engage disenfranchised, unregistered and young voters in a movement for progressive change -- to fill the 44,000 vote gap that gave Pennsylvania to Donald Trump in 2016. We will continue to do this work between now and the Pennsylvania primary and general election in 2020.

Today, 215 People’s Alliance, Reclaim Philadelphia and One Pennsylvania are formally registering our opposition to the candidacy of Vice-President Biden based on his disturbing 50-year record of prioritizing segregationist policies, placing corporate interests first, refusing to take accountability for sexual harassment and minimizing the threats of global warming.

We are particularly concerned with his record in the following areas:

  • As a United States Senator in the 1970s, Joe Biden was a leader in the fight to maintain racial segregation in public schools across the United States -- and the devastating impact of his work can be seen in the current state of the Philadelphia Public School system.

  • In 1994, Joe Biden was a major proponent of the crime bill which lead to the incarceration of hundreds of thousands of people and wreaked havoc on black and brown communities.

  • In the years preceding the 2008 financial crisis, Senator Joe Biden shepherded the passage of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) at the behest of the banking industry and financial sector. The law prevented middle class Americans whose savings were destroyed by the crisis from filing for bankruptcy protection -- while the big banks got bailed out by the federal government.

  • Vice-President Biden’s record on gender justice is equally atrocious. In 1991, as the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden oversaw the Anita Hill hearings where he stacked the deck against Professor Hill and failed to intervene as she was berated by white male senators on the committee. Furthermore, at least seven women have publicly come forward with stories of Joe Biden touching them inappropriately --- and Biden’s response has been woefully insufficient.

  • As headlines break about abortion bans in Southern States, we are reminded of Biden’s 1981 vote to allow states to overturn Roe v. Wade.

  • Although Vice-President Biden has touted himself as an expert on US Foreign Policy, his 2002 vote in favor of the War on Iraq shows a dramatic lack of judgement about the careless use of US military force around the world.

Our city deserves a Presidential candidate who prioritizes the needs of multiracial working class people, who stands up for Black and Brown communities in our Black and Brown city, who places working people before corporate interests, who listens to women, who takes the threats of climate change seriously. We’ll continue to hold visiting Presidential candidates accountable to these values.