FAIR, EQUAL JUSTICE FOR ALL
PETER KNOWS THAT ALL PEOPLE ARE CREATED EQUAL
From a young age, Peter’s parents instilled in him a belief that all people are created equal. Throughout his life, Peter has listened to his black neighbors speak of their experiences with societal and systemic racism: being followed in stores, stopped by police for unwarranted suspicion of wrongdoing, being called racist epithets and worrying about their sons’ and daughters’ prospects. We all face hardships in our lives, but black and brown residents face systemic levels of discrimination that Peter knows he never will. We must all work together to dismantle these inequities.
PETER WALKS THE WALK
When Peter was in Ferguson Township and Centre Region government, he was among the first legislators to move on the regional Equity and Inclusion Resolution. It explicitly reinforces local government’s commitment to Constitutional equal protection. At Penn State, Peter works with a diverse team to create an interactive map that shows cumulative health impacts on different populations. The project intends to provide high-quality data to educators, clinicians and decision-makers related to health and environmental justice so that the Commonwealth does everything it can to give everyone the best chance they can at a bright future.
IT'S TIME FOR ACTION
Peter is committed to passing legislation that advances racial equality, significantly reforms police and the use of force, and redresses massive social inequities in education, business, and healthcare.
Last year, members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus introduced significant police reform bills. These bills would have set up protections for citizens from the use of excessive force, create accountability and transparency so that we can more easily identify questionable police officers, and establish investigative bodies with authority.
What happened to them? The Republican Leadership let them languish in the Judiciary Committee. The bills were reintroduced this year and it looked as though the leadership—including my opponent, House Majority Whip Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-171)—was content to let them die again. It wasn’t until the Black Caucus and allies occupied the floor of the General Assembly Chamber and refused to leave that former Speaker Turzai and the Majority leaders agreed to a special session on the bill package. Some of these bills are being passed, but we cannot lose sight of what must still be done.
· HB 1664 would allow deadly force only if it is necessary to prevent serious bodily harm or death to officers or another individual.
· HB 1382 requires the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate fatal incidents caused by a law enforcement officer.
· HB 1812 will create a statewide Law Enforcement Oversight Board with the authority to certify and decertify law enforcement officers.
· HB 1666 will require law enforcement agencies to keep detailed personnel records, to be submitted to the Office of the Attorney General. These records will include all criminal, civil and ethics substantiated complaints, as well as the reason and circumstances surrounding the separation of each officer.