Topic

philadelphia

24 petitions

Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Larry Krasner, Patricia Cummings

Review Francisco's Life Without Parole Sentence!

Francisco Mojica is currently sentenced to die in prison, while his brother, the gunman who committed the murder, walks free.  In 1991, Francisco's brother, Tomas Vasquez Jr., was standing in a North Philly apartment building when he was startled by gunfire coming at him through a closed door. He was holding a loaded gun and, in a panic, he fired back at the man shooting at him, Efrain Gonzales. Ultimately, Vasquez took Gonzalez's life.  Francisco was also in the apartment building. After hearing gunfire, he rushed out to find his brother injured. Francisco drove his brother to a hospital, assisted by a police officer who he flagged down.   Francisco and his brother were tried separately. Even though Vasquez was the gunman, he was convicted of third-degree murder (homicide without intent to kill) 12 to 24 years in prison while Francisco was convicted of second-degree murder (reckless endangerment) and given the mandatory sentence for that conviction: life with no chance of parole.  When Vasquez discovered this injustice, he was outraged and confused.  “How did they give you life? Who did you kill? I am the killer,” Vasquez told his brother. He also wrote a letter to his brother’s judge: “If you feel you did justice with a life sentence, give him my sentence and let me have his.” Today, Vasquez, the gunman, is a gaunt 63-year-old man living on Social Security disability in Juniata, while his brother remains incarcerated.  Throughout his incarceration, Francisco has spent his time volunteering and giving back.  Francisco has helped start two programs for fellow inmates -- a faith-based reentry program and a program known as "Fathers and Children Together" that connects incarcerated fathers to their children. His own sons are addicted to heroin just as he was; since his wife doesn’t drive, there was no one to take them to see him when they were younger. He also volunteers at the prison Hospice program, spending his nights sitting up with dying inmates. He knows that he may need these services himself one day.  When I last saw Francisco, he had another enthusiastic plan to give back, but this time to people outside of prison. As a proud Puerto Rican, he would like to start a mentoring program for Puerto Rican children living in Philadelphia who evacuated the island after Hurricane Maria. He reflected on how difficult it was for him to adjust when he moved to the Mainland from Puerto Rico as a child, and he believes that this rough adjustment is partially responsible for his position today. He knew little English and struggled to keep up in the public school classes taught in English. He didn't graduate and began to get involved with drugs. Francisco was addicted to heroin at the time of his arrest. He wants to make sure that Puerto Rican evacuee children do not fall victim to the same issues.  Francisco has also organized tirelessly with elected officials and fellow lifers to introduce legislation to reform the Pennsylvania statutes that sentence men and women in similar situations to him to "death by incarceration". State Senator Daylin Leach has introduced legislation to amend the statute, but it has died in committee in multiple sessions.  Newly elected, progressive District Attorney Larry Krasner and the newly appointed Director of the Conviction Review Unit, Patricia Cummings, have the opportunity to correct this injustice.  The Conviction Review Unit, housed within the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, investigates and reviews the cases of convicted felons. Historically, this Unit has only reviewed claims of factual innocence. The new team, however, has indicated their interest in expanding the Unit's role in reviewing unfair sentences. The discrepancy between Francisco's sentence and his brother's sentence are a prime opportunity for the Conviction Review Unit to expand and strengthen the role of the Unit to position Philadelphia as a leader in progress and justice.  We ask that Krasner and Cummings seriously consider reviewing Francisco's case. District Attorney Krasner ran and won on a progressive platform, and we ask that he stay true to those campaign principles and promises.  The details of this story were heavily paraphrased/summarized from the Philadelphia Inquirer article by Samantha Melamad, found here: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/crime/474193613.html Last year, I had the opportunity to get to know Francisco personally through a college program.   

Madison Gray
187 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Jim Kenney, Darrell L. Clarke, Mark Squilla, Kenyatta Johnson, Jannie Blackwell, Bobby Henon, Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez, Sheila Hess, Amy Kurland, Shane Creamer, Tom Wolf

Ban Cruel Carriage Rides in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a city rich in history, diversity, culture, art, cuisine and architecture. Being the fifth largest metropolitan area in the United States, it attracts visitors from all over the world.  Where else can you see the Liberty Bell, tour Independence Hall, marvel at the Art Museum, delight in Boat House Row, dance with the Mummers, or follow in Rocky's footsteps?  The "City of Brotherly Love" has so much to offer to its residents and tourists, that a carriage ride is a completely outdated and unnecessary activity.           Animals are not ours to abuse for monetary gain.  They exist for their own reasons and feel pain just like we do.  The horses that spend their lives in slavery, pulling people around the dangerous streets of our city, deserve better.  Their living conditions and daily routines are extremely unnatural and horrific.   The following comes from http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/horse-drawn-carriages/.... Forcing horses to pull oversized loads isn’t romantic—it’s cruel. Horses are forced to toil in all weather extremes, dodge traffic, and pound the pavement all day long. These gentle animals suffer from respiratory ailments because they breathe in exhaust fumes, and they develop debilitating leg problems from walking on hard surfaces. In some cases, horses have even dropped dead from heatstroke after working in scorching summer heat and humidity. Horses are extremely sensitive to loud noises and unexpected sounds—and busy city streets have plenty of both. Horses and people have been seriously hurt—with some injuries resulting in fatalities—when horses have become spooked and run amok. There have also been countless incidents in which carriages have been hit by impatient or careless drivers. Accidents have occurred in nearly every city where carriage rides are allowed.      Please end carriage rides in Philadelphia once and for all.  It's unsafe, cruel, outdated, and sets a poor example to our youth.  The horses live a terrible life parked like cars in a garage at night, then most are sent to slaughterhouses once retired.  Let's show other cities what it means to stand up for those in need.  All beings deserve love and compassion!  Please share far and wide! People across the country are uniting to stop carriage rides in their cities. 

Stephanie Curson
22,445 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, Tom Wolf

Somebody Save Meek Mill

Justice for Meek Mill is Justice for All In regards to the harsh, undeserving sentencing of Robert Rihmeek Williams (Meek Mill), I felt the need to create a petition asking that the Board of Pardons closely review Meek’s application for Pardon and have his unjust prison sentence remedied. We also call on Governor Tom Wolf, who has spoken out in support of rehabilitation and criminal justice reform, to immediately look into this matter. More than just a celebrity or rapper, Meek Mill has been a powerful voice in the community for young people all across the country - and the world. Meek has made positive contributions to many communities and programs, dedicating his time and money to the cultivation of our youth and our neighborhoods; even while overcoming his own adversities. Meek has continued to be dedicated to being a positive force in the world and shown an immaculate work ethic, even while the overly restrictive conditions of his probation made it nearly impossible to tour, which is how he makes a living. The criminal justice system is adamant that individuals  work in order to be productive citizens, but at times made it difficult for Meek to be able to earn his livelihood. Every time Meek needed to travel, he was forced to seek permission, which was often denied unnecessarily. However, he still remained dedicated to making a difference not just in his city of Philadelphia, but worldwide. Meek didn’t just inspire his fans -  but through his music, interviews, community service and energy he showed that individuals can move forward, beyond their past and their circumstances, to have a positive impact on society. Meek has adhered to several rules and regulations as a part of his parole such as: reporting to and passing mandatory drug tests, community service, meeting with his parole officer, and reporting his whereabouts and obtaining permission prior to leaving the city. Moreover, the charges that led to his current violation, were subsequently dropped and the stiff sentence was handed down despite the recommendations of both  his probation officer and the District Attorney. Meek’s efforts to change his image while still remaining true to his artistry and who he is as a man went unnoticed as well. This petition is designed to show the amount of people who believe that Meek’s punishment was harsh and unjust. It is a waste of not only taxpayer resources to incarcerate Meek for 2-4 years but it is also a disservice to the youth and community at large. We humbly ask for the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons to grant relief in his sentence and call on Governor Tom Wolf to closely look into this matter and address why Meek, and thousands of other young, black men throughout the state are unnecessarily incarcerated for minor parole and probation violations. Celebrities Reaction To Meek Mill Sentencing Meek Mill’s Lawyer Speaks Out Meek Mill - Young Black America (feat. The-Dream)

Do4Self/Fine Print & #cut50
427,290 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Jim Kenney, Mark Squilla, Kenyatta Johnson, Jannie Blackwell, Curtis Jones, Jr., Darrell Clarke, Bobby Henon, Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez, Cindy Bass, Cherelle Parker, Brian J. O’Neill, Michael DiBerardinis

Forensic Audit of ACCT Philly plus Financial Accountability

We demand a complete forensic audit of ACCT of Philladelphia (ACCT Philly) the past three years. We believe that funds have been mismanaged in various ways by Vincent Medley. This includes taking actions such as overpaying employees he has hired and other unnecessary expenses that would be better spent toward the care of animals in their control. The last 990 form released by ACCT is for the fiscal year ending 6/30/2015. They have not released the one submitted last year which was the first full year Mr. Medley was in control of ACCT’s finances. Nor does this form release the salaries of the executive staff as it should (and is done with other city officials). Furthermore, ACCT has not published any figures on a regular basis on what money it has received from donations, adoption fees, licenses or surrender fees. We would also like an accounting of what has been done with the enormous PETCO grant given in 2014 for the building of an adoption center. This center was supposed to begin in 2016. ACCT has been very silent on these funds. We would like a complete accounting of these funds and how any interest generated from them have been used. We would also like to know what happened to the money for the dog kennels that the staff said would be replaced after the air conditioning was fixed. According to the last 990 released, only $793,896 of a $4,673,362 was being used toward animal care supplies. We demand to know the breakdown how the majority of the money is being used. We would also know the future plans of ACCT’s funding by seeing the budget they have for 2018 as well as the budget for 2017 and how well they planned. Part of this would include ACCT publishing ALL minutes of the board meetings for the past year and allowing the public to attend all portions of the board meetings. We have noticed that they appear to be canceling the public "board meetings." Although since only a couple board members were in attendance, they weren't board meetings at all. Instead of the transparancy they are promoting as a "core value" they seem to be covering things up.  To summarize we are asking for: A forensic audit of the past three years.  An accounting the PETCO adoption center grant and any other large grants given recently. A breakdown of how the money is being spent including the salaries of key staff members (as done for city employees). Publishing of funds brought into ACCT through fees and donations. Copies of past and future budgets. Public allowed at all board meeting and publishing the minutes of all 2017 board meetings.  And based on this petition's updates, we also want:         7.  An explanation on why Vector Control hasn't been moved out of the building        8. An investigation into pay equality at ACCT and possible discrimination.

Philadelphians for Transparency
2,351 supporters