Has fought gun violence and promoted “second chance”
Fighting to protect the right to vote and promote civil rights for minorities has been PA Lt. Governor John Fetterman’s top priorities during his productive 17-year public service career. This record was celebrated when he met with more than 100 Southwest residents and public figures here on October 10.
Fetterman is running for election to the U.S. Senate in the upcoming General Election on November 8.
John served for 13 years as mayor of his small, adopted hometown of Braddock PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh – which is 70 percent African American. He was elected as Lt. Governor by Pennsylvania voters in 2018 on the ticket with Governor Tom Wolf.
John and his wife, immigration activist Gisele Baretto Fetterman, spoke about issues to over 100 Southwest residents, businesspersons, and elected officials who packed the African Small Pot Restaurant at 6133 Woodland Avenue. The campaign event was organized by State Sen. Anthony Williams.
Also addressing the gathering were two returned citizens, Dennis and Lee Horton. They were convicted of being drivers in a crime involving murder, but always stressed their innocence. They now are on Fetterman staff and are advocates for criminal justice reform. Said Dennis Horton, “That’s the difference. That’s been our argument throughout the city of Philadelphia. … He (Fetterman) was fighting for these two Black lives and other Black lives when nobody gave a damn,” said Dennis Horton. “He just doesn’t talk… he does!”
Fetterman added, “Two of the things that I was most proud of in my career were stopping the gun violence as a mayor and fighting for the innocent and other individuals for a second chance as Lt. Governor. That is my record on crime and criminal justice! And that’s my commitment to fight for you in Philadelphia.”
Even his opponent, the Republican Senate nominee has referred to Fetterman’s service as Lt. Governor on the state Board of Pardons. This five-member panel hears applications for pardons and commutations of life sentences. In this position, Fetterman strongly supported abolishing mandatory life-without-parole sentences for secondary offenders and decriminalizing drugs.
In his tenure as Mayor of Braddock, Fetterman points to a period of over 5 years when there were no homicides, and as Lt. Governor to his advocacy for persons wrongly convicted or deserving a second chance.
Voting for John Fetterman gives residents a chance to maintain the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, maintained by another speaker. “That majority is vital to sustaining the Democratic agenda of more jobs, preserving Obamacare, and supporting good schools in urban areas.”
Having Fetterman in the U.S. Senate in Washington lets him fight against the right-wing efforts to cut public education funding and to lower taxes for rich people and big corporations – as they did during Trump’s administration. Other Republican aims include passing voting restrictions, sacrificing civil rights for African Americans and other minorities, and restricting women’s rights to health and privacy.
Fetterman supports the “Defend the Black Vote” campaign to counter misinformation about Black men who are fighting for human rights and social justice. This action has just been intensified by the People for the American Way.
“The Far Right’s waging a two-front war on Black voters and American democrats,” according to Ben Jealous, former NAACP head. He added that right-wing propaganda and “MAGA extremists” continue to marginalize, intimidate, and disenfranchise Black male voters.
Originally planned as a walk around Woodland Avenue shops, due to overruns at locations elsewhere Fetterman could not visit other businesses on the corridor, many of which were owned and operated by immigrants.
Sen. Williams said Fetterman’s visit was important because Southwest was often ignored by other candidates. “Our voice matters. Our voice is needed. And we need a seat at the table.”