Phila - Liberty Bell Handcuffs (1)

Philadelphia Four Ballot Questions

  • Vote 'Yes' or 'No'

Folks have been marching in the streets about police reform and actions. Ballot Questions One and Three are steps in the direction to increased oversite. However, voters will need to hold decision-makers' accountable for ensuring enforcement and funding for these measures.

We've included the plain language provided by Philadelphia's City Commissioners Office below each question.

Philly - Ballot Question #1 - We Recommend 'Yes'

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to call on the Police Department to eliminate the practice of unconstitutional stop and frisk, consistent with judicial precedent meaning an officer must have reasonable suspicion that a person is engaged in criminal activity in order to stop that person, and, therefore, an officer cannot stop someone unlawfully because of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religious affiliation or expressions, or other protected characteristic?

Plain Statement:

The City's Home Rule Charter is like the City's constitution; it sets up the rules for City government.

If you vote "Yes" on this ballot question, it means you want to change the City's Charter so that it sets forth a statement that calls upon the Police Department to end the practice of unconstitutional stop and frisk.

The statement would elaborate on the constitutional limitations on police stops. It would state that for a stop and frisk to be constitutional, an officer must have reasonable suspicion that the person stopped is engaged in criminal activity. It would also state that an officer cannot, under the law, stop someone because of that person's race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religious affiliation or expression, or other protected characteristic.

Philly - Ballot Question #2

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to create the Office of Victim Advocate to advocate for crime victims and to work with victim-services providers to coordinate, plan, train, educate, and investigate issues related to crime victims?

Plain Statement:

The City's Home Rule Charter is like the City's constitution; it sets up the rules for City government.

If you vote "Yes" on this ballot question, it means you want to change the City's Charter so that it establishes an Office of the Victim Advocate.

If the Office is created, it would be headed by the Victim Advocate, who would be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of City Council. The responsibilities of the Office would include the following:

If the Office is created, it would be headed by the Victim Advocate, who would be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of City Council. The responsibilities of the Office would include the following:

  • Advocating for victims of crimes, as individuals and as a group;
  • Ensuring that crime victims know their rights;
  • Promoting cooperation among agencies that serve crime victims; and
  • Providing training and support to agencies that interact with crime victims.

Philly - Ballot Question #3 - We Recommend 'Yes'

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to provide for the creation of a Citizens Police Oversight Commission, and to authorize City Council to determine the composition, powers and duties of the Commission?

Plain Statement:

The City's Home Rule Charter is like the City's constitution; it sets up the rules for City government. If you vote "Yes" on this ballot question, it means you want to change the Charter so that it creates a Citizens Police Oversight Commission.

The City currently has an oversight body called the Police Advisory Commission, created by the Mayor, which the Mayor could eliminate. With this Charter change, the Citizens Police Oversight Commission would be a permanent part of City government. City Council would determine how members are selected for the Oversight Commission and would establish the Commission's specific powers, consistent with its mission, which could be substantially broader than the advisory role of the Police Advisory Commission.

The Commission's mission would be to:

  • Evaluate and work to improve police officer conduct, including by improving investigation of alleged misconduct;
  • Make clearer the officer disciplinary process and the process for submitting and considering citizen complaints of police misconduct;
  • Help hold the Police Department accountable for officers' actions; and
  • Improve communication between the Police Department and the community.

Philly - Ballot Question #4

Should the City of Philadelphia borrow ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-FOUR MILLION DOLLARS ($134,000,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks; Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?

Plain Statement:

The ballot question, if approved by the voters, would authorize the City to borrow $134,000,000 for capital purposes, thereby increasing the City's indebtedness by $134,000,000. Capital purposes means, generally, to make expenditures that will result in something of value with a useful life to the City of more than five years, for example, acquisitions of real estate, or construction of or improvements to buildings, property or streets.

The money to be borrowed would be used by the City for five identified purposes, namely, Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Building; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development, all in specific amounts identified in Bill No. 200298 (approved June 26, 2020). City Council would have authority, by ordinance, to change the intended allocation by moving proceeds from one category to any of the other categories listed.


 

Official Sample Voting Ballots

Your time filling out your mail-in ballot or voting in person will be smoother is you are familiar with what's on the ballot for your district. We strongly urge you to download your sample ballot for your voting address from The Office of the Philadelphia City Commissioners. You will also be able to find your polling location at the same time if you choose to vote in person.

Note: Don't live in Philly? Your county's website will contain ballot info for your area. Find your county's website on VotesPA.

For More Info @ Candidates/Ballot Questions

Check out these sites for more candidate and ballot question information:

Ballotpedia - Comprehensive candidate and ballot information.>>

This non-partisan site provides detailed ballot information. Ballotpedia's explanation of Philadelphia's ballot questions is exceptional.

Cicero - Who's Already in Office?>>

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Create a Custom Ballot

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