You know what — I wouldn’t have invited the man-children either. Not when actual children — more than 140 under the age of 18 — have been shot in the city so far this year.
So, good on City Council for not waiting on the mayor and the district attorney to stop bickering before visiting Chester on Tuesday to learn how that city has collaboratively reduced gun violence in 2021.
Collaboratively being the operative word here.
Council President Darrell Clarke didn’t invite Mayor Jim Kenney, District Attorney Larry Krasner, or Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. City Council, he told The Inquirer, was an independent body and “doesn’t wait around for other people to act.”
Can you blame them? Especially when what these supposed city leaders often act like are a couple of crybabies.
You can set your clock by the resting Kenney face any time someone dares suggest a lack of imagination and urgency in the city’s gun prevention and intervention efforts.
Deserving of an Emmy are Krasner’s made-for-TV dramatics any time someone has rightly pointed out that many families of homicide victims have often felt unheard and disrespected by his office.
Krasner unleashed a He-started-it! defense when asked about the lack of collaboration in Philadelphia, saying the mayor hasn’t talked to him in two years, a similar criticism Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer lobbed at Krasner.
“I would be delighted to communicate with him any time, anywhere, because that is how a functioning city works,” Krasner sniffed.
Oh, dude, here’s hoping you’re at least enjoying a margarita with all that saltiness.
In a statement, Kenney’s office shot back with an I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I retort that said in part: “DA Krasner continues his attempts to pass blame for his office’s inability to prosecute crimes onto his law enforcement partners instead of taking responsibility and accountability for the important role he must play in keeping Philadelphians safe.”
This is where I suddenly wish Krasner still had that infamous ponytail so Kenney could just pull it and call it a day. And then, we could put our energy where it belongs: the city’s soaring gun violence.
Anything else is a slap in the face to the people who have lost a loved one to gun violence or worry that one day they will, an embarrassing and shameful indictment of leadership and a colossal waste of time that we don’t have — not when we’ve suffered more than 350 homicides in Philadelphia so far this year.
But I guess that’s easy to lose sight of when you have the luxury (and the paid staff) to launch snippy missives to your political nemesis.
(What’d you do today, honey? Oh, I penned a zinger for the Boss Man!)
On Tuesday night, the same day the mayor and DA traded insults, two men were killed and a 14-year-old boy was critically injured in separate shootings across Philadelphia.
On Thursday night, family and friends of 15-year-old Simone-Monea Rogers gathered at Jerome Brown Playground — where she was shot and killed earlier this month while playing basketball with her brother. They released dozens of red and white balloons in honor of a life cut short by bullets that continue to claim lives in Philadelphia at a record pace.
“No mother should have to feel this,” Simone’s mother, Lendale Rogers, told reporters.
I would have liked to have gone, but I was headed to a weekend retreat for children impacted by gun violence. Children who’ve lost mothers and fathers and multiple loved ones, some in this year alone.
The retreat was organized by the mothers and grandmothers of children who learned long ago that they can’t wait around for anyone to help them, least of all the city leaders who pathetically put bruised egos and hurt feelings above whatever it takes to work together. And I mean whatever: Bury the hatchet! Hug it out! Do your jobs!
As I watched the kids excitedly board the bus Thursday morning, their tiny luggage trailing behind them, I thought again of the time wasted this week by two of our top leaders.
And while it’s easy to ridicule their ridiculousness, it mostly just made me really angry and sad.
There is so much hard work to do to improve the lives of Philadelphia residents, to straight up save lives.
So, grow the hell up and do it.