The District Attorney serves as the "Attorney for the People" in the criminal courts of Philadelphia. The District Attorney’s staff investigates and prosecutes violations of state law within Philadelphia county boundaries. He or she must also be admitted to practice law for at least two years and a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme or Pennsylvania Superior Court Bar at the time of filing his or her nomination petition for office. The office of the District Attorney has a yearly budget of $30,063,289.18 and 600 employees.
Prior to the November election, candidates for the office of District Attorney must be:
1. A resident of the city for at least one year
2. Admitted to practice law for at least two years
3. A member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court or Superior Court Bar at the time of filing his or her nomination petition for office.
District Attorney Office Website
Official Democratic Candidate for the May 21 Primary Election
Current Job: District Attorney of Philadelphia
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education: B.A. Penn State University, J.D. Georgetown Law
Official Republican Candidate for the May 21 Primary Election
Daniel Alvarez Current Job:
Associate, Lamb and McErlane, P.C.
Virginia Military Institute,B.A. 2000 American University, Washington College of
Law, J.D. 2003
Wife Michelle, Children Jacob and Annabella
Facebook:www.facebook.com/da4da Career Highlights:
A highlight as an Assistant District Attorney was dropping an aggravated assault charge after further investigation led me to believe that the man was factually innocent of aggravated assault. He eventually pleaded no-contest to a lesser charge. Sometimes the right thing is not seeking a conviction, despite the pressures on a prosecutor. Justice is more than statistics. Another highlight was successfully prosecuting an Ethnic Intimidation case where a man was beaten.
Written responses from the candidates are posted verbatim. The non-partisan Committee of Seventy does not endorse or oppose any candidate and is providing this information as an educational public service.
This year tends to be a "low turnout" election year. Why should voters care about who is elected District Attorney?
Public safety is paramount. If you are not safe in your own home or in your own neighborhood, your freedom is crippled. People expect and demand change, which is why they need to come out and vote for that change.
Why should voters entrust you with the office of District attorney?
I proudly served over eight years as an Assistant District Attorney, gaining an enormous amount of prosecutorial experience. I prosecuted crimes from gun offenses (serving in the Gun Violence Task Force and Gun Court) to attempted murder and was honored to serve in the Child Support Enforcement Unit, where I fought for child support for needy and impoverished children.
Also, I’m not politically ambitious, but rather I am ambitious for my children as other folks are ambitious for theirs. I am running for office because I want better for my two young kids, not because I enjoy it. As a father I am very concerned about the high crime, violence, and rampant political corruption. People want better for their kids and reject political partisanship.
Moreover, I won’t make politics a career. I support term limits because it cuts down on political corruption. There is something to be said about humility and the willingness to walk away from power, which is absent in the halls of power. And “We the People” suffer as a result of this political arrogance.
Lastly, we need political competition. One party rule—whether Democratic or Republican—benefits the few at the expense of the many. Political monopoly weakens democracy and good government. Government belongs to “We the People” and not the politically connected and powerful.
How would you run the office of the District Attorney differently from the incumbent?
Every dime that is wasted is a dime converted into a bullet used on our streets. This is worth repeating: every dime wasted at the District Attorney’s Office is a dime turned into a bullet. This is not only a serious mismanagement of money, it’s a deadly one.
I’ll take charge and honestly manage the people’s money. I’ll eliminate unnecessary positions and replace them with more prosecutors and essential support staff, and fight for fairer wages at the office. The office’s function is to prosecute crime. Beyond that is outside the scope of the office’s mission. The only exception would be the Child Support Enforcement Unit, because keeping children out of poverty is crime prevention that bears fruit down the road. It’s a fact that crime burdens the poor and disenfranchised the most, which hurts us all.
I’ll investigate and prosecute public corruption, as opposed to waiting for the Federal Establishment to clean our house for us. That’s embarrassing. We should take charge and get our house in order. Public corruption steals money that should go to schools and public safety. Public corruption is theft from our children. This will take courage and a willingness to disregard politics as usual. Let’s take charge and hold our officials responsible.
What do you love about Philadelphia?
We’re an honest and blunt people who care about our neighborhoods. We’re an underdog city that always perseveres. Philadelphians exhibit a take charge mentality.
What's the most interesting non-political thing about you? What one thing would you like voters to know?
I pray for greater wisdom and humility. My mother taught me that the higher one’s position, the more humble they should become. If you’re arrogant, you’ll fall short of your best.
In the Gospels, Jesus walked with a servant-spirit, even though He performed amazing miracles. He was humble despite walking on water, healing the sick, raising the dead from the grave and feeding thousands with just a few fish and loaves of bread.
America became great because we’ve had leaders who never sought power but circumstances led them to receive it. In contrast, many public officials lack a servant-spirit. Nothing is more dangerous to liberty, prosperity and public safety than arrogant men with power. Arrogance coupled with power leads to the abuse of power, and “We the People” suffer. I am running against this. Together we can take charge and take the District Attorney’s Office back, and make our streets safer.