Robert Saleem Holbrook’s testimony on Act 40

In December 2023, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed legislation stripping prosecutorial authority over crimes on SEPTA property from elected District Attorney Larry Krasner and installing a state-appointed prosecutor in Philadelphia County. ALC joined other community organizations representing Philadelphia voters and their interests in filing an amicus brief challenging the law, in a case brought by Krasner.

“We believe ACT 40 is a dangerous precedent in disenfranchising communities of color by the state legislature during the pivotal election year where the future of democracy is on the ballot. The voters of Philadelphia did not ask for a special prosecutor for SEPTA to be appointed, and this is not an additional tool for the district attorney’s office to fight crime and gun violence in Philadelphia.

Let’s be clear, if the state legislature wants to send additional tools to fight community violence in Philadelphia, it should listen to Philadelphia and fund our schools, libraries, rec centers, victim services, vocational centers, and raise the minimum wage. Give Pennsylvania a living wage.” — Robert Saleem Holbrook