Meet organizer Rick Krajewski, candidate for Pennsylvania's 188th
“The mutual aid work may stem from a place of empathy, but it’s not just about that. “It’s showing up for people and really being in solidarity with a community that we care about and that I identify with, but it’s also about ‘this is what leadership is,’” says Krajewski. “It is still proving to people that I’m the person that should be State Rep.” Instead of disappearing into the confusion of COVID-19 or pretending to go along with business as usual, the Krajewski campaign decided to respond to this moment by pushing full-throttle for the values they espouse. “
The Progressive Pennsylvania Project
“While there are signs that Roebuck isn’t in tune with the youth of his district (he was one of the few votes to keep sexting a felony) and has gotten cozy with the Republican establishment of Harrisburg (he voted for their gerrymander), this primary election isn’t really about him. It’s about Rick Krajewski, his challenger.”
Activists are mobilized to win back this crucial swing state
“In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Krajewski has retooled his campaign to include a significant mutual aid component. His canvassers don’t just talk to potential voters about their candidate; they also ask about specific needs created by the crisis and, when necessary, help organize efforts to pick up food donations or medicine. “The reality is that the system is going to overlook countless vulnerable people,” he says. “There’s going to be lots of people who might die because no one has figured out what they need.””
Candidates are changing tactics for a coronavirus election of social distancing
“First-time candidates like Rick Krajewski and Andre Del Valle, seeking state House seats in Philadelphia, have shifted campaign resources to help people get information about the virus, how to get tested, and how to secure food and other resources while avoiding contact with others.”
In Philly, progressive candidates slug it out with Democratic incumbents
“Instead, Krajewski said he’s running to build a progressive blueprint for a Democratic majority.
Together with such like-minded lawmakers as Philadelphia Democratic Reps. Chris Rabb and Elizabeth Fiedler, Krajewski argued that his election would clear the way to accomplish big policy goals, from abolishing the death penalty to a fair education funding formula, when Democrats are on top.”
POLS ON THE STREET: Statewide Races Go Official
“State representative candidates Rick Krajewski and Kehinde Whetstone held a joint press conference with a major announcement in the primary election for the 188th District: They’re teaming up.
Whetstone announced that he is suspending his campaign and endorsing Krajewski. Krajewski and Whetstone have been meeting since the late summer and have always maintained a positive relationship and recognition that they align on the major issues facing West Philadelphia and the leadership needed to confront these challenges.”
35-year West Philly lawmaker sees heat from newcomers
State Rep. James Roebuck Jr., who has represented the 188th District since 1985, has already accrued three prospective Democratic challengers.
Longtime criminal justice organizer Rick Krajewski is already well into his campaign for the West Philly district. Krajewski was an early ally of city District Attorney Larry Krasner and worked with progressive group Reclaim Philadelphia. His campaign will have a heavy focus on criminal justice reform at the state level.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro will repeal support of controversial law stripping Larry Krasner of authority
“Attorney General Shapiro, I want to say thank you for listening to what we have to say and for committing to support local Philadelphians in keeping our communities safe,” Reclaim Philadelphia organizer Rick Krajewski said, after Shapiro said he would support a repeal. “And we will be watching to make sure that you actually follow through on the commitments that you just made.”
“This kind of dialogue is important,” Shapiro replied. “But let’s not lose sight of the fact that we have people dying in this city at an alarming rate,” he said.
“We know,” protesters replied. “We live here.”
The Search for Progressive Judges: Activists have swept a new wave of prosecutors into office. Is the focus now shifting to the judiciary?
Rick Krajewski, an organizer for a leftist political group called Reclaim Philadelphia, convened about 30 Philadelphia activists in January at the offices of a prisoner-advocacy organization to float a radical proposal. Many of them had been instrumental in getting Krasner elected. But clearly, electing a progressive prosecutor hadn’t been enough. This time, Krajewski wanted to persuade them to spearhead a rare grassroots campaign for the typically sleepy judicial race.
These reform groups helped elect DA Larry Krasner. Now they want to swing Philly’s judicial elections.
Now, Macrina, 34, and other organizers from 14 groups — ranging from the left-wing political group Reclaim Philadelphia to criminal-justice reform advocates including the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund and Youth Art and Self-Empowerment Project — are seeking to replicate that impact here in Philadelphia, where seven seats on the Common Pleas and Municipal Courts are vacant.
Many of those groups worked to elect District Attorney Larry Krasner in 2016, and they see pushing the judiciary to the left as the next step to criminal justice reform.
“A lot of times, even in progressive and left-leaning circles, people aren’t clear who to vote for among judicial candidates,” said Rick Krajewski, an organizer with Reclaim. “I want us to be able to give voters the chance to make an informed decision.”
‘A political revolution’: Meet the left-wing group that’s slaying Democratic giants in Philly
He’s at a city rec center, where the left-wing group Reclaim Philadelphia is meeting, on a muggy June night … Through the evening, young leader after young leader of Reclaim Philadelphia shares the experiences that have fueled their political activism. A man tells the crowd his mother was arrested on Christmas Eve for driving a car involved in a robbery, and why that inspires his fight for criminal justice reform. A woman talks about being raped in college, and how that powers her work against sexual violence.
It’s gritty, emotional, it speaks to the almost surprisingly vulnerable — and it’s working.
Reclaim Philadelphia has been a major force behind the left wing’s biggest victories in the city in recent years.