Among thousands of Philadelphians going to Harrisburg today to attend a special antiviolence session of the state legislature will be four of seven potential candidates for mayor next year, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. One of them is central to the day – State Rep. Dwight Evans, whom many credit with forcing the crime session after negotiating with House Republicans in June. The three others who planned to go are businessman Tom Knox, former City Councilman Michael A. Nutter, and U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah.
Evans said he hoped that the House session would produce, if nothing else, some open dialogue about the need for new anticrime measures. He noted that it took Congress more than 12 years to pass the Brady law on background checks for handgun buyers after President Ronald Reagan was shot. Harrisburg has not had such a focused anticrime agenda since 1995, when, under Gov. Tom Ridge, the legislature passed 37 crime-related laws.