Keeping It Real: Kevin Dougherty for PA Supreme Court

More than ever before, this electoral cycle, with all the ballyhoo and hoopla surrounding the candidacy of Donald Trump has devolved into a veritable circus – the greatest show on earth. At both the local and national levels, print, digital and television media outlets bring the 3-ring circus into our living rooms. Trump, the businessman turned reality-television star has consumed the lion’s share of bandwidth, page space and TV time. It’s entertaining if you are into simple-minded reality shows. The problem is that elections are more than just a show.

More than anytime in recent memory, the stakes for Blacks, especially males are extremely high. This is especially the case within the legal system. This election is crucial. Working Philadelphians have an opportunity to ensure adequate representation on state’s highest court. Time after time after time… in recent years, Blacks have experienced highly questionable treatment at the hands of police and in America’s courtrooms. So much so, that one would reasonably expect law enforcement relations with Blacks, Latinos and other minority groups to be a central issue in the campaign.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. The “mainstream” media offers little variety in news perspective and editorial policy. They are all almost exclusively focused on Donald Trump’s performance in daily polls. Media coverage of the election is generally superficial, consisting of a few brief “headline” stories centered on poll results and banal commentaries from the left and right depending on the network.


Judge Kevin Dougherty, Candidate for PA Supreme Court

If you have genuine interest in understanding how the upcoming elections will impact your life and that of those you love, you have to seek out the candidates and put them on the spot. As a Black male I am particularly alarmed by recent reports citing a 26% Black male 4-year graduation rate in Philadelphia’s public schools. I am concerned about the massive numbers of Blacks going in and coming out Pennsylvania’s state prisons. We need a fresh set of eyes on these problems. The only way to gain some insight into the way candidates understand and approach these important issues, is to track them down and ask them directly. So…. that’s what I did.

I spent over two hours with the Hon. Kevin Dougherty, candidate for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. We spent about 30 minutes discussing his commitment to impacting lives from the bench. Make no mistake, Dougherty has a well-earned reputation as no-nonsense tough judge. What’s less known is the fact under his leadership, Philadelphia’s Family Court cut the number of kids in foster homes by half. Additionally, Dougherty has embraced creative second-chance programs for at-risk youth. While on the bench, he has always remained conscious of the “future” life chances of the juveniles appearing before him. Dougherty has expunged thousand of juvenile criminal records allowing young people to access employment and educational opportunities.

The significance of Dougherty’s approach to this important issue cannot be overstated. So many young boys and girls find themselves caught up in the juvenile justice system. Their juvenile records could serve as a very real barrier in their efforts to access employment, housing and education. Dougherty gets it.

We live during a period where it’s vital that we keep it real… That’s why The Black Cager endorses Judge Kevin Dougherty for a seat on the PA Supreme Court.

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