Erie Times Endorses Josh Shapiro for Attorney General

The following is an excerpt from an editorial endorsement by The Erie Times

We find Shapiro — possessing a humane, expansive vision of the needs of this state and innovative strategies to address them — the best candidate to reorient a justice system degraded at the highest levels.

Shapiro’s efforts to reform the office would target the most damaging legacy of the email scandal — the ugly air of bias it left hanging over the courts. Shapiro proposes among other reforms, the creation of a chief diversity officer to ensure the office reflects the people it serves.

“Some of the bad decisions that were made were a result of a lack of diversity around the table,” he said.

Shapiro’s platform includes traditional criminal justice priorities, but also offers a more fully developed vision that is smartly tailored to the state’s most pressing needs, rural and urban.

He pledges to partner with law enforcement in cities like Erie that are plagued by gun violence and heroin, and offers detailed strategies to confront these dangers from every conceivable angle. He’d not only shut down drug pipelines, jail dealers and treat addicts, he would address the overprescription of opioids and any misconduct by drug companies that market the addictive drugs.

He further distinguishes himself with his plan to act as the “people’s attorney general.”

Through expanded use of the public protection division of the office used to great effect in states such as New York, Shapiro said he could seek justice for Pennsylvanians on issues affecting daily life, such as scams targeting the elderly and drug price gouging.

Of special interest here, Shapiro pledges to use the courts, when necessary, to ensure that students in places like Erie receive the “thorough and efficient” public education the state Constitution guarantees them. He also contemplates using receivership as one way to hold accountable negligent owners of blighted properties.

Erie, from its street corners to schools, needs an advocate with Shapiro’s mind and spirit.