CeaseFirePA PAC launched an independent expenditure to get out the vote for gun violence survivor and gun violence prevention champion Movita Johnson-Harrell during the final days of a special election in West Philadelphia’s 190th legislative district. Through a combination of phone calls and digital ads, CeaseFirePA PAC worked to drive voters to the polls for Johnson-Harrell. The move follows a successful investment of close to $40,000 in the 2018 Pennsylvania legislative elections that helped flip three seats in the Senate and seven in the House.
“We want our candidates and elected officials to know that when they stand up for what they know is right — for protecting kids from gun violence, for saving lives in Pennsylvania — we will stand up for them. Movita’s been with us for years and she’ll be with us for years to come, so today, we’re with her,” said CeaseFire Pennsylvania Executive Director Shira Goodman. “We also want legislators who refuse to support common sense firearm regulations like background checks to be aware that we’re paying attention and that we’re organized. If you value your NRA grade more than the lives of the people in your district, we’re going to let your constituents know about it.”
Johnson-Harrell founded the CHARLES Foundation in 2011 after her son Charles was killed with a gun, and has been involved in preventing gun violence ever since. She was part of Philadelphia’s successful focused deterrence pilot program and has been a speaker at several CeaseFirePA events. Most recently, she served as interim supervisor of Victim Services in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office. In 2017, CeaseFirePA recognized her as a Lighting the Way Forward honoree.
The 190th state House seat was recently vacated by Vanessa Lowery Brown who was forced to resign after being convicted of bribery and other charges. In 2013, CeaseFirePA rebuked Rep. Lowery Brown when she introduced a bill that would have inserted the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle gun curriculum into K-8 public and charter schools, including those in Philadelphia. The seat is currently vacant and will be filled with the winner of today’s special election.
“The legislature is changing as more and more Pennsylvanians make gun violence prevention their top voting issue,” Goodman said. “We’re going to continue to fight for our families’ safety and for a gun violence prevention majority in Harrisburg.”