Sunday, June 25, 2006

These Are the Facts and They Are... Undisputed

Northeast News Gleaner recaps Raj's press conference. During this “Save the Northeast” event, Raj highlighted this area’s rising crime rates.

Crime has skyrocketed in the Northeast, according to 13th Congressional Candidate Raj Peter Bhakta (R).

During a press conference at the corner of Frankford and Cottman avenues last week, Bhakta, who is challenging Congresswoman Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-13), revealed a study done by the University of Pennsylvania which shows a dramatic increase in crime throughout Northeast Philadelphia within the last seven years.

"I have seen, I have heard, and I have watched with my own eyes this situation develop," he said.

Charts provided by Bhakta's campaign displayed an "800 percent" increase in Aggravated Assaults with Guns in Mayfair. The statistics showed an increase from six in 1998 to 37 in 2005.

"The numbers are more shocking than one might expect," Bhakta said. "The numbers speak clear and without bias."

The website for the study, www.cml.upenn.edu, provides even more detail for every neighborhood in the Northeast. For instance, aggravated assaults with guns in Oxford Circle increased from 15 in 1998 to 69 in 2005. Those assaults also increased in Frankford from 38 in 1998 to 102 in 2005. All serious incidents against persons, which include robbery and aggravated assault, increased in Bustleton from 31 in 1998 to 137 in 2005. In Holmesburg those serious incidents increased from 111 in 1998 to 216 in 2005.

"The facts are appalling," Bhakta said.

To quell the violence Bhakta wants to increase federal funding for Philadelphia's Police.

"What we need to do in Congress is provide funding for local jurisdictions that are under attack," he said.

But, in order to ensure that the funding reaches Northeast neighborhoods, Bhakta says he will stand up to Mayor Street and his "design to destroy Northeast Philadelphia."

"It's a shame that the victims are the residents of Northeast Philadelphia," he said.

Bhakta believes the Northeast "doesn't get its fair share."

"It pays a preponderance of the taxes in the area," he said, "doesn't get any money back and doesn't get any help from our Congresswoman Allyson Y. Schwartz."

So, Bhakta has begun a "Save the Northeast" campaign, which will include a "Save the Northeast" bus and "Save the Northeast" rallies in the months leading up to the November election.

"This is a community that is having all the money sucked out of it to run City Hall with no money coming back into it," he said. "It's part of a direct plan to bleed Northeast Philadelphia."

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