Republican Candidate for City Council at Large Matt Wolfe Announces Support for U.S. Attorney’s Lawsuit to Stop Safe Injection Sites in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA – Republican candidate for City Council at Large Matt Wolfe announced his strong support of the U.S. Attorney’s recently filed civil lawsuit to stop Safehouse and others from setting up “safe” injection sites in Philadelphia. “This activity is clearly illegal under federal law. It is very troubling that City Hall has, yet again, decided to ignore the law to further its own political agenda.”
If City Halls permits the opening safe injection sites, Philadelphia would be the only place in the United States that allows such a program. “Just like the soda tax, City Hall wants to be ‘first’ to enact the most extreme progressive policies no matter how destructive they may be. Even California’s governor vetoed a bill a few months ago permitting safe injection sites in his state because of the harm they will undoubtably cause.”
While Philadelphia’s mayor and district attorney both have stated that they will not enforce the law if the ‘safe’ injection sites open, federal prosecutors as well as the state attorney general had previously pointed out the criminal nature of such activity. The lawsuit asks a federal judge to declare such a facility as illegal under the federal law known as the “Crack-House Statute,” which makes it a felony to knowingly operate or maintain any place where drugs are used.
“The federal law is very clear. Anyone who believes that this is a good policy should be in Washington making their case for a change in the law, not on the streets in Kensington looking to break the law,” said Wolfe. “Thank God that the U.S. Attorney is willing to step up here. We are saddled with both a mayor who is willing to jump on any ‘progressive’ idea, no matter how harmful to our citizens in order to get them to vote for his reelection, and the worst district attorney in America.” Wolfe further praised the timing of the suit. “The U.S. Attorney’s taking civil action not only will stop this movement in the bud, but it lessens the likelihood of criminal charges. While I firmly believe that ‘safe’ injection sites are not safe, I do not have any doubt that the individuals who are on the ground setting up this facility are well intentioned. It is better for everyone for this issue to be decided in court now rather than have the FBI raid the locations and put the operators in jail.”
Wolfe outlined the reasons why he did not believe that “safe” injection sites were the answer. “I think the opiate crisis is one of the biggest issues facing our city, and should I be elected, I will take every step to fight this epidemic here in Philly. Safe injection sites are simply not the answer. Those caught in the opioid epidemic need treatment, not a place to inject that poison into their veins. Unfortunately, many of you have been touched by this crisis. My personal experience is that no addict is going to seek treatment until they want to, and in many cases it takes them hitting rock bottom before they want to seek treatment. Giving them a haven to continue the destruction of their lives is not solving their problem. I simply believe that this policy absolutely does not save lives but takes them.”
Wolfe also talked about neighborhood concerns. “I also have great sympathy for those who don’t want these facilities in their neighborhoods. In addition to making it easier for addicts to continue their addiction, Toronto’s experience has been that there is an increase in needles strewn around nearby, trash, drug sales, assaults and robberies. This is not surprising as another result would defy common sense. Philadelphia already has these problems and safe injection sites will only worsen such problems. Neighborhoods that are already harmed by a large number of people addicted to opioids should not be further harmed by these sites attracting even more problems. And there is no doubt that a safe injection site will not be opening around the corner from the Mayor or any member of City Council. So, yet again, career politicians are placing the burden of their policies on every day citizens, while insulating themselves from the obvious harm safe injection sites will bring.” As a final point, Wolfe said “Even if the policy was not illegal under federal law and it was being imposed on us, why in God’s name would they be put anywhere but in a hospital where someone could get immediate help in the likely possibility that something could go wrong?”
About Matt Wolfe: Matt Wolfe is a former Deputy Attorney General. He also served in the administration of Governor Tom Ridge as the Chief Counsel of the Department of Labor and Industry, which played a key role in helping Pennsylvania’s economy grow and attract new jobs. Before that he was Assistant Counsel at the Department of Transportation and he was appointed a Special Assistant District Attorney and Special Prosecutor in several counties. In Philadelphia, former District Attorney Ron Castille appointed him a Special Assistant District Attorney to represent the city to close down nuisance bars in his neighborhood. He helped close down the notorious Times Café and the Purple Fox. He also served with Sam Katz when Sam was on the School Board as a member of the Philadelphia School Board’s Task Force on Scholastics and Sports, which developed academic standards for public school students to meet in order to be eligible for sports and extracurricular activities.
Matt Wolfe has been a community activist in West Philadelphia since he was in college. He was a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Spruce Hill Community Association, also serving as its Vice President. Matt has served as a member of the 18th Police District Neighborhood Advisory Committee and was Vice Chairman of the Woodland District of the Boy Scouts of America. He is active in his parish, St. Francis DeSales, and has served on the Parish Pastoral Council and as a Eucharistic Minister.
Matt Wolfe has been an active Republican since college, is the Chairman of the University City Republican Committee and has served his community for years as a ward leader and committeeman. Wolfe is a lawyer, having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova Law School, practicing election law and has taught other lawyers in continuing education classes in the area. He currently maintains his own law office, understanding the challenges that a small business owners face. His law office is in West Philadelphia where he lives with his wife, Denise Furey. He has two adult sons, Jay and Ross.