City Council passed 2023 budget, which includes an additional $5.8 million for the Defender Association
PHILADELPHIA–“On behalf of the attorneys, staff and board of Defender Association of Philadelphia, I am extremely thrilled and grateful to City Council for voting on a budget that includes a $5.8 million increase to Philly’s public defenders.
“Pay equity for our attorneys and non-attorney staff has been my priority since becoming Chief Defender. Looking at the criminal justice landscape during a time of crisis, it is imperative that the Defender is able to recruit and retain the lawyers, social workers and admin staff that keep our system moving. It is extremely gratifying to know that our calls for pay equity with other city agencies were heard by City Council.
“I want to thank councilmembers Kenyatta Johnson and Maria Quiñones Sanchez for being the primary champions of our campaign to secure the additional funding, as well as the rest of City Council for their support. We also need to thank the dozens of community allies, activists, and family members of clients who lifted up our message on social media, testified, or called City Hall to advocate for more funding for our office. And finally, thanks to every Defender Association employee for sharing their stories and pictures, believing in and supporting our #FundPhillyDefenders campaign from the very beginning.
“Even without the additional funding, the Defender Association would have continued on our mission to provide high-quality legal representation to our clients, and work with Philly’s community leaders to make a fairer, more efficient justice system. But this budget increase will help us to hold on to our experienced team members and attract the best new talent to our organization. We are optimistic about the future of public defense in Philadelphia.”
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