About the Candidate

Meet Carlos

A Safer, Fairer Philadelphia

As the first Latino Homicide prosecutor in Pennsylvania, Carlos Vega has devoted his career to protecting Philadelphians; helping to overturn wrongful convictions; and standing up for marginalized communities like the one he grew up in that are too often targeted by crime and an inequitable criminal justice system. 

As a young boy, Carlos learned the value of hard work and perseverance working for his mother Norma’s bodega. Everyone in the family had duties in Norma’s store—from cleaning and stocking shelves, to running the cash register. Carlos also helped run Norma’s newsstand while he was attending college at Fordham. He woke up at 4:00am to open the stand and from there went straight to his 8:00am class. After class, Carlos worked a second job selling shoes until 9:00pm.  


As a young boy, Carlos learned the value of hard work and perseverance working for his mother Norma’s bodega. Everyone in the family had duties in Norma’s store—from cleaning and stocking shelves, to running the cash register. Carlos also helped run Norma’s newsstand while he was attending college at Fordham. He woke up at 4:00am to open the stand and from there went straight to his 8:00am class. After class, Carlos worked a second job selling shoes until 9:00pm.  


Carlos knows the importance of having safety and reform because he experienced the terror of violent crime and systemic injustice firsthand.  A son of Puerto Rican immigrants, Carlos grew up in a working class Hispanic neighborhood during dangerous times in New York City. He witnessed the dreadful effects of crime when his family’s bodega was robbed at gunpoint. He witnessed in horror as his hardworking family suffered from the emotional and financial strain of violent crime. He also saw how some of his friends and neighbors fell victim to the racial and economic injustices that give rise to crime. 


Carlos knows the importance of having safety and reform because he experienced the terror of violent crime and systemic injustice firsthand.  A son of Puerto Rican immigrants, Carlos grew up in a working class Hispanic neighborhood during dangerous times in New York City. He witnessed the dreadful effects of crime when his family’s bodega was robbed at gunpoint. He witnessed in horror as his hardworking family suffered from the emotional and financial strain of violent crime. He also saw how some of his friends and neighbors fell victim to the racial and economic injustices that give rise to crime. 


Carlos devoted his life to public service and seeking justice on behalf of victims of crime. Motivated by his family’s experiences, Carlos decided to become a prosecutor to ensure that people like his family could live and work in safe communities. After graduating from Boston College Law School, he was recruited by then Philadelphia District Attorney Ed Rendell to join the DA’s office. Carlos was the first Latino homicide prosecutor in Pennsylvania and has prosecuted over 400 cases in his 35 years at the DA’s office. Known for his compassion and zealous commitment to victims and their families, he has gained the respect of victims, defendants, judges, and law enforcement along the way. Carlos has also worked to ensure that people are not punished for crimes they did not commit. Working with colleagues, he helped to overturn the wrongful conviction of George Cortez and secure a confession from the true perpetrator, Cortez’ brother.  


Carlos devoted his life to public service and seeking justice on behalf of victims of crime. Motivated by his family’s experiences, Carlos decided to become a prosecutor to ensure that people like his family could live and work in safe communities. After graduating from Boston College Law School, he was recruited by then Philadelphia District Attorney Ed Rendell to join the DA’s office. Carlos was the first Latino homicide prosecutor in Pennsylvania and has prosecuted over 400 cases in his 35 years at the DA’s office. Known for his compassion and zealous commitment to victims and their families, he has gained the respect of victims, defendants, judges, and law enforcement along the way. Carlos has also worked to ensure that people are not punished for crimes they did not commit. Working with colleagues, he helped to overturn the wrongful conviction of George Cortez and secure a confession from the true perpetrator, Cortez’ brother.  


Carlos is a devoted dad to two sons and a daughter. He is currently raising two of his kids as a single father.  Rather than pursuing more lucrative work as a private criminal defense attorney, Carlos worked night shifts at UPS for nearly 15 years while continuing to pursue his calling as a prosecutor to put his kids through Catholic school as his mom had done for him. 


Carlos is a devoted dad to two sons and a daughter. He is currently raising two of his kids as a single father.  Rather than pursuing more lucrative work as a private criminal defense attorney, Carlos worked night shifts at UPS for nearly 15 years while continuing to pursue his calling as a prosecutor to put his kids through Catholic school as his mom had done for him. 


Now, Carlos is running for Philadelphia District Attorney to make our city safer and bring real progressive reform.


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