What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 11, 2006

Will Pitt Students Be Denied Their Right to Vote?

ACTION: Ravenstahl to prevent Pitt students from voting in special election?


As you probably know, Gene Riccardi resigned his seat on City Council (District 3) as he was sworn in as District Judge. This cleared the way for a Special Election to be held.

** Council District 3 includes Pitt Towers, where 12% of ALL REGISTERED VOTERS in the district reside **

The date of the special election will be set by actions taken by Council President--and 25-yr-old--Luke Ravenstahl. As things stand now, the special election will be scheduled for March 7--RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF PITT'S SPRING BREAK. Ravenstahl can, however, take action to have the election scheduled for March 14, after Pitt students have returned.

This special election is the first time in quite a long time that Pitt students can have a real say in their representation on Council, and it is a slap in the face to all of us who have worked to mobilize voters locally.

Young voters here ARE engaged.. A couple of notes:
* While citywide, turnout was down 13% in the mayoral election, turnout was UP by 40% in Pitt Towers
* Citywise, turnout was up 14% in the presidential election; turnout was up 62% in Pitt Towers

Here is what you can do:

1---Call your Councilperson & Council President Ravenstahl BEFORE 10am on 1/11 (TODAY). Ask them to ask Mr. Ravenstahl to recommend March 14 as the date for the special election.

District 1 - Luke Ravenstahl - 412-255-2135
District 2 - Dan Deasy - 412-255-8963
District 4 - Jim Motznik - 412-255-2131
District 5 - Doug Shields - 412-255-8965
District 6 - Tonya Payne - 412-255-2134
District 7 - Len Bodack - 412-255-2140
District 8 - Bill Peduto - 412-255-2133
District 9 - Twanda Carlisle - 412-255-2137

2---Come today to the public hearing period before the City Council's Standing Committees Meeting at 10:00 a.m., and use your 3 minutes to make your opinion heard. Come to the City Council chambers on the 5th floor of the City County Building at 10:00 a.m., and during the public comment period everyone who wishes to speak gets 3 minutes at the mike.

3---Write a letter to the Post-Gazette. Send your letter to the editor by email to letters@postgazette.com or by fax to 412-263-2014. Don't forget to include your full name, address and telephone number for verification. Be concise and to the point.

4---On Thursday 1/12/06 @ 3pm, Place: TBA on Pitt's campus
City Councilman Bill Peduto, the League of Young Voters, The Stonewall Dems, The College Dems and other concerned groups will be holding a press conference and rally to compel the board of elections to hold the election on March 14 so UPitt students will be able to participate in choosing their next council rep.

On Thursday 1/12/06 @ 12:30, at the corner of Forbes and Bigelow (in front of Hilman Library). The League of Young Voters, The Stonewall Dems, The College Dems, and other concerned groups will be holding a and rally to compel the board of elections to hold the election on March 14 so University of Pittsburgh students will be able to participate in choosing their next council rep.

Council Member Bill Peduto has given his support to the efforts to change the election date and he will be attending the rally.

For more info contact the Pittsburgh League at pittsburgh@indyvoter.org

From the Post-Gazette (1-10-06):

Councilman William Peduto said that if the request to the county is made today, Wednesday or Thursday, the election would likely be held March 7, when University of Pittsburgh students are on spring break. Most of the district is south of the Monongahela River, but it includes parts of South Oakland and Central Oakland.

Mr. Peduto urged that the request be made Friday, which would allow for a March 14 election.

"I think [Ms. Johnson-Wasler] is probably planning on having it ready on Friday," said Mr. Ravenstahl.

From the Post-Gazette (1-11-06):

A special election to replace former city Councilman Gene Ricciardi will be held March 7, council President Luke Ravenstahl said yesterday.

That date drew fire from Councilman William Peduto, because it falls during the University of Pittsburgh's spring break, and many of the affected district's registered voters are Pitt students. He said thousands of young people "would be denied the opportunity to vote on the 7th" and urged that it be held March 14.

Announced Candidates:

Eileen Conroy of Oakland
Ed Jacob of the South Side Slopes
Jeffrey S. Koch of Arlington
Bruce Krane of the South Side Flats
Bruce Kraus of the South Side Flats
Pat Sweeney of the South Side Flats

Green Party:
Jason Phillips of the South Side Flats

Mark Rauterkus of the South Side Flats

The winner will serve out Mr. Ricciardi's term, which runs through 2007.

The Third Council District is comprised of:
Carrick, the South Side and South Oakland: Mt. Washington, Allentown, Beltzhoover, Knoxville, Southside Flats & Southside Slopes, Carrick, Mt. Oliver, St. Clair, Arlington, Arlington Heights, South Oakland and Central Oakland


No comments: