Residents of City Council Dist 8, thank you for opportunity to represent you these past 11 years.I will not be running for Council again.
— bill peduto (@billpeduto) November 27, 2012
On Sunday, activist, feminist and PennFuture Director of Communications Jeanne Clark announced on the Run, Jeanne. Run Facebook page that she was, indeed, running. And, this morning, Dan Gilman, chief-of-staff to Councilman Peduto, announced that he was running (via press release).
So how do they stack up?
Jeanne Clark has appeared on the pages of this blog many times -- much of them in connection with her criticism of Lil Mayor Luke for promoting police officers who had been accused of domestic violence. Here's what the City Paper has to say about her:
Clark, of Shadyside, has been an activist on behalf of feminist and LGBT causes for more than three decades; she currently works as director of communications for environmental group Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (better known as PennFuture).So, what's not to like?
District 8 includes some of the city's most prosperous East End neighborhoods. But Clark says she "also wants to see what I can do about the wide disparity between rich and poor, and the disparity in the services they get." And as befits someone whose current day job is with an environmental group, Clark says she'll be particularly focused on environmental issues like the overhaul of the city's stormwater system. Like many green-minded observers, Clark argues, "We need to be sure there's a green-infrastructure component" to preventing sewage overflow from contaminating local waterways.
Although this would be Clark's first time holding public office, she doesn't lack for political bona fides. She's the chair of the city Democrats' Seventh Ward committee, and a close ally of county executive Rich Fitzgerald. And through her work with groups like the National Organization for Women, she can boast "of a national reputation, and a national network" that can help support her campaign financially.
She also may pick up some tailwinds from a national climate that has become increasingly favorable to female candidates. There are three women currently on council, two of whom -- Natalia Rudiak and Theresa Kail Smith -- are up for re-election this year. (The third female councilor, of course, is President Darlene Harris.) If Rudiak and Smith win their races, and Clark is elected, four of council's nine members would be women. That would be, I believe, the highest percentage of women on council in Pittsburgh history.
Dan Gilman is Chief-of-Staff in Peduto's office for Council District 8. He's worked there for the past eight years. Peduto served in that same position to former City Councilman Dan Cohen. It's a great way to learn a district -- its needs, its problems and its people. From the Post-Gazette:
"For the past eight years, I have counted on the advice, vision and experience of Dan Gilman," Mr. Peduto said in a statement. "He has been my partner in improving our neighborhoods and our city. I know that you can count on him too."Additionally, from today's press release:
In a statement, Mr. Gilman said his experience working on neighborhood issues, such as flooding and overzealous towing practices, and legislative issues, such as campaign finance reform and lobbyist registration, have prepared him for the council seat. He also cited his work on East End economic development initiatives and his service as a board member with Pittsburgh Cares, Community Technical Assistance Center and other groups.
Dan was an early volunteer with Senator Al Gore’s presidential campaign, interned for American Civil Liberties Union, and as a Pittsburgh Foundation Fulton Fellow for Congressman Mike Doyle on Capitol Hill. He also served as a Presidential Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress in Washington DC.So, again, what's not to like?
This is going to be a tough one for me, folks. At this point, I'm just going to say that District 8 is facing an embarrassment of riches in terms of candidates.
UPDATE: OK. When I first read the P-G article I linked to above, it was just about Gilman, then apparently they added Clark (copied from Facebook):
A Pittsburgh City Council staffer and a Squirrel Hill activist said today they will seek the Democratic nomination for the seat currently held by Bill peduto."
And, now the headline is "Three say they will seek Peduto's Pittsburgh City Council seat":
"Sam Hens-Greco, 56, an attorney from Squirrel Hill and 14th ward Democratic chairman, said he also is planning to run for the seat but was not sure when he might make a formal announcement. He is married to Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Kathryn Hens-Greco."
Anyone else wanna jump in today?
Anyone else wanna jump in today?