Commission on Human Relations meets again, puts off more delicate decisions

Today, the City of Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations met for the umpteenth time to discuss their search for a new Executive Director.

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Pittsburgh’s CHR is a law enforcement agency which derives its authority from the City Fair Practices Provisions found in Article V, Chapters 651 through 659 of the Pittsburgh City Code. These provisions make it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, family status (housing), age, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, handicap or disability, [or] retaliation

Four months ago, the painstakingly reassembled Commission showed signs of trouble in its process of selecting a new Executive Director. The Personnel Committee continued to have strained relations with the rest of the Commission. Last month, they all thought they had come together on an agreeable selection. But alas, that applicant had withdrawn their interest.

Before Continue reading

Dems Correct Course, Will Replace Danko in District-Wide Vote

Rank and file Democratic Committee men and women representative of individual Allegheny County Council District 11 neighborhoods all will get to vote for the successor to Barbara Daly Danko.

Danko died of illness during her campaign, yet the voters of that District reelected her by a comfortable margin.

“After careful consultation with attorneys and members of Allegheny County leadership, I am pleased to announce that we are able to grant voting privileges to all committee members within this district,” Ms. Mills said in the release. “We know this is the most democratic — and most fair — way of conducting this election.” (P-G, Early Returns)

All’s well that ends well.  Continue reading

Transforming the ‘Burgh: Riding this Beast

Nova Place. The old Allegheny Center. Feast with your eyes, upon the drawings!

Super that we’re doing something about Allegheny Center after all these years. In the depths of 20th century American “urban renewal”, that was somebody’s idea of a classical Athenian paradise adjoining an indoor mall. A wide public crossroads, planned centrally, a lot of tall apartments for residential density, with cultural resources and libraries and sculptures within, and tables for chess and enlightened sociability.

Allegheny Center has long been regarded as a disappointment. It is known. Whether that is fair or not may turn out to be a bit more nuanced.

But now the City is doing away with much of that. The Peduto administration is proposing turning it into an innovation works, a 21st century technology hub, a high-end campus, featuring the “right kind of office space” Continue reading

Loading: A pop punk rejoinder…

Fitz down, Lamb up, Wagner up, Machine resurgent, Peduto weakened.

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Don’t believe that just because there are now 4 or more bosses, the Machine is “gone”. At the same time, don’t expect it to stick around any longer than four more years.

There are loads of light at the end of these tunnels…

Stay tuned during our editing process.

BREAKING/UPDATE:

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BACKGROUND: P-G, Lord and Born; and previously Molly Born.

The Burgh’s Greatest Voter Guide: 2015 Historical Edition

It falls to the Comet again!

Welcome to the 2015 Voter Guide essay, which is in 3 parts.

In Part I after this introduction, we list our eight (8) endorsements, so you see them!

In Part II, we begin with President Lincoln and attempt to cruise methodically through the last 150 years of Pittsburgh political history.

In Part III, we reflect on our particular endorsements in this Tuesday’s local races, issue some honorable mentions, and recall how the political “machine” Pittsburgh is still singular, no longer of much practical use and generally malign. Our endorsements will demonstrate additional valid reasons to fulfill its effective dismantling at long last.

Ready? Okay.

YOUR PITTSBURGH COMET 2015 PRIMARY ENDORSEMENTS:

County Controller: Chelsa WAGNER

County Court of Common Pleas: Judge Hugh MCGOUGH

County Council, north: Dan CONNELLY

County Council, east: Barbara DALY DANKO

City Controller: Natalia RUDIAK

City Council, north: Bobby WILSON

City Council, east: La’Tasha MAYES

City Council, northeast: Andre YOUNG

See our latest blog post for City School Board endorsements, Comet Maniacs!

And here we launch into Part II: The History, which begins in the administration what would later be called the Grand Old Party, or GOP, of Abraham Lincoln.

Encountering an increasingly burgeoning metropolis on what was recently a frontier crossroads, the legendary politician who would later be known as the Great Emancipator enjoyed friendly receptions amidst the industrious, immigrant and Northern-elite voting precincts at the twin cities of the Forks: Pittsburgh, and Allegheny City, on what is now Pittsburgh’s North Side. Abe Lincoln’s Secretary of War Simon Cameron would become our first political boss. Continue reading

Education: It will take a little bit of work…

If you think that education is an important piece to readying Pittsburgh for this economy and the next, then you’ll want to read the new Null Space.

Now brood for a while.

And note that Pittsburgh is more fragmented than most, and that our last attempt to consolidate governments probably tried to bite off too much, too quickly.

Now let’s look at a School Board race in Pittsburgh proper, in District 8, which spans three rivers to encourage a majority-minority disposition:

In the May 19 primary, one of the three has cross-filed: Rosemary Moriarty, 64, of the Central North Side, who worked as a teacher and administrator for Pittsburgh Public Schools for more than 35 years. She was principal of the Miller African-Centered Academy in the Hill District when she retired in 2008.

Two other candidates are on only the Democratic ballot: Kevin L. Carter, 26, of Manchester, who is founder and CEO of the nonprofit Adonai Center for Black Males based in Downtown, and Patricia Rogers, 49, of the Mexican War Streets, who is a legislative assistant for state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill District, and a former substance abuse unit supervisor for a county Juvenile Court program.

Ms. Moriarty has two grown children who attended Pittsburgh Public Schools. The other two candidates do not have children. (P-G, Eleanor Chute)

Based on this, Moriarty clearly seems Continue reading

On History: How we are doomed to learn from it…

Thanks to writer Salena Zito and Mayor Bill Peduto for some thought-provoking historicizing this week.

This need for change was not what many of America’s Founders believed, especially those who worked the land and tended to view history as cyclical, according to Curt Nichols, political scientist at the University of Missouri.

He explained their philosophy: “Things tend to go from good to bad to worse before they get better again. And things only got better if a virtuous citizenry worked hard and was willing to sacrifice to make things better.”

Timing was everything for these “country” thinkers. They believed, as Shakespeare’s Brutus did, that “there is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.” (Trib, Salena Zito)

The “country” people who worked the land and made sacrifices were slaves. This point takes nothing away from Zito Continue reading