Pittsburgh needs self-reliance. Edit
Foundations and Authorities have expanding roles in ruling Pittsburgh.Edit
Many deals within Pittsburgh are done within the various authorities and their appointed authority board members.
Elsie Hillman and Bill Trueheart worked in the spring and summer of 2004 to Save Our Summer, (S.O.S.), by raising funds to re-open some of the swimming pools after Mayor Tom Murphy sustained the crisis and closed all 32 outdoors pools. The S.O.S. endeavor was a wonderful, short-term project that featured philanthopist deciding upon what pools the families in the city could use, and what pools were to stay closed.
No votes were taken. The aquatic task force was not mobalized. No sense of democracy entered that process.
- Special interest groups should not take over the methods of our democracy.
Foundations punished the Pittsburgh Public School children.Edit
With great fanfare, a key group of non-profit foundations took its money out of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. This money had been given on grants and was promised to the district. The change in mid-stream made the school administration scramble, closing different programs, punishing the children. This was a political decision that lead to the downfall of Dr. John Thompson as the Pittsburgh Superintendent.
Neighborhood Agencies have clout without democratic process.Edit
Various local development corporations and community forums exist throughout the city of Pittsburgh. These organizations have been given the power of making rubber stamp approval. However, these organizations are not-democratic, not open and not a true representation of the entire neighborhood. The power and clout that the various organizations have built is suspect in terms of real democratic validation.
- The Pgh Vistor's and Convention Board holds board meetings that are not open to the public.
- The West Pittsburgh Partnership has by-laws that do not permit public attendance at its meetings.
- The South Side Planning Forum operated by strict concensus, not democratic, majority rule.
- The South Side Planning Forum is not open to new organizational memberships.
- The Pgh History & Landmark Foundation had owned Station Square and has power.
People vote two ways: at the ballot box and with their feet.Edit
When the landscape is not fair, people notice. Then, as time permits, people vote with their feet. People leave. Generally, people do not want to subject themselves to corruption. Rather than vote the incumbants out, people pack up and move away.
The grass is greener elsewhere because Pittsburgh isn't fair.
Pittsburgh is a one-party town with half of its former population.
Past elected politicians of Pittsburgh choose to outsource their duties of leadership and governace to two oversight boards. Pittsburgh's mayor, Tom Murphy, celebrated when the designation of distressed status arrived for our city. The label, "distressed," has branded our city for the worse.
Their bail-out mentality hurts the region and city.Edit
- Pittsburgh's politicians have gone overboard with authorities, oversight boards, and Harrisburg bailouts. The losers became the citizens, voters, local concerns, accountability, and democracy. The winners are career politicians, the power-elite who are appointed to boards, lobbists and attorneys.
- Leveraging democratic principles is different.
Template:Art-trends Democratic principles are old, established, tried-and-true pathways.Edit
Reform measures must take us more to the constitution and the people, as in 'We the people.' Sadly, the trend has been to lobbyist, power-elite, special interests, and pork for favorite corporations.
- Planks from Mark Rauterkus about Democracy
- Planks from Tom Martin about Democracy
- Planks about a federal election law change from Downsize DC
Challenges with DemocracyEdit
- As Mayor, Tom Murphy, waged a legal battle and tossed off a ballot question put forth by the firefighters about meeting standards for response times.
- Ralph Nader did NOT survive a ballot challenge in Pennsylvania in 2004.
- Pennsylvania told the nation and Ralph Nader that Pennsylvania was not a place to be welcomed. Tens of thousands of PA citizens signed the petition to get Nader onto the ballot. But, this was not enough. Thousands of people were turned off from a chance to vote for a certain candidate.
- Proportional voting system phased out article in the PG on November 14, 2004. Header: Cities did away with it because it gave prolitical minorities too much power.
- Critics of Moon Area School District's plan to build a new high school turned out for a school board meeting only to find it ended a half-hour before they expected it to begin.
- "We were left out in the cold. This is the height of arrogance," resident and former school board member Joseph D'Andrea said Tuesday.
- SPC and transit, rally speech given by David in Nov. 2004 (Ratsburgh blog mention.)
PennLive.com: NewsFlash - Port Authority sued over refusal to run voting rights ads] 8/10/2006 PITTSBURGH (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania sued the Port Authority of Allegheny County, alleging the transportation agency refused to post educational advertisements explaining voting rights of ex-offenders on its buses. The discrimination lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court by the ACLU and Pittsburgh League of Young Voters, who jointly tried to buy space on Port Authority buses for nonpartisan ads to run before the November election, the ACLU said.
The groups want ex-offenders to know their rights because the state law has been changed twice in the last decade. Since 2000, ex-felons can vote once they have been released from prison, even if they still are on parole or probation.'