Voting reform measures possibly headed to November ballots in Allegheny County

Voting reform measures possibly headed to November ballots in Allegheny County

Two petition measures are simultaneously progressing through the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County councils with the goals of enacting election reforms.

Pittsburgh City Council this morning approved of a petition from residents to request a public hearing in front of council to put a question regarding the city’s voting machines on the ballot this November. The ballot resolution requests that “voters be provided with and use new voting equipment for the 2020 presidential election cycle… that utilizes a human-readable, voter-verifiable paper records.”

Thursday, July 27, 2017/Author: Iain Oldman
Categories: Pittsburgh
Allegheny County Controller blasts Health Department's reaction to lead in new audit report

Allegheny County Controller blasts Health Department's reaction to lead in new audit report

On the same day that Pittsburgh City Council passed a bill to expedite the process of removing lead water service lines from the city’s infrastructure, Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner criticized the county’s health department’s response to lead contamination just hours later.

Wagner released her office’s audit of the Allegheny County Health Department’s (ACHD) programs in response to elevated lead water levels. In April, Wagner announced that her office would perform the audit after concerns that the health department was not seriously considering water as a source of lead contamination.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017/Author: Iain Oldman
Categories: Pittsburgh
Legislation allowing PWSA to replace private lead water lines moves forward without defined funding

Legislation allowing PWSA to replace private lead water lines moves forward without defined funding

Pittsburgh City Council voted Wednesday to move ahead with a plan to replace the city’s privately owned lead water service lines without support from the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Council voted 6 to 1 to move two bills along to a full vote on Tuesday to approve the bills’ final amendments. Councilwoman Darlene Harris (District 1) was the lone abstention, though Councilman Corey O’Connor stated he intended to abstain on the vote before leaving the council chamber prior to the vote. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017/Author: Iain Oldman
Categories: Pittsburgh
Affordable housing revenue plan hits snag at Pittsburgh City Council

Affordable housing revenue plan hits snag at Pittsburgh City Council

One city councilwoman warned Tuesday at a Pittsburgh City Council post agenda meeting that a key provision to fund Pittsburgh’s affordable housing plan may not have enough votes to pass.

Theresa Kail-Smith (District 2) told a group of developers and other council members that reservations over a tax increase and the distribution of taxpayer-funded developments would hold up the bill in its current state.

“There are not 5 [votes] to support this,” Kail-Smith said. Two additional council members, Deborah Gross (District 7) and Darlene Harris (District 1) confirmed their intention to vote against the measure as it is.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017/Author: Iain Oldman
Categories: Pittsburgh
Sanctuary city advocates petition before Pittsburgh City Council

Sanctuary city advocates petition before Pittsburgh City Council

Dozens of advocates filled the Pittsburgh City Council chambers Wednesday during a public comment period before council members in an effort to spur officials to designate Pittsburgh as an official sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants.

The public comment period was brought to city council by a petition campaign driven by Pittsburgh Sanctuary City Coalition. Public forums in front of city council can be triggered by petitions with 25 collected signatures.

Pittsburgh Sanctuary City Coalition’s petition requests that city council pass legislation that would codify Pittsburgh as a so-called “sanctuary city”, which would make it illegal for any city agencies and the Pittsburgh City Police to collaborate with U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). There is no drafted legislation to designate Pittsburgh as a sanctuary city currently in city council.

Thursday, July 13, 2017/Author: Iain Oldman
Categories: Pittsburgh
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