Friday, May 15, 2009

City Council Election - District 2

The City Council seat for Pittsburgh's District 2 is contested by 3 Democratic candidates in Tuesday's primary election. Theresa Smith is the incumbent, put in place by a special election February 3 to replace outgoing Council member Dan Deasy. Georgia Blotzer and Robert Frank are the two challengers in the race, both of whom lost to Smith in the special election.

Blotzer is a retired special education teacher who describes herself as an independent democrat. She says she helped in major part with the movement to replace the McArdle Roadway barriers. Blotzer says she would like to fill the 1900 vacant homes in the area. She says she would establish neighborhood block watches and initiate a more friendly, accessible relationship between citizens and police officers. Blotzer says she would like the city's administration to "go further into reform, and further into ethics."

Frank is President of the South End Active Democrats and is Development Manager for the Multiple Sclerosis Service Society. He says vacant homes are his number one concern; if they are not rebilitated, Frank says, he would like to see them torn down. He says he has a three-point plan to address public safety in District 2: after school programs, block watches, and "beat cops" that would get to know area residents. Frank adds that he thinks council members shouldn't get cost of living adjustment raises without voter approval.

Smith, formerly secretary for the 28th Ward Democratic Committee, says some of her short-term goals include getting more police overtime patrols on the streets in the residential areas of her district and dealing with the large amount of foreclosures facing the district. Smith says she is holding a resources fair in July that will help people renegotiate their mortgages and "bring resources to the district." Smith says she would also like to market District 2 real estate more effectively.

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