2007 Candidates Forum
Wednesday, Febuary 28th
6:30 pm at the Union Project (801 N Negley Ave)
Democracy for Pittsburgh
The League of Young Voters
The Getrude Stein Club
The Steel-City Stonewall Democrats
Americans for Demoractic Action
Meet & Greet starts at 6:30. All candidates for the following offices were invited:
Pittsburgh City Council
Allegheny County Council
Court of the Common Pleas
Candidates will be on hand to talk with you about their qualifications.
The forum features 3 important races:
City Council District 7 - Bloomfield, Highland Park, East Liberty
City Council District 9 - East Hills, Homewood, Point Breeze
City of Pittsburgh Controller - citywide & impacts the whole region
6:30 - Meet & Greet
7:00 - Special Guest Mayoral Candidate Bill Peduto
7:05 - City Council District 7
7:45 - City Council District 9
9:00 - City Controller
You may have noticed that while mayoral candidates Ravenstahl and Peduto were both invited to speak, only Mayoral Candidate Bill Peduto is appearing, and that he's listed as a "Special Guest."
Let me state for the record that I am on the organizing Committee of one of the groups sponsoring this debate: Democracy for Pittsburgh (DfP). That said, this post is on my personal blog and any opinions expressed here do not represent the views of DfP unless otherwise specified. It should also be noted that due to my continuing illness, I have not been able to participate in the planning of this event since October.
As KDKA TV reported last week, Mayor Ravenstahl was invited to participate in this forum, but ultimately declined due to "multiple conflicts on that particular evening."
The article (and televised report) also featured Nish Suvarnakar of the League of Young Voters stating, "We told him that if the time wasn't going to work, we would change the day,”
Actually, the negotiations with Ravenstahl were lengthy (starting in January) and included offers to change the time and date. Ravenstahl seemed to agree to come only if he could speak, by himself, first, then Peduto. The Ravenstahl Camp only confirmed that Luke wouldn't attend a scant 10 days or so before the event.
According to KDKA:
KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano spoke to the mayor’s campaign manager who said the mayor had multiple conflicts on that particular evening, but they said they will be willing to reschedule at some mutually convenient time in front of these same organizations.Well, isn't that special?
There's only one, or two, or twenty problems with that:
Nice of him to agree to a rescheduled event that he knows won't happen...
These five groups had already spent over $500.00 on the event (hall rental, etc.) Most of these groups operate on a shoestring budget (DfP, for example, collects no dues from its members). The forum includes many other candidates for many other offices and they have all had the event long inked in on their schedules. There is no money left for another event. There will be no other forum run by these groups.
Now, I understand that the Mayor of Pittsburgh is a busy man. Like he said, he has many other places to go that night.
For example, it looks like he will be making it to the River Club this evening for a "fantastic evening of networking" with the Pittsburgh Young Professionals.
Guess it's better than "slumming" it out to East Liberty to meet with a bunch of scraggly grassroots progressives and the neighbors and guests who show up.
Oh, and by the way, even though our Interim Mayor stated to Marty Griffin on KDKA Radio last week that he's ready to debate Peduto anytime, anywhere, he's still failed to agree formally to any televised debate.