After combing through the last year's articles on Dowd in the Post-Gazette, I've discovered that I do like what Dowd's been doing. That I had to comb through the Post-Gazette's online articles to discover this, I'm not too happy about, but hopefully this will save others some effort while Dowd and company complete his new website.
1) His role in the ICA/Debt Reduction debacle. He's taken a stand on putting our piggy bank in a safe place. That's cool. A real outcome remains to be seen. It surely helps my good opinion of him that my buddy Lamb is in agreement with him on this one.
2) His awareness of all those pesky city authorities and his consistent complaints that the city is not following its rules, especially regarding the very important parking authority status given the mayor's grand plan to lease the garages and potentially give us a respite from our very serious pension woes.
3) His class in cancelling a taxpayer-paid mailing with his face plastered all over it. If only Luke had shown that much class on trash cans. (Though I can see a lovely anti-Luke campaign involving "taking out the trash.")
4) His position on campaign finance reform. Dowd is one of the majority of council to vote for campaign finance reform. Unfortunately, the current mayor vetoed that bill. Maybe next year?
5) His negotiations with Lamar. The Post-Gazette gives credit for Dowd for settling with Lamar out of court and re-instating the proper board approval process. Also, I appreciate that while he joined fellow council members in appealing the original zoning board approval, he did so as a private citizen.
6) His grass-rootsness. This summer he planned a series of neighborhood meetings as coffee shops. His entire council campaign was based on "grass roots" support. He also appears to be quite popular on Facebook, which while not a ringing endorsement, shows that he has popular support and probably some charm and charisma to go along with it. If I may reach out to those supporters, I might remind you that you're not a private club. You might want to spread the word to folks outside your own circle.
I think all that adds up to looking pretty good on paper. So, why do you like Dowd?
Stay tuned. Maybe tomorrow, I'll address the incumbent.