I have a confession. I voted for Lukey last election. I didn't think DeSantis was the person for the job and I'm still not convinced he was. He was different from the status quo, but different isn't always better. I also didn't watch last night's debate - though I hope it's available on youtube sometime in the future, and my excuse for this one is that I'm in Peru. As an aside, I also wrote this post while sitting on a bus in Peru, so please pardon the lack of supporting links.
So why would I consider voting for Ravenstahl again?
1) Publicity. Pittsburgh suffers nationally because of a lack of publicity. Lots of mid-sized cities share this plight. But Ravenstahl seems to appeal with some sort of national boy-wonder charisma - getting lots of media attention with his stunts. Is there anyone else running for mayor who has the ability to launch us onto the national stage? When's the last time a former president fund-raised for a Pittsburgh mayor? Of course, if he were running against John Fetterman he'd be dead in the water on this count. Maybe after John fixes Braddock, he can move on to Pittsburgh?
2) Grand Ideas. Ravenstahl has lots of grand ideas. He says things off-the-cuff like windmills and redd-up, government transparency and sweeping crime-fighting programs. It's good to have these grand ideas. However, our incumbent has failed on follow-through on most of these items, as many will state and I assume brought to light in last night's debate.
3.) Pittsburgh Promise. One particular idea that seems to have been successfully accomplished during Luke's tenure is the Pittsburgh Promise. While it's funding is currently shaky, it is there and it has already assisted hundreds of Pittsburgh high school students with their college education. This is a very worthy goal.
4.) 311. I admit it. I'm lazy. I hate looking up phone numbers and scrolling through lists of archaic city departments. It's so much easier to call 311 and tell them my problem. Unfortunately, as it stands 311 is a one-way system and needs to be improved upon. If a problem is not resolved to your satisfaction, there needs to be potential for feedback. Currently that is not happeneing and there are lots of 311 calls repeated wasting the time ofo ur citizens and city workers and ultimately our tax dollars.
Why I won't vote for Luke (again)
1.) Superficiality. Luke favors the superficial rather than the down-and-dirty. He'd rather pay millions for security cameras or buy $250,000 of trashcans to install on streets littered with relics of old trashcans than deal with major issues the city faces like PWSA bonds, the pension crisis and crime. Instead, we get witty press releases and manicured joint statements with Dan-the-tax-man. Voting for Luke is like voting for the football captain as the home-coming king back in high school.
Carmen Robinson, one of his adversaries, skewers the mayor on his stance on crime. A former police officer and current lawyer, she's someone who knows a thing or two about crime. She thinks security cameras are a waste of money and wants more better-armed beat cops walking our streets. Sounds good to me. Thanks to the Comet for his solid interview of Carmen.
Councilor Patrick Dowd, the mayor's other adversary in the up-coming election, wants to deal with the pension crisis and the PWSA. I could go on about him and why I like ideas, but I've already done that.
Councilor Bill Peduto has grand ideas that are well-researched like commuter rails and energy efficient street lights, but he's decided to stay out of the ring this time around.
I want a mayor and council who work together to create a stronger Pittsburgh. I don't want a mayor who looks good, but fights with council, says rash un-researched ideas, refuses to compromise, refuses to admit his mistakes and certainly doesn't learn from them all the while profiting from his status as mayor while Pittsburgh stays on the same path.