Contact: Daniel Repovz, Media Coordinator, Media@Rauterkus.com, 412-904-2976
Mark Rauterkus, a candidate who champions real democratic solutions to many of the problems that have hurt the city of Pittsburgh in the past, has called for the special election date for city council district 3 to occur on February 28, 2006, not March 7, as rumored. Pitt's spring break is slated for for the week of March 6 to 10.
"The University of Pittsburgh's students, staff and faculty need to be vibrant citizens in local community as well as international trendsetters," said Rauterkus. Rauterkus plans to join in protest with others at 12:30 pm on Thursday on Pitt's campus at the corner of Forbes Avenue and Bigelow Blvd. in front of Hillman Library.
Rauterkus played a pivotal role in urging the Lt. Governor to set last year's special election for PA Senate of the 42nd district to the same day as the spring primary. Holding a special election on primary day, rather than on its own date, saved the state $200,000 as well as untold hours of lost personal productivity. "I was happy that hundreds of good people in the district didn't need to sit around the polls on a special election day as they did in another part of the state. Democracy is worth the effort, but when we are prudent and have the same effects, I'm on the side of common sense," said Rauterkus.
"In recent years, the South Side has turned to more rental units and plenty of college students are now our neighbors. The students, grad students, young professionals can be engaged in the political process and are urged to volunteer with our campaign," said Vicki Duesh, campaign manager.
"People at Pitt are making incredible achievements on a global stage. Pitt serves as a giant springboard for our region for launching careers, advancing learning and solving problems of our time. But the foundation of the springboard is crumbling, and, the pool below the springboard is looking rather empty. We need some brain-power devoted to the home front as well. To thrive and succeed in the end, one needs balance," said Rauterkus.
Rauterkus has been a stay-at-home parent who took his children to part-time day-care in Oakland at Pitt's UCDC (University Childcare Development Center). "When my son was six, he used to say he already graduated from Pitt. Pitt and its employees need day-care. Too many students have graduated and departed. They vote with their feet later in life because they are not welcomed and because government is not doing a good job at the basics."
"We need to give people opportunities for engaging democracy, not a new hockey arena and the associated higher taxes. People want the city to be fit and full of freedoms. The city needs to think of the future and do the simple-things like concentrate on the flow of traffic by insisting upon the building of bike lanes on bridges into Oakland," said Rauterkus.
"I was hoping to have the Pitt Law Libertarians throw our victory party on election night. If they are on spring break, I guess we'll just need to have one heck of a party then," said Rauterkus.
"Voter registration forms are available from the Rauterkus campiagn headquarters, 108 South 12th Street, and at all the events we attend," said Duesch. "After the date is set, we'll help in obtaining absentee ballots too."
Catherine V. Palmer, Ph.D., is a tenured professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the School of Health and Rehab Sciences and is wife to Mark Rauterkus.