Wednesday, January 11, 2006

News Release: Special election date should NOT be while Pitt is on spring break says Rauterkus

Contact: Daniel Repovz, Media Coordinator,, 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.


Mark Rauterkus said...

I just spoke with the editor of The Pitt News. She is going to try to do an opinion article for the paper on Thursday.

Anonymous said...

For Immediate Release
Pitt and Duquesne Students Left Out in the Cold for City Council Special Election: Rally Thursday!

City Council President Luke Ravenstahl announced Tuesday that he his proposal that the special election in City Council District 3 to replace Gene Ricciardi, who has vacated his position after being sworn in as a District Justice, be held March 7, coinciding with the spring break of both Pitt and Duquesne.

This effectively prevents 25% of district 3 residents from voting, as South Oakland and the South Side, where many Pitt and Duquesne students live make up a large portion of the district.

Because the primary falls in May, after most of Pittsburgh's students have left for the summer, most undergraduates in our city don't have the opportunity to participate in choosing local representation. Pitt students haven't had a real chance to be involved in choosing the city council representative who governs them in over 15 years -- and that exclusion hasn't been good either for the students or for the city, where university students are such an enormous segment of the population. This special election, which will fall within the spring term, is a rare opportunity to invite Pitt students to take an active part in the city's political process.

On Thursday 1/12/06 @ 12:30, at the corner of Forbes and Bigelow (in front of Hilman Library). The League of Young Voters, The Stonewall Dems, The College Dems, and other concerned groups will be holding a and rally to compel the board of elections to hold the election on March 14 so University of Pittsburgh students will be able to participate in choosing their next council rep.

Council Member Bill Peduto has given his support to the efforts to change the election date and he will be attending the rally.

For more info contact the Pittsburgh League @

Maria said...

I live in District 3 and I will not vote for any candidate who favors the March 7th election date.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, March 14th is in the middle of CMU's Spring Break, so it's not immediately clear to me we'd be "to the barricades" for maintaining that date as opposed to the 7th! I have no idea when Carlow's break is.

That said, I am all for papering Oakland with Voter's Choice Act material on any day. What sort of pamphlet material is there? Anything professionally printed?

Dave Eckhardt

Mark Rauterkus said...

Luke, the young Jedi in City Council, will be making a statement saying something sometime soon.

Anonymous said...


For Immediate Release

January 11, 2006

Contact: Luke Ravenstahl



Council President Luke Ravenstahl will hold a press conference in City Council’s conference room tomorrow, January 12, 2006 at 10:00 AM to discuss the Special Election for City Council District #3. The final date for the special election will be announced at that time.

Anonymous said...

Students want council election after spring break: "Pittsburgh City Council President Luke Ravenstahl said today that he may reconsider the scheduling of a special election in response to concerns from college students."

stella said...

When we got married we bought a little house with a huge yard. Soon there after we could have afforded a bigger,
but we loved the house we owned. By sticking with our $700 mortgage instead of taking on a $2000 mortgage we left ourselves able to save more and better withstand any sort of financial shock. This is not to say you should stay in a house you don't like but we loved the house and it was very inexpensive. The reward for this came quickly.