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Thursday, March 3, 2011

A chance to shape the future of our city -- while still wearing your jammies

Posted By on Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Hey, a special offer from Slag Heap Central here. It's not as good as the freebies you can sometimes get from That's Church, I admit. But I'm hoping that if you care about the future of this city, it'll be an offer you can't refuse. 

This weekend, City Paper is joining with Democratic committee leaders from Shadyside and Squirrel Hill to help moderate a political form. 

The event is running this Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. -- meaning it will actually take slightly less time than the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. The location? The auditorium of Winchester Thurston School, at 555 Morewood Ave. (Use the Ellsworth Avenue entrance.)

Candidates expected to appear include those running for:

  • City Council District 5
  • City Council District 9
  • County executive
  • County controller
  • County treasurer

... plus some county council aspirants and judicial candidates. Among the contestants we hope to hear from are those seeking to the local magistrate post in district 05-2-35. That's where City Councilor Doug Shields is going toe-to-toe with Hugh McGough and Dan Butler.

(See the flier here.)

The goal here is to minimize the political pabulum and get right to the issues that matter. As Shadyside Democratic Chair Jeanne Clark puts it, the motto here is "no stump speeches -- just straight answers."

As for the questions? That's where you come in.

In addition to taking questions from the floor, we're also soliciting suggestions online ... starting right now. 

Want to ask Rich Fitzgerald how he justifies his favorable stance on Marcellus Shale drilling? Let me know. Confused about whether Mark Patrick Flaherty has a stance on Marcellus Shale drilling? Hit me up. Ask Shields to explain the hearsay rule, or demand to know whose side Corey O'Connor is really on.

Questions can be submitted in the comments section of this blog post, hitting us up at our Twitter account, or by sending me an email.

I and the other moderators will blend these in with questions from the audience, and we'll use as many as we can. 

If you miss the event, the Shadyside Democrats will be posting video of it online at their web site. For those of you who don't have 4-plus hours of your life to spare watching online video, either ... I'll be posting highlights of the transcripts in a future post. 

Put simply: It couldn't be easier for you to participate in the political dialogue. You can take part in a political debate without canceling your Saturday-night plans. You can ask questions of future leaders -- and get the answers -- without ever putting on a pair of pants. And that, my friend, is what America is all about.

The lines are open. Let me hear from you. 

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