Erin Molchany, a longtime advocate for young'uns in Pittsburgh, is vying for the state Rep. seat currently held by Democrat Dan Deasy.
Perhaps best known as the head of the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project, Molchany's resume is a progressive's dream: She's a product of the Coro Center, and in 2010, had the good taste to lose her post on the Allegheny County Democratic Committee -- a casualty of a fratricidal war between 19th Ward Chair Pete Wagner and challenger Tony Coghill. During a 2005 run for city council, she was endorsed by progressives at Democracy for Pittsburgh, and the pro-choice, pro LGBT Gertrude Stein Political Club.
Molchany is also a woman (note my journalistic powers of observation there) running for a post in the notoriously testosterone-driven state legislature. Molchany herself has previously raised concerns about the gender imbalance in Harrisburg.
Her state rep race would be a rematch: The 27th district is currently represented by Deasy, a former Pittsburgh city councilor who of late has been appearing in headlines thanks to his post chairing the trouble-ridden Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. It was Deasy who beat Molchany -- along with three other challengers -- during that 2005 run.
Molchany's entry into the race comes as little surprise: She's been pondering the move for some time. It'll be interesting to see what impact redistricting will have on Deasy's chances. We hope to have more from Molchany later this week. In the meantime, here's the official announcement of her campaign:
Erin C. Molchany, Democrat, announced today that she will be running to represent Pennsylvania's newly redrawn 27th House District.
"We have a big opportunity to give the 27th District a voice this year. Times are tough. But tough times are when a community rises to the challenge, comes together and works to build a better place to live.
"I'm proud of my community. I love this town and wake up every day determined to make my home better, safer and more prosperous. I've done this for my whole career and will bring this high level of commitment to a life in public service. I believe it's time for the people of the 27th district to come together under a shared vision. I believe we deserve fresh leadership to represent us and new perspectives to solve our most challenging problems. And I'm someone who will work tirelessly for you.
"Our store fronts have been empty for too long. Some of us can't feel safe in our own neighborhoods. And we lose faith in government when our families are rattled by cuts to necessary public services like transportation and health care. Some of these problems have persisted too long with little or no direct action taken.
"We deserve better.
"I've worked with non-profits and community groups to improve the quality of life for our friends and neighbors. I understand that a partnership between good government and our neighborhoods will bring creative solutions home. I have fought to give people a voice in government, so decisions it makes help everyone.
"We have a big opportunity to make things better this year. With dedication and commitment, vision and patience, we can do so much."
Erin Molchany owns a house in Mt. Washington where she has served as a board member and Vice President for the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation. She is currently the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project, a non-profit organization committed to providing civic and social opportunities for local young professionals.