Election Guide: Allegheny County Council District 13 | Pittsburgh City Paper

Election Guide: Allegheny County Council District 13

Allegheny County Council District 13 covers Bellevue, Lawrenceville, Strip District, Downtown, Uptown, Allentown, Beltzhoover, Morningside, Stanton Heights, Garfield, parts of South Side, and all of North Side.

Olivia Bennett

Bio: A Manchester native who currently lives in Northview Heights, Bennett is a community organizer who has protested for better police accountability measures and gun-control legislation. Says her goal is to “represent and be the voice for those who have felt unrepresented and voiceless.”

Criminal Justice Reform: Supports creation of countywide civilian police review board. Wants to increase oversight of the county jail due to recent inmate suicides and pest-control problems. Says jail oversight is important since a large percentage of the county budget is used to run the jail. Wants more resources for patients living with mental-health issues.

Environmental Health: Supports increasing enforcement on polluting industrial facilities. Calls for increased transparency for industrial emissions. Supports county’s lawsuit against U.S. Steel, but would like to see the Health Department measure, analyze, and regularly report data from air quality monitors. “The data means nothing unless we study it.”

Public Transit: Supports a push to make Port Authority cash and ConnectCard fares the same price, transfers to be free, and to extend the East Busway out to Monroeville and the Mon Valley.  

Endorsements: Steel City Stonewall Democrats, Run For Something, Food & Water Watch, Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, Women for The Future, One PA, Gertrude Stein Political Club, UNITE PAC. Recommended by Young Democrats of Allegheny County. Support from state Rep. Summer Lee and local activists Brandi Fisher and Leon Ford

Denise Ranalli Russell

Bio: A resident of Brighton Heights, first elected in 2015. Has served in the 27th ward Democratic Committee and owns and operates her own barbershop. Believes in “equity for all people” and praises District 13 for making economic strides over the last few years. 

Criminal Justice Reform: Says we need better training for some municipal police departments, particularly small ones. Would like to see programs instituted to increase community policing, where officers engage directly with residents in an informal setting. 

Environmental Health: Supports the steps taken by the county Health Department to fine industrial polluters and increase air-quality monitoring. “I think these are all steps going in the right direction.” Doesn’t support action that would endanger the 3,000 union jobs at local U.S. Steel facilities. 

Public Transit: Advocated for weekend bus service for Garfield residents, which they received. Supports Port Authority and is “excited to see what the future holds for our riders.”

Endorsements: Allegheny County Democratic Committee, Allegheny County Labor Council, Pittsburgh Firefighters, Teamsters Local 249, Pittsburgh Building and Trades