Allegheny County Council District 5 | 2019 General Election Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
click to enlarge CP ILLUSTRATIONS: ABBIE ADAMS
CP illustrations: Abbie Adams

Allegheny County District 5 covers the South Hills municipalities of Bethel Park, Bridgeville, Mount Lebanon, and Upper St. Clair.

Thomas Matthew Duerr (D-Bethel Park)

Bio: Duerr grew up in Bethel Park and attended Pennsylvania State University. Worked on the campaigns for Hillary Clinton, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, and other Democratic candidates. Says he gained a better understanding of how to serve constituents through campaigning. Duerr hopes to improve Allegheny County by attracting new residents while retaining the current ones, as the county’s population is in decline.

Police Accountability/Jail: Believes legislative action is needed to fix the growing divide between police forces and their communities. If elected, he plans to help reintroduce and pass a bill to create a civilian review board within his first term. Duerr also believes in improving conditions for LGBTQ individuals in the county jail.

LGBTQ: Believes there are still areas where we can look to expand LGTBQ rights and protections. Duerr supports a ban on conversion therapy, the controversial practice of using psychological intervention to get LGBTQ youth to change their sexual orientation. He hopes to re-introduce the conversion therapy bill, but include harsher fines for violators.

Small Business: Believes expanding public transportation access helps small businesses and employees, especially those without access to a vehicle. Wants to further promote Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) in providing businesses with job specific classes and training, and support and vote for CCAC board members who share these goals.

Endorsements: Steel City Stonewall Democrats, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC, Run For Something, Sierra Club of Pennsylvania, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald (D-Squirrel Hill), state Senator Pam Iovino (D-Mt. Lebanon), state Rep. Austin Davis (D-McKeesport)

Sue Means (R-Bethel Park)

Bio: Means was born and raised in Bethel Park. Was first elected as District 5 county councilor in 2013, running on a platform of increasing transparency, limiting government involvement, and preventing tax increases. Before that Means was a community organizer — helping to generate support for homeschooling and religious freedom — and served on the state Republican committee for ten years.

Police Accountability/Jail: Voted against a bill to create a countywide civilian-lead police review board in August. Called for a special committee to investigate the causes of spikes in violence within the jail in 2018. Told the League of Women Voters she would support increased funding, if necessary, for the county's Human Relations Commission, which enforces existing civil rights laws.

LGBTQ: In March 2019, Means opposed the proposed county ordinance to ban conversion therapy, the controversial practice of using psychological intervention to get LGBTQ youth to change their sexual orientation, saying it would interfere with parental rights. Introduced her own version that prohibits “involuntary treatment” and would ban physical harm used in all conversion therapy attempts.

Small Business: Supports lowering taxes. Wrote in an election questionnaire to the League of Women Voters that “over-regulation and over-taxation of any industry deters its growth.”

Endorsements: Anti-abortion group LIFEPAC , Firearm Owners Against Crime, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #1, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #91

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