Democratic Primary Election 2021: Pittsburgh City Council District 2 | Election Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Democratic Primary Election 2021: Pittsburgh City Council District 2

click to enlarge Jacob Williamson and Theresa Kail-Smith - CP ILLUSTRATION: ABBIE ADAMS
CP Illustration: Abbie Adams
Jacob Williamson and Theresa Kail-Smith
Pittsburgh City Council District 2 includes Banksville, Duquesne Heights, Mount Washington, and all West End neighborhoods, such as Chartiers City, Crafton Heights, East Carnegie, Elliott, Esplen, Fairywood, Oakwood, Ridgemont, West End Village, and Westwood. Council President Theresa Kail-Smith is the incumbent.

Theresa Kail-Smith

Bio: First elected to Pittsburgh City Council in 2009, where she has served as Council President since 2020. Has a background in community volunteering, and sits on several Pittsburgh-area boards including the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Lives in Westwood.

Community engagement: Formed an anti-litter campaign, a free citywide grass cutting initiative, and an e-recycling program. Told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that after seeing long lines at regional food banks during the pandemic, she organized a food distribution program for her area.

Development: Touts helping to convert abandoned school and church buildings in her district into useful service community centers. Says she’s prioritizing seeing through the stabilization of Grandview Avenue in Mount Washington.


City Services: Says she has built a good relationship with the mayor over the years to bring more money into the district. Led efforts on converting Shiloh Avenue in Mount Washington into a pedestrian-only street to help accommodate outdoor dining during the pandemic.

Supporters: Pittsburgh Firefighters, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 5, Allegheny-Fayette County Labor Council, Steel City Stonewall Democrats, Boilermakers Local 154, Allegheny County Democratic Committee, LiUNA Union, Teamsters, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, Steamfitters 449

Jacob Williamson

Bio: Works as a director of engagement at Archangel Gabriel Parish, a Catholic church in Kennedy Township. Graduated from Gannon University and then earned a master’s degree in theology from the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado. Lives in Crafton Heights.

Community Engagement: Says his experience working with tens of thousands of parishioners has prepared him for serving District 2. Wants to work to bring a recreation center to the district.


Development: Supports efforts to boost home ownership rate, saying that too many Pittsburghers live in properties that landlords don’t maintain. Says not enough development is being guided to the West End and criticizes “broken promises,” citing a proposal to redevelop the Parkway Center Mall.

City Services: Criticizes City Council for only allocating 5% of capital budget to District 2 since 2016, and says he wants to bring in a bigger share to the district for street paving, parks, and other services. Wants to increase that allocation.

Supporters: Terri Minor-Spencer, Founder and President of West End P.O.W.E.R., Former Allegheny County Councilor Jim Ellenbogen.

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