Election Guide: Pittsburgh City Council District 3 | Election Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Election Guide: Pittsburgh City Council District 3

Pittsburgh City Council District 3 covers Allentown, Arlington, Beltzhoover, Knoxville, St. Clair, South Side, and Oakland.

Bruce Kraus

Bio: Served as a Democrat in District 3 for 12 years and as City Council President since 2014. Lives in the South Side Slopes and is Pittsburgh’s first openly gay elected official. “I sincerely believe we are granted public office because of our history of service to community and a strong commitment to rigorously work toward policies which serve to unite us.”

Gun Restrictions: Supported package of city council bills banning use of assault rifles and restricting use of firearm accessories in city limits. Says decision was “well thought-out and a responsible action to begin fighting back on the scourge of gun violence that is plaguing this nation and our neighborhoods.”

Environment: Wants the city's fleet of official vehicles to go 100 percent fossil-fuel free, divest city finances from fossil-fuel interests, and make all city operations run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. 

Taxing Large Nonprofits: Says large nonprofits are dependent on the city’s government services like police, fire, roads, etc. and they have an obligation to cover those costs through property taxes. He has not indicated the best way to get payments from nonprofits. Voted in favor for UPMC’s expansion proposal, which critics said didn’t provide enough benefits to the community.  

Endorsements: Allegheny County Democratic Committee, Allegheny County Labor Council, Planned Parenthood, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, United Mine Workers, Gertrude Stein Club, Clean Water Action

Chris Kumanchik

Bio: A self-described moderate Democrat and 25-year-old University of Pittsburgh student. Says he brings “a comprehensive and academic skill set to the table which sets [him] apart from the rest of council.” Has supported rolling back parking restrictions in South Side. 

Gun Restrictions: Opposes the recently passed gun restrictions. Said the original proposed bills were illegal, and the bills that passed are meaningless and purely symbolic. Says push for city gun-control bills not abiding by state law is “a dangerous overreach of authority.”

Environment: Says city council should work closely with Allegheny County Council to advocate for appropriate changes and restrictions on industrial facilities in the county that emit a large number of pollutants.

Taxing Large Nonprofits: Supports the push to negotiate with large nonprofits so they contribute to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s OnePGH fund, but says “there is no guarantee that they will do anything.”

Endorsements: Says his supporters are his family, friends, and voters in the district. 

Ken Wolfe

Bio: Lives in Allentown where he was born and raised. Previously worked for Kraus in Pittsburgh City Council, and as a staffer for state legislators in Harrisburg. Served as a board member of Allentown’s community-development organization and as president of the Young Democrats of Allegheny County.

Gun Restrictions: Told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he would have supported the package of city council gun restrictions if in office, but that he would have advocated the state legislature first before attempting to pass bills in city council. Didn’t respond to Pittsburgh City Paper questions about gun restrictions. 

Environment: Campaign website is critical of Pittsburgh’s poor air quality, and that “the number one reason children living in economic poverty experience school absences is asthma.” Says the city can combat this through better land-use to create a more compact, connected city with walkable, transit-accessible communities. 

Taxing Large Nonprofits: Critical of the city’s failure to negotiate payments from the large nonprofits. His campaign website says, “We must change the way the hospitals and insurers are covered under the charitable organizations laws.” Says city cannot grow without large nonprofits contributing to tax base.

Endorsements: Didn’t respond to CP questions and no endorsements are listed on website.

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