This fall, Pittsburgh City Council passed a reform that members may find more constrictive than an outright ban on campaign contribution. Councilors agreed to limit the number of proclamations they can issue at any given meeting, to two proclamations each.
Proclamations honor local personages or reflect pet causes; they typically involve designating a day of the year in honor of that person or cause. Often each proclamation is accompanied by remarks from the sponsor and a photo op with the honorees. The limit on such proclamations was sponsored by Natalia Rudiak, who sponsored nearly three dozen of this year's 353 resolutions this year -- but who argued that proclamations slow down the governing process. A City Paper review suggests that Rudiak's own allies on council, the faction led by City Council President Darlene Harris, were the most likely to present more than two proclamations at a time.
Whom did councilors celebrate in their final year of unfettered commendation? Here's a partial list.
Jan 28. Earned Income Tax Awareness Day. Noting the "refundable federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals, who earned less than $18,740.00, and working families with children, who earned less than $48,362.00."
Feb. 1. Patrice King Brown Day. Recognizing the retiring KDKA anchor's "distinguished career and wish[ing] her the best of luck in her future endeavors."
Feb. 8. Xante Day. In honor of a seeing-eye dog who, after having been trained locally, is bound for Morristown, N.J., "where he will be paired with a blind individual and they will train together on the heavily trafficked streets of downtown Morristown."
Feb. 8 also marks Tom Sokolowski Day, to recognize the departing head of The Andy Warhol Museum, a "functional (and decorative) pillar of Pittsburgh's cultural community" who "is now headed for 15 minutes of fame somewhere else."
Feb 20. Spay Day. Commemorating "the only 100% proven way to dramatically reduce the overpopulation of pets and feral cats, proving to be a wise investment in saving animal lives and taxpayer dollars."
March 2. Darlene Harris Day. To honor the city-council president who "has been called the ‘Miss Marple of City Council' for her determination to find all the facts before deriving a conclusion"
March 18. Help Healing in Congo Day. Honoring the Panzi Foundation's work to help female victims of ongoing strife in Congo, in recognition of the fact that "it is incumbent upon the international community, and Pittsburgh, to remain actively engaged in the effort to bring peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo."
April 19. McDonald's Pittsburgh Hiring Day. To commemorate the fact that "local McDonald's restaurants are looking to hire up to 1,500 new crew and restaurant management positions."
April 26. Linda Perkins Day. Honoring "a happily retired and genuinely sweet woman, for her accomplishment bowling a perfect 300 game."
May 5. The Day of Prayer. Respecting the National Day of Prayer Task Force's mission "to intercede for America's leaders and its families and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture."
July 12. Sreevardhan "Sree" Melaka Day. Commemorating the passing of restaurant owner "Mr. Sree," whose "kindness and humor will be greatly missed [though] the legacy he has left in Sree's Foods will live on."
Sept. 13. ALCOSAN Day. Honoring the sewer-treatment agency's upcoming Open House, "the region's largest watershed and environmental festival, which features tours of the treatment plant and laboratory, microbiology and watershed life presentations, hands-on environmental activities and exhibits, games, food and fun for all ages."
Nov. 10. David Motak Day. Honors Motak's efforts to on behalf of szopka -- "the traditional Polish folk-art tradition of creating whimsical and ornate architectural constructions of wood, cardboard, ribbon and foil paper."
Nov. 14. Council declares "solidarity with Occupy Pittsburgh and the Occupy Wall Street movement" in their effort to "exercise[e] First Amendment rights in a free, open, peaceful and productive manner, toward the better condition of our citizens and of these United States."
Dec. 5-11. Buy Local Week. Recognizing the fact that "If consumers were to shift 10% of their spending from national or international chains to local businesses, it would generate an additional $235 million a year in local economic activity."
Dec. 6. Mont-Saint-Hilaire Day. Recognizing that "that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the City of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, do hereby declare themselves to be a community of concern in their effort to meet the threat of aggressive natural gas extraction."
Dec.7. Sally Wiggin Day. Noting her achievements as "esteemed anchor of Channel 4 Action news," and as "an active sportswoman" who "when time permits ... considers speaking to schoolchildren."
2011. The Year of A. Leo Weil. Commemorating a late 19th-/early 20th- century lawyer who, among other things, "assisted in the prosecution of city councilmen, bankers, industrialists and others for graft and related offenses, sending many of them to the penitentiary."