The candidates seeking to replace Pittsburgh City Councilor Natalia Rudiak offer somewhat similar visions, but hold different allegiances. Ashleigh Deemer has the backing of progressive groups and younger politicians, while Anthony Coghill gets support from long-time Democratic Party leaders, like state Sen. Wayne Fontana and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
Beechview native and owner of a roofing company; currently serves as the Democratic Party chair for 19th Ward. Coghill is running as the “Back to Basics” candidate and is promising to increase the response to community concerns, like clean neighborhoods and public services in the district.
Is opposed to raising the city’s realty-transfer tax to fund affordable-housing trust fund, saying the tax is already too high and raising it would burden people wanting to move into the district. But he believes the fund should be financed through state or federal monies, or through contributions from the local foundations.
Advocates for more mitigation of the lead-pipe water issue; says city must move beyond supplying filters, calling them just a “quick fix.” Against the privatization of water utilities. Says relationship with Fontana will help get a bill passed in Harrisburg to fund the replacement of lead water pipes.
Emphasizes the need for additional treatment to combat overdose problems. Says he will combat this through working with Fitzgerald to secure more beds in District 4 treatment facilities and says police should come down harder on drug dealers. Says his relationship with the police union could help to bring in more resources.
Friends and Supporters
Endorsed by the Allegheny County Democratic Party, Fitzgerald, Fontana, state Rep. Harry Readshaw, City Councilor Theresa Kail-Smith, as well as labor unions like the Fraternal Order of Police and Steamfitters Local Union 449.
Rudiak’s current chief of staff and Beechview resident wants to continue Rudiak’s push to create a city-wide universal pre-K program. As Rudiak’s right hand, worked to help secure a multi-modal transportation infrastructure grant for Broadway Avenue in Beechview. Wants to see similar, modernizing improvements for other neighborhood main streets.
Wants Pittsburgh to fund the city’s affordable-housing trust fund; ideally with state funding or a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes from area nonprofits, but will support the 1 percent increase in realty-transfer tax if other options don’t materialize. Says district could use funds to repair/rehab single-family homes and keep them affordable.
Says less investment in street paving has hurt the district; advocates a strategic approach to tackling road paving. Wants to improve connections between small business and the Urban Redevelopment Authority to attract development to tackle blight and improve business districts, particularly on Brookline Boulevard and Brownsville Road.
Along with Rudiak, started the South Pittsburgh Opioid Action Coalition to organize political and community action toward the opioid issue. Believes that organized lobbying for constructive bills in Harrisburg can help address the issue, instead of just policing the problem.
Friends and Supporters
Received support from progressive organizations like the Sierra Club and Service Employees International Union 32BJ, as well as endorsements from Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner, City Councilor Deb Gross, Stonewall Democrats and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers.