Allegheny County Council District 8: Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis vs. Eric Casteel | Election Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Allegheny County Council District 8: Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis vs. Eric Casteel

click to enlarge Allegheny County Council District 8: Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis vs. Eric Casteel
CP Illustration: Lucy Chen
Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis and Eric Casteel
Allegheny County Council District 8 consists of Braddock, Braddock Hills, Chalfant, East McKeesport, East Pittsburgh, Edgewood, Monroeville, North Braddock, Pitcairn, Plum, Rankin, Swissvale, Trafford, Turtle Creek, Wall, Whitaker, and Wilmerding. Incumbent councilor Paul Zavarella (D-Plum) is not seeking re-election.

Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis (Democrat)

Bio: Working in the nonprofit field for 20 years, Naccarati-Chapkis serves as executive director of Women for a Healthy Environment. Works closely with communities, elected officials, government agencies, nonprofits, foundations, and corporations. Has spoken at national, state, and local conferences. Grew up in Wilkins and lives in Plum.

Public transportation: Seeks to improve access to public transportation. Also intends to help combat urban renewal that has displaced older, low-income residents from urban areas to distant suburbs, where there is less access to public transportation and health services.

Environment: Aims to improve environmental health for county residents, especially in low-income areas. Has spoken against a proposed fracking waste injection well in Plum. Says the county must work on a holistic plan to address climate change. Supports council’s effort to reduce emissions at industrial facilities.

Policing: Says she would need more information before supporting an investigation into Allegheny County Jail’s alleged abuse against inmates, and would rely on the county’s Jail Oversight Board to lead any inquiry. Daughter of former Wilkins police chief.

Endorsements: Pittsburgh Hub of the Sunrise Movement, Steel City Stonewall Democrats, Women for the Future Pittsburgh, Young Democrats of Allegheny County, state Rep. Brandon Markosek, state Sen. Jim Brewster

Eric Casteel (Republican)

Bio: Casteel grew up outside of the small town of Hopwood in Fayette County and has lived in Plum since 1991. For 38 years, he has worked in the tech field with software development and cyber security architecture. Volunteers for religious organizations that serve meals to the homeless and conduct international mission trips.

Public transportation: Doesn’t mention transit funding in campaign materials. Says primary goal is to fund law enforcement and emergency services and develop budgets that prioritize public safety, infrastructure, and necessary services in District 8.

Environment: Before working at his current job at Westinghouse, Casteel ran companies that focused on renewable energy. He believes municipalities need more economic development funds to help improve their environmental issues.

Policing: If elected, he would prioritize law enforcement, fire departments, and emergency medical services. In addition, Casteel says he would be open to investigating the county jail for mistreatment of individuals.

Endorsements: Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC), LIFEPAC, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 9