Plus, your chance to win goodies from a Pittsburgh cookie table.
The Incline

🗳️Helping you fill out your ballot in the 'Burgh

Plus, your chance to win goodies from a Pittsburgh cookie table.

Happy Tuesday, Pittsburgh.

We’re only one week away from the 2021 Primary Election on May 18, so we wanted to use today’s newsletter to prepare you for filling out your ballot in the ‘Burgh. I took some time to read through reporting from local journalists and did my best to round-up the most important information and links for you.

We all have the opportunity to make a difference in our communities just by educating ourselves and showing up to vote. It’s these elected officials who are responsible for our city’s priorities, the use of our tax dollars, and elements of daily life such as the quality of local schools, policing and public safety, rent and housing costs, public transit, and more.

Now let’s break down the ballot, shall we?

What Pittsburgh is talking about

Pittsburgh is on Point, and The Point is on in Pittsburgh. | Tag #theinclinepgh to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @ktk7895)

The big races on your ballot

🗳️ Pittsburgh is electing a mayor for another four-year term. The race comes down to long-term incumbent Bill Peduto versus state representative Ed Gainey, retired police officer Tony Moreno, and Butler County Community College math tutor Michael Thompson. 

  • ➡️ Read about where each candidate stands on issues related to housing, police, environment, and who’s endorsed them at Pittsburgh City Paper’s Primary Election guide.
  • 🎨 The mayor can play a huge role in Pittsburgh’s arts and culture sector, and The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council took the time to learn about how each candidate will prioritize the arts if elected.
  • ♻️ Check out this Q-and-A by the Pittsburgh Mayoral Design Forum to learn each candidate’s position on issues related to affordable housing, sustainability, historic preservation, and creating equitable and empowered communities through community engagement.
  • 📱Local journalist Natalie Bencivenga has been doing interviews with candidates in different races through her "5 Minutes With" series on Instagram, including this interview with mayoral candidate Ed Gainey.

🏫 Twelve candidates are facing off for five seats on the Pittsburgh Public Schools board, a vote that can rework the district’s priorities. After a turbulent year in education, candidates see this as an opportunity to create better outcomes for Pittsburgh youth, especially Black students.

💼 There are nearly 40 candidates running for nine open seats in the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, which for many Pittsburghers, presents an opportunity for criminal justice reform in the region. These judges are responsible for overseeing trials for criminal, civil, and family cases and delivering sentencing.

🗳️Pittsburgh City Council has three races in District 2, District 4, and District 9. Visit each District link for more information on the candidate’s views on education, police, infrastructure, incarceration, and what community members and organizations support their candidacy, reported from Pittsburgh City Paper.

  • District 2 includes Banksville, Duquesne Heights, Mount Washington, and all West End neighborhoods. Council President Theresa Kail-Smith is the incumbent and is running against director of engagement at Archangel Gabriel Parish, Jacob Williamson. 
  • District 4 includes South Hills neighborhoods of Beechview, Bon Air, Brookline, Carrick, and Overbrook, as well as parts of Mount Washington. Incumbent Councilmember Anthony Coghill is running against Bethani Cameron, a single mom who previously worked for former councilperson Natalia Rudiak.
  • District 9 includes Duquesne and McKeesport, Dravosburg, Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln, Port Vue, Versailles, West Mifflin, and White Oak, as well as the townships of Elizabeth, Forward, North Versailles, and South Versailles. Incumbent Robert J. Macey is running against Steel Valley Middle School teacher Steven Singer.

What about the ballot questions?

⁉️Ballot questions can be confusing when you read all of the legal jargon. Luckily, Sarah Anne Hughes at Spotlight PA and Amanda Waltz at Pittsburgh City Paper did us a service by defining every 2021 ballot question and what they mean for Pittsburghers. Here’s an overview of what questions you can expect:

  • Pittsburgh City Ballot Question: No-knock warrant ban
  • Allegheny County Ballot Question: Solitary confinement limit
  • Pennsylvania Statewide Ballot Question: Municipal fire department reform
  • Proposed Constitutional Amendment 1: Termination or extension of disaster emergency declarations
  • Proposed Constitutional Amendment 2: Disaster emergency declaration and management 
  • Proposed Constitutional Amendment 3: Prohibition against denial or abridgement of equality of rights because of race or ethnicity

Feel ready to vote? Scroll on for a few more voting tips below.

🎉 A giveaway for you

This week, we are giving away a ticket to The Black & Gold Cookie Table Drive-Thru benefiting Dress for Success at Hartwood Acres on May 16. This year, the annual dance party is a drive-thru event where you can dance along the route to a playlist spun by DJ Jess from the bed of a pick-up truck.

Each vehicle will receive a premium box of 2 dozen assorted cookies from a locally woman-owned and operated small business, The little Kitchen, a Pittsburgh themed swag bag, 1 entry to the Black & Golden Mega Raffle Ticket prize package, and a picnic blanket to safely enjoy a day at the park. Bring the kids and the pets! The ticket is valid for one car and is valued at $100.

Enter here for your chance to win–good luck!


🎞️ Watch two short coming-of-age stories by regional artists at the monthly screening series, Jump Cut Presents April Film Kitchen (Online)


🎨 Explore using art as a mental health tool with a doctor, counselor, social worker, and artists, presented by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (Online)

🙏 Take a deep breath at Yoga in the Square (Downtown)


🍓 Pick up some local produce at the return of the Market Square Farmers Market, happening weekly from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Downtown)

🎨 Explore mythologies, social constructs, and personal identities at the debut of Change of Course, an exhibition of the residency at Brew House Association (South Side)

🖼️ Get free admission to the Carnegie Museum of Art for five hours on Thursdays throughout May (Oakland)

🌱 Get some pro tips on summer gardening at a free virtual event with Doug Oster, hosted by Farm to Table Buy Local (Online)


🎭 Watch a free livestream of a rare baroque opera, Handel's "Semele," that will transport you to another era (Online)


🎬 Calling all actors: Pick up tips on how to give yourself every advantage as a performer with Prime Stage Theatre's master class on The Empowered Actor(Online)

📜 Learn about how family records can be resurrected from tragedy at the African American Genealogy Workshop with the Senator John Heinz History Center (Online)

💰 Rummage some treasures at the WorkshopPGH and friends garage sale (Wilkinsburg)

🌿 Shop for locally grown, produced, and created goods at the Bloomfield Saturday Market (Bloomfield)

👀 Feast with your eyes at a Murals of Oakland walking tour with Doors Open Pittsburgh (Oakland)

🛍️Support local makers at the first Lawrenceville Pop-Up Market of the season at Radiant Hall and Ice House Studios (Lawrenceville)

📖 Partner Event: May 12 - May 21

City of Asylum is hosting the first Pittsburgh International Literary Festival — LitFest ‘21 — a 10-day event centered on themes of migration, identity, and displacement with an emphasis on works in translation. The festival features a diverse array of more than 30 authors, translators, and artists from 20+ countries and in 14 different languages. It's all free and all virtual. Programs include bilingual readings, conversations about the craft of translation, and discussions of the intersection of translation and social justice topics. Learn more about their lineup of events.

One more thing …

A few more voting housekeeping items before we go:

  • To vote in this election, you would have had to register to vote by May 3, and you have until the end of business day TODAY to request a mail-in ballot. 
  • If you requested an absentee or mail-in ballot, it has to reach the county’s department of elections by 8 p.m. on May 18 to be counted.
  • If you mail it, you must use a stamp, or USPS will not deliver it. And don’t forget to place the ballot inside the secrecy envelope, or your vote won’t be counted.

If you need more specific information on your polling place, visit the PA voter’s services site.

I hoped this helped to prep you for the polls. See you back here for our regular news edition of The Incline tomorrow.

— Francesca at The Incline

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