Sunday, February 3, 2013

Please Be Advised, Democratic Party Committee members, City of Pittsburgh Wards 1-32:

Kid President has some stern advice for you. Among other things: wherever you go, be the party.

SPECIAL NOTE TO NON-INSIDERS: The Democratic Committee is the actual structure of the Democratic party. Across the country it is a place to practice politics, community, and networking. All local Committee members are either elected by registered Democratic voters by precinct on quadrennial spring Election Days, or else simply appointed by Ward Chairs, as the case may be. The structure rewards hierarchy with each Ward electing Ward Chairs and other officers, and each major city, each county and each state constituting various committees. Its two missions are to disseminate and encourage the messages and the values of the Democratic party, and to endorse by votes amongst themselves candidates running in the popular Democratic Party primary election. Endorsed candidates enjoy Party resources and expertise. In the very old days, especially when there was more foreign in-migration to cities, the Party endorsement meant everything in terms of becoming the party nominee -- it was the only way. "Welcome to America!" In return, loyalty by triumphant office holders to the "machine" was strengthened. Only in relatively recent years has the party endorsement come to be occasionally non-determinative, an occasion which coincides with the polarization of the parties and the ascendancy of a "progressive" neoliberal left. Many Democratic Committees across the country have ceased endorsing candidates entirely, until duly endorsed and nominated by the people on spring Election Days.

SECOND SPECIAL NOTE: Notes doubt you will have read up on Jack Buncher and the Buncher Foundation, as well as the many, many escaped convicts the County judicial and penal systems produce from drug warriors to drug-addicted rageaholics and other fanatics.


  1. There is a long standing discussion - particularly among those whose jobs or those of their family members are not beholden to elected officials - about whether the party's endorsement should be "non-binding" on committee members. And what does Fitz do now that he has backed Peduto and Peduto has shunned the endorsement process entirely? And if Lamb loses the endorsement, does he drop out of the primary race and thus leave open the option of running as an independent? Politics is never dull.

  2. I don't know. How many committee wards are there in the city? 28? 32? It always amazes me how often total government-side people refer to the city as a bunch of "wards" rather than neighborhoods.

  3. There are 32 wards in the City of Pittsburgh.

    Wards and neighborhoods don't have the same boundaries. We property tax things by Ward. We BBI-notice, condemn and demolish by Ward.

    Real estate is sold by Ward.

    We used to Census Tract by Ward, until 2010.

    We even apportion voting precincts by Ward.

    So Ward is the predominant denominator.

    County Council districts must be apportioned in such a way as to prevent the splitting of wards between County Council districts.

  4. So that would be why so many government-siders use ward geography.

  5. Noted.


    Maybe it should be the other way around then. If routine government functions use "wards", maybe the committee should arrange itself by neighborhoods? I think it augers poorly that City service providers and Party political officials each use the same secret code no one else uses. I'm not saying that's anyone's fault, it just grinds my gears.

  6. It wasn't untin the last 20 years that it became a secret code. Before then everyone new what ward they lived in. They learned about government in school. They knew the who what and where of government because it was taught.

  7. They taught the ward system in school? Public school? I'm dubious... we learned the three branches of government, checks and balances, a little civil rights but that's it. Class of '93.

  8. Ricky A. Moody Jr.February 7, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    Bram: The constituents of this city, and alot of whom VOLUNTEER their time to their neighborhood civic groups, aknowledge themselves by their neighborhood. We non-governmental employees, that is. We who just and only and solely and continuously volunteer our help, call our neighborhood labels out. I say I'm from East Carnegie. I don't intially say, "I'm from the 28th ward". Hope my little input, makes you happy!

  9. Ricky, are you a committee man? I feel like I should have asked long ago.