Primary election day is fast approaching — on May 19th Pittsburgh will choose between three Democratic candidates for mayor — Luke Ravenstahl, Carmen Robinson, and Patrick Dowd. Braddock is also having a mayor’s race this year, and its current mayor John Fetterman hosted a party a few days ago, to promote his own campaign and lend his support to Patrick Dowd.
If Barack Obama can make discussions of weatherization popular, why not debates about transportation too? The issue of transit may seem one that only a policy-wonk could love, but Abby Wilson — a native Pittsburgher and a leader of GLUE (the Great Lakes Urban Exchange) — wants to change that.
Within the year, Congress will begin to debate the transportation reauthorization bill, which will shape national transit policy in the coming years. Abby and GLUE want to see less funding for highways, and more for mass transit, cycle paths, and innovative road policies that will encourage urban development and social justice — as well as saving people money.
In the run up to this debate, GLUE is looking to collect people’s stories about transportation in the region. Around Pittsburgh, Abby sees a major rise in people cycling, walking, and using mass transit — and she reasons that if legislators see this human face of transportation issues, more sustainable + equitable policy can be pushed through.
For more about GLUE, visit their website here, where you can also contact Abby directly.
University of Pittsburgh offers a class on the politics of Northern Ireland every semester. Tony Novosel teaches it with the intention that it will be the most challenging — and most involving — class the students will ever take.
The veterans of the class — like Scott Nicolson, heard here — leave with an intricate understanding of the Troubles, as well as some insight into the unexpected comic book connections + psychological conditions of the province.
Ahmad Seyar Zia is, as he has proclaimed himself to be, the King of Love. He is a young Afghan man, studying abroad in India now. Born in Kabul, raised in different places around Afghanistan and Pakistan, he has developed his own life philosophies that, he finds, hold him apart from most other young people around him.
In today’s interview, Ahmad talks about growing up in the tumultuous past decades of Aghanistan, of the religious and philosophical system he’s developed, of taking up Tae Kwan Do after his brother lost his leg in a mine explosion, and why he’s intent on returning to his country.
Ian Knox is one of Northern Ireland’s premier political cartoonists. After studying for a career in architecture, he made his way into the world of cartooning and now contributes to a whole array of outlets – including The Irish News, Hearts & Minds, Sky News, and The Guardian. He talks about why he likes to annoy people, how he knows if his cartoons succeed in their attempts to shove his opinions down the audience’s throats, which politicians he most likes to draw, and how he survives his daily threat of a heart attack.