I am often asked the following two questions. First, after you read political literature and hear radio commercials, how do you separate the rhetoric from fact? The second most asked question is how do you make a determination between what is emotion and reality? My first response is you must begin to read and research who is a liar based on what they promise and can do, and then you must question what is their track record.
We did some research by asking people what are the responsibilities of a state legislator and what legislative district they live in, 86 percent of those questioned did not know. Two young educated Black men stopped me and said they had no knowledge of what Rep. Joseph Preston had ever done. I asked them what is he expected to do? Have you ever called him with a suggestion, have you ever written him or went to his office? Their response to all of the questions was no.
A number of people fail to understand that Joe Preston is not responsible for the vacant house next to you, the need for a red light, streets that need paving, the closing of our schools, or the refusal of the Allegheny County DA to prosecute the police men who attacked Jordan Miles. (I wish he had challenged him .)
Representative Preston has served the 24th district admirably for 30 years and his achievements are too lengthy to list, but a few majors are providing first class living accommodations for homeless veterans and providing the Homewood YMCA with over a million dollars. And he has played a pivotal role based on his seniority in Harrisburg in the entire redevelopment of East Liberty. The decline of the Larimer section of East Liberty and Homewood, overwhelmingly is because of ineptness, no genuine concern, residents are unemployed and unemployable and no longer vote so the city of Pittsburgh political leaders don’t give a damn.
Ed Gainey openly boasts about his involvement in development and closeness to Mayor Ravenstahl and how he has the mayor’s ear. Mr. Gainey stated he held business seminars to help minority business persons; he boasts about having the minority news media meet with the mayor, but he has not been able to name one business that he is responsible for helping and not one contract that the Black media has received. Ed also says that he worked with the Pittsburgh Police Bureau, and the city of Pittsburgh personnel. It’s obvious that once again he was not effective, because in the last Pittsburgh Police Class there were 27 White officers, not one Black, and if my memory is accurate in the last three police classes only one Black.
Ed Gainey’s slogan is new leadership and new vision, a slogan that is used in every election, but I seek an example and have not seen any signs of leadership or new vision. It is my conviction that the election of Ed would be the continuation of the Democratic Party and organized labor owning a freshman legislator completely and the 24th will be totally voiceless for a number of years.
Representative Joe Preston has not been all that I would like for him to be and maybe 30 years or 32 years is long enough. However change just for the sake of change is not good enough. If we are going to make change it is mandatory that it be positive change. Joe has seniority and the 24th legislative district cannot afford to send a person who is the captive of an interest who doesn’t serve us well. It is my fervent belief that the best way for the voters to improve the overall conditions that exist in the 24th legislative district is to find and groom some person male or female, who will truly represent the interests of the people instead of the Democratic Party or organized labor.
The above are the reasons that I support Preston instead of Gainey.
Please remember Kingsley Association needs your help for your youth.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum page.)