It’s time for Board Elections! Meet this year’s candidates and cast your ballot before 8/14/24

image description: photos of all nominated candidates running for the PPT board with words encouraging members to vote

PPT’s election for our Board of Directors will run from July 10th-August 14th. All PPT Members in good standing should cast their ballots for our next leadership team!

Please read this blog with bios on all the candidates before casting your vote. An overview of our election process and a guide on how to vote and the ballot are at the bottom of this blog.

We are excited to announce the following slate of candidates who were nominated to join the PPT Board of Directors. PPT Member can vote for the next round of leaders who understand the importance of our work for transit justice in Allegheny County – leaders who are looking to become more involved in directing the course of our campaigns, communications and actions.

Learn more about the nominees in their bios below and select the one who you feel can help usher our organization and movement into a new era of advocacy, connectivity and engagement. 

As a reminder, there are 5 board seats available for PPT General Members and 1 seat available for a unionized transit worker PPT Member. All those elected will serve from August 2024 to August 2026.

All candidates are listed below in alphabetical order by first name. There is a photo and short bio for each candidate to give background on their past work for transit justice and other issues. Each nominee has approved and contributed to their bio.

PPT Members can vote for up to 5 of the following candidates to fill PPT General Member seats on our Board of Directors:

Then, PPT Members can vote for up to 1 of the following candidates to fill seats reserved for Transit Workers on our Board of Directors:

Andrew Hussein

image of Andrew Hussein
image of Andrew Hussein reading a book

My name is Andrew Hussein, and I live in Penn Hills. My primary routes are 77, 79, P17, 86, and P16…. but to be truthful, you can find me on just about any route (no exaggeration) because I eat/sleep/breath/live all things public transit. Anyone who knows me knows that that is true. Transit is my sole means for transportation so I am acutely aware of the very real need for public transit to have a positive community impact. 

I am a long-time member of PPT who has been working with the org since a brief few-month stint in the early days, back in an earlier iteration of the org called “Save Our Transit”. Years later I reconnected with PPT on their community campaign in Baldwin. We won that campaign and restored service to that neighborhood and I never looked back. 

The skills that I bring to PPT are a significant all-around and general knowledge of the Port Authority system. I have a sincere passion for transit and its improvement. When I think of better transit I think of transit that is Fair, Equitable, reliable, useable, sustainable, readily and widely available – for as many folks as possible. Transit needs to fit as diverse a clientele and public needs as much as possible and I think that that is what we need to fight for together.

List of 3-5 projects or campaigns that the nominee has been involved with related to PPT, transit justice, activism, and/or movement building:

  • Current Vice President of the Allegheny County Transit Council (ACTC), current Executive Committee Member, and have been involved here for 8 years
  • I am also the founder and COO of the Bus Info Hotline, a Twitter and phone info line that is open for people to find out info and ask questions about Port Authority that I’ve been running for nearly 25+ years. Check out our Twitter at @PGH_BUS_INFO
  • Involved in many of the successful neighborhood service campaigns started in 2014 that restored service to transit deserts through our county.
  • I am a PPT Communications Committee Member. I lead the creation of our Blog Series on the Quarterly Service Updates.
  • I have a significant all-around and general knowledge of the Port Authority system, PPT staff calls me all the time with questions about our system.

Bill McDowell

image description: image of Bill at a bus stop shelter holding up a fist

Bill McDowell is a long-time disability rights advocate. He has been a member of PPT for more than eight years and is passionate about equitable infrastructure, accessibility, and fair fares. 

Bill has been a member of the PRT’s Committee for Accessible Transportation for many years and in that role has listened to the concerns and needs of the disability community in depth and has learned from those conversations over the years. Bill also believes that no one should be turned away from public transportation for the inability to pay a fare. Bill’s fight for an equitable transit system in Pittsburgh has been long, but is long from over. He appreciates the ability to do the work alongside so many other passionate transit justice advocates. 

List of 3-5 projects or campaigns that the nominee has been involved with related to PPT, transit justice, activism, and/or movement building:

  • PRT Committee for Accessible Transportation
  • PPT Research Committee
  • Fair Fares Coalition
  • PPT Organizing committee – organizing for better sidewalk infrastructure

Fawn Walker Montgomery

image of Fawn Walker Montgomery with red hair and a white t-shirt

Fawn Walker-Montgomery is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Take Action Mon Valley (TAMV). She is a former candidate for Mayor in McKeesport and a past candidate for State Representative in the 35th District. Fawn was the first black person & woman to run for a State seat in the Mon Valley. She has a B.A. in Political Science from Johnson C. Smith University (HBCU) and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Point Park University. Fawn has worked with PPT on various projects such as the BRT, fair fees, and removing cops from transit stops. She is also a past second-term Councilwoman in McKeesport and has 18 years of experience in the human services field. Fawn’s vision for PPT is that they increase membership in the smaller communities outside the City of Pittsburgh such as the Mon Valley. In addition, create specific campaigns to address the lack of transportation in these areas. Thus, having more of a county-wide focus.

List of 3-5 projects or campaigns that the nominee has been involved with related to PPT, transit justice, activism, and/or movement building:

  • CEO of Take Action Advocacy Group-A Black liberation organization who has worked on various efforts such as police accountability and food insecurity.  
  • Leading efforts on environmental justice in the Mon Valley and beyond. 
  • Has supported various PPT projects over the years, including community organizing to defeat the Bus Rapid Transit service plan that would have cut service to her city, co-developed & launched the “Fair Fares” platform, and many more!

Ms. Pearl Hughey

image description: image of Ms. Pearl with white hair in a green shirt

Pearl Hughey is a resident of Rankin Borough a Mon Valley community in the East portion of Pittsburgh. Over the years Pearl has been involved in many activities within her community as well as participant in activities in Greater Pittsburgh area. Pearl was a public official in her community, a member of the Rankin Christian Center board of directors, a founding member of the Rankin Community Development Corporation and actively participated in a computer tutoring program for Woodland Hills youth. 

Most recently Pearl became involved with Pittsburgh Public Transit (PPT) when the expansion of the East Busway was being discussed. Pearl has been a transit rider for her entire work career (40+ years). She feels that transit opportunities for people in the Mon Valley are essential for the livelihood, growth and development of people that live in this region. It is important for all voices to be heard, and that is the main reason Pearl stays involved with PPT.

List of 3-5 projects or campaigns that the nominee has been involved with related to PPT, transit justice, activism, and/or movement building:

  • East Busway Project
  • Continued P3 Service to Swissvale Stop
  • Fair Fares Coalition

Ms. Verna Johnson

Ms. Verna smiling, wearing a blue shirt
image of Ms. Verna wearing glasses and smiling

My name is Verna Johnson and I am a resident of Lincoln-Lemington. I am a disability justice activist and serve as the current chair of PPT’s Board of Directors. 

I first became involved with PPT in 2015 during the campaign to save service on the 89 Garfield Service campaign. The fight for better public transit in communities receiving less and less public transit resonated with me, and I continued to join PPT meetings and joined as a member. One benefit of being a PPT member that surprised me was the democratic decision-making process, and I felt that my lived experience was valued. I began to see how people from different walks of life could work together and make decisions that directed campaigns and the course of PPT. I have helped grow PPT by organizing riders during my time on the board. Being a board member has given me a greater understanding of how change can happen on a systemic level. 

In addition to working on issues surrounding transit justice, I have been co-chair of the Allegheny County Coalition for Recovery’s Commission on Health and Human Services as co-chair and helped people receive financial assistance. I’ve also rallied outside of elected officials’ offices to support federal workers during the previous government shutdown with fellow members. I also phonebank with Just Harvest and register community members to vote at Veterans Affairs. I am deeply committed to bringing more people into the fight for transit justice and holding our transit agency accountable to the riders and workers.

List of 3-5 projects or campaigns that the nominee has been involved with related to PPT, transit justice, activism, and/or movement building:

  • 89 Service Restoration Campaign 
  • #FairFare for a full recovery in 2020
  • Don’t Criminalize Transit Fares campaign
  • Canvassing at transit stops, talking with riders, and public speaking on behalf of PPT

Sue Scanlon

image description: photo of Sue Scanlon

I absolutely love PPT. I am so proud of all the work we’ve done to defend jobs, expand routes, and help passengers. The work we have done over the last 10+ years has saved the whole community because we connect people to the things they need in our city and region. We have built such a community with our organizing. It feels like being part of a superhero squad.

I have been a bus operator at Port Authority (ahem, I mean, Pittsburgh Regional Transit) for 22 years. I have seen the agency during its highs and its very lows. Unfortunately, we are now at one of those lows. I want to continue being part of the movement to fix it. I consider myself a pretty good activist. I have the conviction to be out in the street, although I am always learning as an organizer. 

How can we bring people together with love and consciousness to fight for our common good? When I look to the future of PPT, I want to see us keep building our base of organizers and activists. We are going to keep spreading our message across the city, state, and the entire country. We will remain on the cutting edge of activism for transit justice. 

Our movement isn’t about me or any individual person. It is about what we can all do when we work together. It is about building a better world out of the situation we are in today. Everything is about community.

List of 3-5 projects or campaigns that the nominee has been involved with related to PPT, transit justice, activism, and/or movement building:

  • The very first campaign I was involved with was restoring transit service in Baldwin, circa 2014. It was such a great campaign because it showed how communities can come together to fight for each other’s needs.
  • I was also involved in the fights for Act 89, rallies Downtown, and Squirrel Hill, circa 2011. We shut down Forbes Avenue and Murray Avenue. It was an example of how labor and organize together with communities to improve service and jobs.
  • In 2020 and 2021 I helped my ATU brothers and sisters start and eventually win the right to wear Black Lives Matter masks on the job. We staged protests and brought the case to court. You can read more about the win here.
  • I’ve also been involved with helping other unions in solidarity – I started the campaign for workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to get a contract. Helped organize PPT members to picket in front of John Block’s house and at the Post Gazette. Met a ton of great people in this work.
  • I also represent PPT on the PA Poor Peoples Campaign steering committee. I have traveled to DC, I don’t even remember how many times, to fight for the working class. I have been working to help people realize we’re all in this together and that we all have to work together to get what we need.

Overview of PPT’s Board Election Process

Pittsburghers for Public Transit is a grassroots, democratic, member-led organization that fights for racial justice and public transit as a human right. The election of a Board of Directors from and by our general membership is a cornerstone of what keeps us accountable to our members. The Board is responsible for strategizing and executing the organization’s campaigns, outreach, governance, and fundraising.

The Board’s Executive Committee chooses how many seats will be up for PPT’s board election each year. Our bylaws say that our Board can be anywhere from 5 to 15 people and that 2 seats are reserved for transit workers connected to a local transit union. Earlier this year our Board’s Executive Committee decided to open 6 seats to be elected from our general membership, and 1 seat to be elected to a transit worker.

Each spring, the PPT membership nominates fellow members to run for the Board of Directors. If those members accept the nomination, then they are invited to submit a photo and bio to be placed on the ballot, and they are invited to speak about their qualifications at the July General Member Meeting.

PPT Members in good standing can cast their ballots for two weeks in July. The nominees with the highest vote totals are invited to join the Board of Directors for a 2-year term.

How can PPT members vote?

PPT Members in good standing can cast their ballots from July 12th to August 9th using the form below. The nominees with the highest vote totals are invited to join the Board of Directors for a two-year term. As a reminder, all active PPT members commit to doing the following:

  1. Agree to uphold PPT’s Transit Bill of Rights. 
  2. Pay dues to support our budget. We encourage members to give at least $2.75 monthly (the cost of a single PRT fare), but no one is turned away because of funds.
  3. Take part to help us win our campaigns. PPT Members contribute to our campaigns in many different ways, and you can find the way that’s right for you. This could mean anything from joining meetings to voting in our elections, participating in a committee, spreading the word on social media, to speaking up for transit at a public meeting.

If you are unsure of your PPT Membership status, you can check by email ( or by phone ( 412-626-7353 ).

PPT Members can vote below: