Join Our Board! Nominations Are Open for PPT’s 2024 Board Elections

Image Description: PPT Member Lorita Gillespie speaks at a rally to stop the cuts to the 61s and 71s.

Join the leadership team to coordinate the strategic direction of Pittsburghers for Public Transit. Nominations open until July 7th. Voting open from July 10th to 31st.

Pittsburghers for Public Transit is a grassroots union of transit riders, transit workers and neighbors. We fight for a public transit system that is expanded, reliable, accessible and affordable to all in Allegheny County, with no community left out. We operate as a truly member-led organization, and that sets us apart from other non-profits because it is our membership that actually elects our Board of Directors, develops and votes to approve our yearly campaign plan, and participates in our different committees to execute our successful campaigns.

Our organizational election season is a special time for PPT! We are looking for a new round of leaders who understand the importance of our work for transit justice in Allegheny County, and are looking to get more involved in directing the course of our campaigns, communications, and actions. Nominations are open until July 7th. The nomination of transit riders, transit workers, Youth, Black people, Indigenous people, People of Color, LGBTQ People, People with Disabilities, Immigrants, and Women are strongly encouraged.

Nominate yourself or someone who inspires you with their leadership, vision, and commitment to transit justice.

More about nominations and voting:
4 seats are open for PPT’s General Membership to run for.
1 seat is open for a PPT Member who is a unionized transit worker.

See the list of current Board Members here.

This year, the board decided to open at least 4 seats for General PPT Members to serve on the board. These people will be elected to the seats currently filled by Andrew Hussein, Fawn Walker-Montgomery, Ricardo Villarreal, and Verna Johnson.

Then our bylaws require that each year’s election reserves a seat for a union transit worker. This person will be elected to the seat that is currently being filled by Sue Scanlon.

Nominations for these seats are open until Jul 7th. All current PPT Members are welcome to nominate themselves or another PPT Member. Outgoing board members are able to self-nominate or be nominated by another to serve another term.

PPT members are all those who support the Transit Bill of Rights, have participated in a PPT action or meeting, and have given dues of at least $2.75 cents within the last year (the cost of a single PRT fare).

PPT staff will confirm with each nominee whether they accept the nomination to be on the ballot. Each nominee will also be invited to submit up to 250 words about their background, experience, and vision for the organization. This can be submitted through the nomination form, email, or via phone and PPT staff will transcribe.

All nominee bios will be sent to PPT Members the second week of June and again the first week of July. Bios and photos will also be included in the ballot. Nominees will have 3 minutes to speak at the July PPT member meeting before votes are cast to highlight their vision for PPT and how their skills will help build the organization.

Voting in the 2024 Board of Directors election will open at PPT’s monthly meeting on July 10th, and remain open until the end of the month. PPT members cast their vote via an online form that will be shared at the July meeting and emailed, or by calling PPT’s Director.

PPT Board Structure and Expectations

Each July, PPT members vote for leaders to fill seats on PPT’s 5-15 member Board of Directors. Board Members serve a 2-year term. 2 seats must be filled by members of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 85 (the union that represents all of the Port Authority’s bus operators and maintenance workers) or another transportation union that represents workers in Allegheny County because strong community/labor solidarity is a central belief of the organization. The other seats are filled by members who have had previous experience with PPT’s work, and are looking to bring their involvement to the next level.

Members of the Board are expected to attend quarterly Board meetings and should also stay engaged with General Membership Meetings on the second Wednesday of each month. Additionally, Coordinating Committee members will need to maintain active lines of communication with PPT staff and other PPT members to advise and assist with the organization’s strategy, tactics, structure, and financial sustainability. CC Members should also serve on one of PPT’s three committees (Organizing Committee, Communications Committee, and Research Committee).

An excerpt of Article IV of PPT’s bylaws with full detail of the expectations and powers of PPT’s board is included at the bottom of this blog.

2024 PPT Board of Director Election Schedule

  • Nominations are open until July 7th.
  • Bios and photos of current nominees will be sent to members before the June PPT meeting and again the week before the July PPT meeting. Bios will also be included on the ballot.
  • July 10th, 7pm: PPT Monthly Meeting with Board Nominee introductions and Elections, voting opens
  • July 31st, 11:59pm: Final deadline for PPT members to submit their ballots online or via phone

Submit nominations through the link below, or by calling PPT’s Director, Laura Wiens, at 703-424-0854:

Excerpt from Article IV of PPT’s Bylaws explaining expectations and operations of our Board:

Article IV – Board of Directors 

Section 1: Board Role, Size and Composition

The PPT Board of Directors shall hereinafter be referred to as the Board.

The Board is responsible for managing the business affairs, property, and policies of PPT. The Board shall be composed of five (5) to fifteen (15) members representing diverse interests and areas of expertise that strengthen the knowledge base of PPT. A minimum of two (2) seats will be reserved for members of the Amalgamated Transit Union or any union representing mass transportation workers in the Greater Pittsburgh Region. One of these reserved transportation union seats shall be elected in every second year. The Board shall have charge of the proper, normal, and usual expenditures and other business of the corporation; they shall enforce the provision of these bylaws; they shall abide by the policies and procedures set forth in the Policies and Procedures Manual, and shall enforce the rules and regulations set forth for the management, care, and governance of the property and affairs of the corporation. The Board may employ or appoint such person or persons, or agents, as they deem necessary to further the business of the corporation and shall set and adjust the compensation of all persons or agents so employed or appointed. 

The Board will hire an Executive Director who may hire such paid staff as they deem proper and necessary for the operation of the Corporation. The powers and duties of the Executive Director shall be assigned or delegated by the Board of Directors. The powers and duties of the paid staff, other than the Executive Director, shall be as assigned or as delegated by the Executive Director and/or the Board of Directors, in accordance with PPT personnel policies.  

Section 2. Qualifications for Board of Directors

Board members shall be elected from the eligible voting, dues-paying membership, and only dues-paying members are eligible to run in the elections. Candidates for the board must have been a dues-paying member for six (6) months prior to an election. 

Section 3. Compensation

The Board of PPT shall serve without compensation. Board members may be reimbursed for pre-approved expenses reasonably incurred on behalf of PPT. Nothing in this paragraph is intended to preclude a Board member from receiving compensation for their service to PPT in some other capacity, provided that the transaction has been reviewed and approved by the Finance Committee in compliance with PPT’s conflict of interest policy.

Section 4. Recruitment and Elections

Nominations for new Board members will be made and publicized by the Board, Membership, and/or staff, at least two (2) months before the Membership meeting at which the election will take place.  Elections for the Board shall take place every year, with five (5) seats elected in even years, and six (6) seats elected in odd years.

Elections shall be announced verbally at the two (2) immediately preceding membership meetings before the election.

Dues paying members in good standing are eligible to vote. 

Bios and platforms of candidates shall be distributed by email to members one month in advance of the vote, and publicized on PPT’s website. Candidates will have three (3) minutes to address the general membership in advance of the election during the general membership meeting. Voting will be open for a minimum of one (1) week.

Section 5. Powers

The government of PPT, the direction of its work, and the control of its property shall be vested in the Board. The Board shall be authorized to adopt such rules and regulations as may be deemed advisable for the government of the Board, the proper conduct of business of PPT, and the guidance of all committees, officers, and employees. The Board shall be empowered to do whatever in its judgement may be calculated to increase efficiency and add to the usefulness of PPT; and to carry out the main purpose of this association provided such action is not in conflict with these bylaws. 

Section 6. Limitations

PPT shall be non-partisan and non-sectarian in its activities. 

Section 7. Term of office and Maximum number of terms  

Directors shall be elected to a term of two (2) years. Board members shall serve a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms. 

Section 8. Meeting Attendance Requirement

Board members must attend a minimum of three (3) out of the four (4) quarterly board meetings per year by phone or presence. Failure to fulfill minimum board obligations may be accepted by the board as a de facto or implicit resignation. The Board member will be informed before the publication of such de facto resignation to the members.