Pittsburghers for Public Transit is a grassroots, democratic, member-led organization that fights for racial justice and public transit as a human right. Each July, the organization holds elections for its membership to elect a slate of candidates to serve for two years on the Coordinating Committee. The Coordinating Committee is PPT’s equivalent to a Board of Directors, and is responsible for strategizing and executing the organization’s campaigns, outreach, governance and fundraising.
2 seats on PPT’s Coordinating Committee are reserved for transit workers connected to a local transit union, of which, one is elected each year. The remaining seats can be filled by PPT’s general membership, 6 of these seats are up for election in odd-number years and 5 of these seats are up for election in even number years.
All are welcome to join our General Membership Meeting on Wednesday, July 14th at 7pm. Each candidate will have 3 minutes to speak to their strengths and what they bring to the Coordinating Committee.
Votes for the Coordinating Committee should only be submitted by PPT Members after they read the bios below. Voting deadline is Wednesday, July 28th at midnight.
A current PPT Member is someone who:
- Supports the Transit Bill of Rights
- In the last year has organized with PPT to further any of our campaigns – either by attending a Monthly Meeting, joining a rally, phone banking, canvassing, testifying in front of an agency, etc.
- In the last year has given a financial contribution or membership dues of at least $2.75 (the Port Authority’s single-ride fare cost) in the last year.
If you are unsure of your membership status, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-626-7353 to check.
Nominees to fill 5 PPT General Membership Seats, 2021-2023
Below is a list of the nominees to fill PPT’s General Membership seats. They are listed in alphabetical order by first name, with a short bio and list of their campaign involvement to give background on their in past work for transit justice and other issues. Each nominee has approved and contributed to their bio and list of campaign involvement. PPT Members, please read through all of this info before casting your vote.
PPT Members can vote for up to 5 candidates to serve a 2-year term, 2021-2023.
My name is Andrew Hussein, and I live in Penn Hills. My primary routes are 77, 79, P17, 86, 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 of a clientele and public need as possible and I think that that is what we need to fight for together.
- Current Secretary of the Allegheny County Transit Council (ACTC), current Executive Committee Member, and have been involved here for 5 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 20 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 port authority system, PPT staff calls me all the time with questions about our system.
My name is Barb Warwick and I have been a member of PPT since 2019. I live in Four Mile Run and first became involved with PPT as part of the fight against the Mon-Oakland Connector. That experience really opened my eyes to the power of community activism and to what an amazing organization we have in PPT.
Professionally, I have always considered myself to be somewhat of a workhorse who is fully committed to any project I take on. Having had lots of experience in the corporate arena, I am always happy to “suit up” and meet with political leadership and transit authorities to press for policies that support equitable, affordable, and sustainable transportation systems.
My communication style is diplomatic, but persistent. And, with 20 years’ experience in marketing communications, I know how to stay on point and on message. As a writing and editing professional, I can also help ensure that content put out by PPT is always clear, concise, and engaging. The way I see it, PPT saved my community and public park from being overrun by the Mon-Oakland Connector. Whether chosen for the Coordinating Committee or not, I feel such gratitude to you all and look forward to continuing to work together for transit equity and justice for many years to come.
- Mon-Oakland Connector: Extensive involvement
- #FairFares: Communications, board meetings, and rallies
- Equitable Transit Funding: Communications, board meetings, and rallies
- Transit for All PA!: Rally in Harrisburg
Dean Mougianis has been a media producer for forty years and an educator for twenty-five. Dean began his media misadventures on a gap year (well, several) in his education when he fell in with a group of people who had the audacious idea of founding a radio station. This became WYEP-FM. He later transitioned to video, worked in a variety of production facilities, then struck out on his own as a freelancer. As a producer, writer, video editor and motion graphic artist, Dean has worked with a wide range of commercial clients, had enough of that, and began working instead for non-profit, labor, and social service clients.
Somewhere in mid-life, Dean decided to pay back the legacy of many people who taught him so much and sought out teaching opportunities. As an educator for the past twenty-five years, Dean has taught courses and workshops in various aspects of video production from beginner to advanced for Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Grove City College, Laroche College, and the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. An early convert to digital media, Dean now specializes in teaching motion graphics and animation.
Dean Mougianis – Board of Directors intentions: I see my primary role in assisting and advancing PPT’s communications and media efforts. Along with this I wish to help develop membership participation and leadership and do what I can to connect PPT to broader transit advocacy coalitions at the state and national level.
- Started with PPT in 2012/2013 around the successful state-wide funding fight to pass Act 89.
- Chair of PPT’s Communications Committee since 2018.
- Handled video
- Has created videos to support the Amalgamated Transit Union and other state-wide and national media projects like his Fair Districts PA video that was cited in the New York Times
- Songwriter of “The 61c Song” that debiewed in the ‘80s and has since become PPT-famous!
The honorable Mayor Nickole Nesby is a dedicated public servant with 20 years’ experience in legislative government. In November 2017, Nesby successfully unseated incumbent Phillip Krivacek to become the first female and African American to head the city of Duquesne, PA. She was elected to PPT’s Coordinating Committee in 2019 and is now running for her second term.
No stranger to socioeconomic disparity, Ms. Nesby was born in McKeesport, PA. Her parents were hard working steel mill workers. One of seven siblings who she had to had to raise when her mother fell victim to the crack epidemic, she refused to allow poverty to derail her goal of attaining higher education. Nesby recently completed her fourth degree, an MBS from Northcentral University in Organizational Leadership Specializing in Nonprofit. While Mayor Nesby has no children of her own.
As a first-term mayor, Nesby is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Duquesne’s population of 5,481. Plagued by systemic poverty, illiteracy and incarceration, 80% percent of its residents are welfare recipients and of that number, half have criminal records. Deemed the worst performing school system in Pennsylvania, Duquesne was forced to close its high school in 2007.
Duquesne’s future may appear bleak, but Mayor Nesby’s aspiration is to make Duquesne a better place to live. She works so that residents to have a quality education, affordable housing, better transportation, healthcare, and parks. These are the things that all people deserve, and they can be real by working together.
- Got involved with PPT during the successful campaign to expand service on the 59 to the Hilltop Parkview Apts in Duquesne and bring more Connect Card vending machines to residents.
- Continued working with PPT on the 61c/BRT campaign to successfully push back against service cuts in the Mon Valley.
- Took the community energy from these two campaigns to launch the Riders Vision for Public transit that layed the groundwork for the Beyond the East Busway Campaign.
- Has since taken a leadership role in expanding transit access for Duqesne and the Mon Vally. Lobbied Rep. Mike Doyle for federal funding to expand the east busway to Duqesne, and successfully elevated the project to the top of Port Authority’s NextTransit priority list
- Active with the Pennsylvania Poor People’s Campaign, and Board Member and organizer with Take Action Mon Valley
Paul W. O’Hanlon
My name is Paul O’Hanlon, I’m a retired lawyer. From 2001 to 2014, I worked for a disability rights law firm, and before that I was the Senior Housing Attorney and Housing Unit Chief with Neighborhood Legal Services Association in Pittsburgh.
I caught the “transit bug” in 1991. At that time Port Authority began the long process of becoming accessible to passengers in wheelchairs. Since that time I’ve been involved in advocating for the best, most accessible, area-wide and affordable public transit.
I have been involved in a number of advocacy issues in Allegheny County, particularly around housing, accessible public transportation, and voter engagement:
- From 1992 to 1995 I convened the Accessible Transportation Work Group, which worked with Port Authority Transit to implement the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- In 2002 I filed Washington v. Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, a class action on behalf of disabled residents. This case eventually settled with HACP building 300 fully accessible units and committing to 10% Authority-wide accessible units (double the federal minimum).
- In 2003 I spearheaded an effort to enact local ordinances supporting “visitability” in the design of housing – providing a zero-step entrance, accessible first floor powder room, and other basic access features in housing design. Pittsburgh and Allegheny County now offer tax credits to promote visitable housing design.
- In 2008 I started the program Ballots for Patients, which provides emergency absentee ballot assistance to hospital patients in Allegheny County on Election Day.
My name is Stu Strickland, and I have been associated with PPT since its inception around 2011. I’ve also been associated with predecessor groups Save Our Transit and T>R>U>E, as well as the citizens’ advisory group Allegheny County Transit Council since 1992. My personal motto is “Anything but the car,” meaning I promote any form of transportation that isn’t the single-occupant automobile. I’ve walked my talk, too, living in the suburbs with a young family, choosing to get around by bus and bike, thereby making do with only a single car, using the money saved to pay off a 30-year mortgage eight years early. How can I help others follow in my steps? By promoting transit, and working to remove obstacles to using transit and other sustainable modes of transportation, notably the funding issues we’ve faced annually for decades. My day job and my career involve information analysis, and with that 30 years of making transit work, in places where transit shouldn’t work, I think I can contribute significantly to any deep discussion of transit, going forward.
Hello! My name is Swetha Jasti. I am very grateful to be nominated for PPT’s coordinating committee. I am a native of Kansas City and I moved to Pittsburgh five years ago to attend the University of Pittsburgh. It was in Pittsburgh that I found my roots in activism, and PPT was instrumental to this.
During my senior year of college (2019-2020) I completed a thesis project in coordination with PPT that focused on Port Authority’s Bus Stop Consolidation project. I interviewed bus riders and operators to understand the impact of bus stop removal, particularly focusing on reduced access to riders. Additionally, in the spring of 2020 I attended a Human Rights Summit in Washington, DC along with the Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance. Here, I spoke to UN ambassadors about the importance of public transit in addressing human rights issues, using experience from my thesis project and Pittsburgh’s transit system. I have also canvassed with PPT on various projects, most recently to gather signatures to pass Breonna Taylor’s law and to gather rider’s opinions on Port Authority’s recent fare changes.
As a coordinating committee member, I would dedicate my time and efforts to continue making PPT a welcoming space for all. I would work collaboratively with PPT members to reach our goals for a more equitable transit system in Allegheny County by boosting our fair fares platform, working to secure more transit funding, and holding officials to prioritize transit justice. Thank you for considering me for this position.
PPT projects that I have been involved with:
- Research project entitled “Access vs Efficiency: A Closer Look at Bus Stop Consolidation in Allegheny County”
- Canvassing with PPT to gather information on bus stop consolidation and Port Authority’s fare changes
- Helping to create a framework for building a statewide transit coalition of various environmental, economic, and disability justice organizations.
- Represented PPT in leading a Climate Strike Aciton with the PGH Sunrise Movement
Nominees to fill the Transit Worker Seat, 2021-2023
Below is a list of the nominees to fill the Transit Worker seat that is reserved for union members of local transit worker unions. They are listed in alphabetical order by first name, with a short bio and list of their campaign involvement to give background on their in past work for transit justice and other issues. Each nominee has approved and contributed to their bio and list of campaign involvement. PPT Members, please read through all of this info before casting your vote.