Congrats to the new PPT Coordinating Committee Members, elected to lead us 2021-2023!
Pittsburghers for Public Transit is a democratic, grassroots, member-led organization and we practice what we preach.
Our Coordinating Committee acts as our Board of Directors and is filled with up to 15 people who are elected to the seats by the rest of our membership. Our “election season” runs from May to July. Members are nominated to run for the board in May and June. If they accept the nomination they are put on the ballot and able to speak to the membership at the July meeting. Voting is then open for two weeks for any eligible PPT member to cast their ballot (PPT members are people who 1. agree with the transit bill of rights 2. have paid dues of at least $2.75 in the last year and 3. have helped us push our campaigns for transit justice).
This democratic, participatory leadership process is at the heart of our organizing. It keeps a core team of enthusiastic and committed members at the helm. This Coordinating Committee is responsible for guiding the direction of PPT’s campaigns and organizational development.
We’re so excited to welcome this group of new and re-elected Coordinating Committee members in 2021 who’ll be leading us until 2023!
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.
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.
Kevin Joa, ATU Local 85
Kevin is a Port Authority bus operator and member of ATU Local 85. He was first elected to PPT’s Coordinating Committee in 2019 and just won his re-election in 2021. Kevin has taken part in PPT campaigns to encourage Port Authority board members to ride transit; push for expanded transit funding in PA; and build more affordable housing near great transit.
Before joining Local 85 as a bus operator, Kevin worked at a local public school system. Kevin also is a proud owner a beautiful dog!
Mayor Nickole Nesby
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.
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:
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.