Re-elect Deb Gross to City Council for District 7

In 2013, during a special election for the District 7 Pittsburgh City Council seat, Deb Gross received the overwhelming support of residents throughout the district, and she carried a strong progressive mandate into her abbreviated first term. After just 16 months, Deb has demonstrated strong leadership by forging community and business relationships in support of visionary projects in every neighborhood of District 7 and across the City. She is running for re-election in 2015 to continue her momentum in moving forward these neighborhood-drive initiatives.

In her first months in office, Deb used her background in community and nonprofit development to lead the landmark legislation that created the Pittsburgh Land Bank. Now with the Land Bank enabled by City Council she will continue to advocate for its ability to act effectively as an independent non-profit for community input in the sale and acquisition of properties, especially areas plagued by nuisance properties and absentee landlords, and allowing neighborhoods to have control over their future.

While economic development was already underway in District 7 when Deb assumed office, under her leadership the level of development has soared across the district. Over a billion dollars in the Strip District, tens of millions in Lawrenceville, and countless other projects throughout the district. Deb followed through on promises to work with community groups on initiatives for Bike-Pedestrian infrastructure, public safety improvements for events, and to make things easier for businesses and residents to live and work throughout District 7.

Deb is proud to be a part of the City’s progressive movement in government, working collaboratively with Mayor Peduto and fellow progressive City Council members to further a unified vision for Pittsburgh that is sustainable and supportive of all residents. Deb’s connection to the residents and passion for enabling community driven development while preserving each neighborhood’s character makes her the best candidate for District 7.

We need to re-elect Deb to continue leading community driven neighborhood development and City-wide progressive reform. Deb needs volunteers for phone banking, going door to door in your neighborhood, putting up a yard sign, raising campaign funds, and many other opportunities, all of which can be found under the Volunteer tab.

For updates on the campaign, events, and other news, you can fill in the Stay Informed box to the right, and be sure to follow Deb on Twitter (@DebGrosspgh) and like the Deb Gross for Council Facebook page. You can also stay up to date on Deb’s work in office by going to the District 7 website, by following @PGHDistrict7 on twitter, and by liking Pittsburgh City Council District 7 on Facebook.

Let’s continue to lead Pittsburgh forward into an era of neighborhood-driven change, economic development, and renewed support for our city’s working families. Vote Deb Gross for City Council on May 19 to continue progressive change!

Five Candidates Vie for Open Seat on Pittsburgh City Council

Five Candidates Vie for Open Seat on Pittsburgh City Council

Originally posted at 3:36AM MON NOVEMBER 4, 2013
Originally posted by By LIZ REID

The race for the District 7 Pittsburgh City Council seat looks to be wide open heading into the election Tuesday. Five candidates are vying for the spot vacated by Patrick Dowd in July. Politically, the candidates are as diverse as the district.

A Democrat, a Libertarian, and a handful of independents all want to represent District 7, which runs from the Strip District to Highland Park and includes Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Polish Hill, Friendship, Morningside, and Stanton Heights.

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Gross team shows off endorsements

Originally Published by Tim McNulty on Thursday, 31 October 2013 11:33 am.

The campaign for City Council special election candidate Deb Gross flexed its muscles this morning, throwing a get-out-the-vote rally on Grant Street featuring some of the city’s biggest Democratic names.

County exec Rich Fitzgerald MC’d the event, which included reps from a bunch of unions (among them Laborers, SEIU, Firefighters, I.A.T.S.E., Sheet Metal Workers, Building Trades), the chairman of the Labor Council (Jack Shea) and fellow elected officials such as Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa and state Rep. Ed Gainey.

“It’s the community coming together,” said Fitzgerald. “You might say, ‘why is the county involved in a city race?’ Because what happens in the city and what happens in the county affects all of us.”

Gross is running for the two years left in former councilman Patrick Dowd’s term against Tony Ceoffe Jr., Tom Fallon, Jim Wudarczyk and Libertarian Dave Powell, and from the outset has had the support of heavy-hitters such as Fitzgerald and Democratic mayoral nominee Bill Peduto — or, as Fitzgerald called him, “Mayor Peduto.” The Shadyside councilman was running late to the rally as he attended various transition meetings, even as he won’t be elected himself until Tuesday either.

“We’re going to get out Tuesday,” Fitzgerald said, “and work for [Gross] and then she’s going to be part of a great team helping Bill Peduto move this city forward in a strong way.”

Gross took the microphone at the end and remarked about meeting people across District 7′s East End neighborhoods.

“We are all a team. We make Pittsburgh what it is,” she said. ” . . . I would love to be the city councilperson for this district because it’s an amazing time when people are working together. We have an amazing opportunity at this moment with a new administration coming in.”

Photo: Gross campaign

Click here to read the entire article at Early Returns


Council clear choice

Originally Published in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on October 30, 2013 7:33 PM

Deb Gross well deserves all the endorsements she’s received, including one from the Post-Gazette editorial board (“Five-Way Race: East End Voters Should Elect Gross to Council,” Oct. 25). With her vast experience leveraging relationships to bring resources to bear for the organizations she has worked with in the past, the neighborhoods of District 7 will be fortunate to have such a champion in their corner, including my own Polish Hill.

My neighborhood knows she will fulfill her pledge to bolster the culture of entrepreneurship that has fostered local shops like Lili Cafe, Mind Cure Records, Copacetic Comics and Alfred’s Deli. Deb has experience with small business because she owned one (Percolater). The bustling bygone neighborhood economy that I’ve often heard of from my neighbors who were born and raised in Polish Hill can be a reality again with the help of Deb’s work ethic, experience and relationships.

Deb Gross is the one clear choice for this city council race because she has built a consensus of support behind her from across the district and across the city. This consensus has come because people know that she can deliver results that will support employment, more vibrant neighborhoods and stronger communities.

Polish Hill


Gross laps field in fundraising

Originally Published by Tim McNulty on Monday, 28 October 2013 10:07 am.

When it comes to fundraising, City Council special election candidate Deb Gross is far ahead of the other candidates running for Patrick Dowd’s old seat, just as she is in major endorsements.

Gross, of Highland Park, raised $68K this summer/fall, spent $32.5K and had $35.5K in cash for the last week of the race. $20K came in <$250 contributions from individuals; $18.7K from >$250 checks; and $27.8K from PACs controlled by allies such as Bill Peduto, Rich Fitzgerald, Mike Doyle, Jay Costa and Dan Gilman.

Tony Ceoffe Jr. of Lawrenceville raised $15.7K, spent $11K and had $4.7K left in cash. His biggest PAC contribution came from former councilman Len Bodack’s fund.

Tom Fallon of Morningside self-funded his bid with a $5,000 loan.

Jim Wudarczyk of Lawrenceville raised $1,100; spent $975 and had $182 left.

Libertarian Dave Powell of Morningside did not file a report, which typically means he raised/spent less than $250.

Click here to read the entire article at Early Returns


Five-way race: East End voters should elect Gross to council

Originally published on October 24, 2013 6:20 PM
Originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Voters in the city’s East End turned out for Bill Peduto in May’s Democratic primary, and he’s looking for another show of support next month. Sure, he wants their votes in his mayoral bid, but his victory is a given. Where he really needs the help is in the five-way race for Pittsburgh City Council’s District 7.

He’s not on that ballot, of course, but he is hoping that Deb Gross, a Highland Park consultant, will win the special election to finish out the term of Patrick Dowd, who resigned in June. District 7 includes Highland Park, Morningside, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Polish Hill, the Strip District and parts of Stanton Heights and Friendship.

Odds favor Ms. Gross, 47, who has endorsements from a host of Democratic officials, labor unions and progressive groups. She is not a shoo-in, however. She won the city Democratic Committee’s backing by just four votes over Tony Ceoffe Jr., 29, of Lawrenceville, a former city Housing Authority employee, former board member of the Lawrenceville United community group and son of the neighborhood’s district judge. He ran but lost to Mr. Dowd in 2011.

Also on the ballot are:

* Tom Fallon, 51, of Morningside, a one-time aide to state Sen. Jim Ferlo who now is the head of Urban Green Development, a firm that rebuilds dilapidated homes and makes them energy efficient;

* James Wudarczyk, 61, of Bloomfield, a customer service representative for a Strip District packing company who is active in the Lawrenceville Historical Society;

* Dave Powell, 42, of Morningside, a system administrator for the Falk Library at the University of Pittsburgh and chairman of the Allegheny County Libertarian Party.

The top candidates in this race are Ms. Gross, Mr. Ceoffe and Mr. Fallon, mostly due to their direct involvement in community affairs. During an interview with members of the Post-Gazette editorial board, each one demonstrated a detailed knowledge of city government and community issues.

Mr. Ceoffe and Mr. Fallon disappointed us on a paramount issue, however.

On whether Pittsburgh should remain under the state’s fiscal oversight through the Act 47 program, Mr. Ceoffe and Mr. Fallon said it’s time for the city to take charge of its own finances. In contrast, Ms. Gross said she was not eager to end state oversight since Act 47 has helped the city live within its means.

Ms. Gross’ political work has included campaigning for both Mr. Peduto and Mr. Dowd and the Run Baby Run Initiative, which supports women running for office. Her professional work, as a community organizer and strategic planner primarily with nonprofit organizations, has been focused on smart growth, urban revitalization, environmental stewardship and women’s issues. She was the founding executive director of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Alliance and she is a board member of the Landmarks Development Corp., the for-profit subsidiary of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.

This variety of work, over a range of issues and for a broad sweep of constituents, has given her experience with different interest groups and, we hope, skills as a consensus builder.

The Post-Gazette endorses Deb Gross, the candidate most likely to work productively with the city’s new mayoral administration on citywide issues.

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For Immediate Release:

October 24, 2013

Media Contact:

Nikki Lu, Campaign Manager


Deb Gross Hosts a Roundtable on Education

Pittsburgh, PA-

Tonight, Deb Gross, the Democratic nominee for Pittsburgh’s 7th Council District, is hosting a roundtable on education. The purpose of the roundtable is to exchange experiences and information with members of the community.

“I will be a strong advocate for quality public education, and for giving neighborhoods a voice in the process. The first step is having an open dialogue about what quality educations means to our community members,” said Deb Gross.

The Roundtable on Education will be held at West Penn Hospital, in the Karen Jones room, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., on Thursday, October 24th.



For Immediate Release:
October 23, 2013

Media Contact:
Nikki Lu, Campaign Manager

Deb Gross Receives Endorsement from Clean Water Action

Pittsburgh, PA-

Today, Deb Gross, the Democratic Nominee for Pittsburgh’s 7th Council District, received an endorsement from Clean Water Action (CWA). Clean Water Action is a one million-member organization of diverse people and groups that work to protect our environment, health, economic well-being and community quality of life.

In a letter to Gross, Tom Hoffman, Western PA Director of CWA, said, “We take our endorsements seriously and only back those candidates that share the priorities of our organization and its members.”

Deb Gross said, “I am honored to have the endorsement of Clean Water Action and look forward to working with them in the future. As a member of Council, I will continue to an advocate for a healthy environment.”



For Immediate Release:
October 21, 2013

Media Contact:
Nikki Lu, Campaign Manager

Deb Gross to Host Roundtable on City Services

PITTSBURGH –Tonight, Deb Gross, the Democratic nominee for Pittsburgh’s 7th Council District, is hosting a Roundtable on City Services.

Deb Gross said, “Better management for better services on our streets and in our neighborhoods will be one of my top priorities as a member of Council. I am committed to creating objective criteria for carrying out City Services, and implementing technology driven resources that will improve our City Services.”

The Roundtable on City Services is being held at Crazy Mocha, located at 4525 Liberty Avenue, in Bloomfield from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 21st.

Correction: an earlier version of this release incorrectly identified those present. The roundtable was attended by individuals who care about fixing up vacant properties, improving the safety of our communities, and improving the quality of life for residents in our neighborhoods.

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FOP for Gross

Originally Published by Tim McNulty on Thursday, 17 October 2013 11:24 am.

FOP for Gross

It isn’t often the FOP agrees with the firefighters — well, outside their support for Jack Wagner’s doomed mayoral campaign — but today they came together again with the announcement that the police union is backing Deb Gross in the special City Council election for Patrick Dowd’s old seat.

The firefighters gave Gross their backing a few weeks ago.

Said Gross:

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police. I look forward to working with our Zone commanders, our Police force, and our City leaders to ensure that citizen-oriented policing policies are a priority moving forward, to deliver the public safety resources our neighborhoods need.”

Click here to read the entire article at Early Returns