mind the gap

A Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community

Urban Democracy- The Progressive Culture War

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Kelo v. New London

a ruling for economic developers everywhere....

I just hope it doesn't become abused.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Campus Progress National Student Conference

I'm in!

(Hopefully) I'll be liveblogging it as well. It's July 13th and speakers include Bill Clinton and others.

Are you going? Let me know and we can meet up!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Endorsements and Updates

Hello stranger!
I haven't seen you in forever. Mainly because I had a horrible end of term rush, followed by a trip home and then the beginning of a new job.

Alas! It has all worked itself out. I ended my term with a 4.0! I even had two A+s! For those that requested copies of my housing paper, they're on their way so long as I have your email address.

ANYWAY... today is election day here in the burgh. I've taken quite a bit of time to decide who I'm going to vote for. That said, I'm offering endorsements to two lovely fellows...

Mayor: Michael Lamb
State Senator: Mark Rauterkaus

Despite a lackluster campaign season, I really do believe that Michael Lamb is the only one who can cause change in such a complex political environment.

Yesterday on my way home from Oakland at rush hour I passed three guys standing at a bus stop in front of the Carnegie Museum holding signs for Bob O'Connor. In Shadyside I passed Bill Peduto (dressed in a rather nice suit) holding a sign for himself next to what looked like a 15 year old boy in a suit (holding a Peduto sign of course). KDKA was there to film the scene. Despite being just... well... funny, I don't think it bodes well for Peduto.

That is all! Christilaw-Out!

P.S. go vote.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Michael Lamb is reading my mind... or maybe my blog

I have successfully made it though all of my final papers, projects and tests- except one. I have a very large policy paper on downtown housing and economic development that I'm working on. It's due next Friday and its going to be amazing.

I've been doing a LOT of research for it. Now, for my faithful readers, you may remember me talking about using student housing as a means to drive downtown development. It can be found here if you missed it. The post was on January 30th, 2005. My post is the basic topic of my research paper. On February 22, 2005, the first part of the Lamb Plan for Pittsburgh unveiled. It wasn't much more than some writing on Act 47 at the time. He's been slowly adding to his collection of "solutions". Today, in the midst of research on my paper, I came back to the "solutions" and found this! Amazing!
Creating a 24-hour Downtown --- Student Housing

Traditionally, Downtown has been a place to work, play and shop, but not to live. For Downtown to thrive, we must increase the number of residents. Parts of Downtown are already seeing a residential renaissance, particularly along Penn and Liberty Avenues, in the Cultural District. I will engage the expertise of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and their successful efforts to develop their own 14 square block district to assist with the many housing development opportunities for a variety of consumer segments, including students, empty nesters, professionals, and corporate housing.

We have a particular opportunity right now with respect to student housing. A recent survey of students at Point Park University and the Art Institute were surveyed regarding student housing and over half of those students indicated that they would like to live nearby. I will work with the City’s many colleges, universities and technical schools to assess the housing needs of their student bodies, as well as the developers interested in forming partnerships that can provide this crucial building block to creating a vibrant downtown community.

Putting thousands of students in downtown Pittsburgh will generate its own economic impact, as well as be a catalyst for retail development.

I will ask the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to serve as the central coordinating agency. Downtown can and should develop market-rate housing, and my administration will make that a reality.

I think this is a sign that I'm a genius. What do you think?

Digging a bit more I found this pdf by Peduto that...sort of.. mentions the idea. Basically, he just mentions students as one category that would be housed downtown in the greater context of using tax abatement to spawn residential development.

O'Connor, on the other hand, only mentions in passing that he wants housing in the Golden Triangle (perhaps we should start referring to it as the Brass Triangle?) However, he has a firm grasp on the number of neighborhoods in Pgh- 88. I think it's because its the same number as his age.

In Summary: Hello to the Lamb campaign staff! Since we seem to think alike, maybe you can hire me??

Sunday, April 17, 2005


I meant to mention in my last post that I'm now well over 2000 hits since January. I think we're at about 2250 right now, which is amazing in my opinion. Especially since I've only written junk in my opinion. I've been considering posting my manifestos, but something tells me that a 70 page statistics paper isn't going to get read by many people.

Speaking of site statistics, I've noticed another trend. When I post, people come to my site to read it. That's pretty amazing too. I guess considering the way the feeds work, I shouldn't be surprised. However, I'm still a young punk, so I am. :-) Haha. Suckers. You came here to read navel-gazing posts! hehe.

Okay, more interesting stuff- I'm working on three papers. One, successfully completed, is a statistics paper dealing with the relationships (or lack thereof) between social and economic data worldwide.

The second, in process, is entitled "CyberEthics in the Public Sector:
How Technology Changes the Ethical Landscape of Administration
and Politics". It may be of more interest to you. It's very interesting to me.

The third, not started, is a policy paper discussing, in depth, the fifth-forbes housing plan and its potential impacts on downtown economic development.

Alright, back to work for me.......

Friday, April 15, 2005

Idaho Napoleon laws , Pedros House, and STUFF

Idaho passed The. Best. Law. Ever.

Pedro's House is for sale.

And, I'm in the midst of finals mayheim. Each of my professors thought they were doing me a great service by making my papers and projects and tests early. Little did they know they weren't the only Pitt professor with a bright idea. And, alas, now ALL of my finals are nearly two weeks early. I'm working on about 100 pages of written text due between now and next Monday. So, no blogging, no webpage scanning, no activism, and not even a little bit of drinking liberally! But, fear not good readers, I shall return.

PS> It's karaoke night at Lounge. You have NO IDEA how much this is helping me write papers....uggggggggggghhhhhhhh.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Reports on Chuck from Erie...

I was very lucky that my post (below) on Kos garnered about 250 comments and stayed recommended for a full day. I was even luckier to meet someone in the thread named Samantha- a mother of two that also became inspired by Chuck Pennacchio. Take a look at her post at Democratic Underground:
I left the event, thoroughly inspired and hopeful, fully aware that as a Pennsylvanian, I have an awesome opportunity to apply lessons learned from 2004 and fight the good fight this time. That is the only way to get our country back. So giddy with hope and inspiration, I forgot that my gas tank was on 'E'.
Luckily, I could make out from the signs that there was an exit with a gas station 2 miles ahead. It was one of those exits; a one stoplight town with the gas station far from the interstate, but I made it.
Inside, I chatted with the employees; one spoke of how she too had no health insurance and therefore could not afford to get the store's required doctor's note if she missed a days' work, the other talked about how she couldn't afford to go back to college this coming fall, and one gentleman spoke to me at length about his disability and financial troubles. A road worker pulled in to gas up his salt truck and we all joked about me following him home. He said quite seriously, that unfortunately, he was done for the night, as it approached midnight and the State couldn't afford to have him work into a Sunday.
They all advised (practically begged) me to get a hotel room for the night as a State Trooper had just been in the store, directing travelers off the road and towards local motels, reporting that there had been 54 accidents on rt.79, so far that evening.
I explained why that was not an option for me; you see, I needed those 2 babes at home as much as they needed me, as they are breastfed, and anyone with experience with that will know how painfully engorged I was by this point, (and for anyone who hasn't, I apologize for the bizarre image that just popped into your head.)

I left the gas station, thinking of those folks working at the store and saying to myself; "Pennacchio for ALL Pennsylvanians!" and "Yeah! Chuck P. for You and Me!" and "Chuck Gets It!"
I pressed on, now listening to the Kyle Jason Show, on Air America Radio. It was my first time catching his show and I was enjoying the Bob Marley he was playing and how nicely it contrasted with the raging storm outside my windshield. Kyle had Chuck D. on as a guest and I really miss hearing him on the now cancelled, Unfiltered.
The storm eased up as I traveled South and I decided to pass the time by calling in to the show, but my cell phone cut out before I could do my Chuck P. / Chuck D. shout out. Good thing though, because I probably would have missed my exit.
I eventually made it home, (and I hope that the deer who I almost hit crossing my final leg of the trip did too.)

So why did I do this? Well, my 2 brothers our serving in the military, right now. My husband is a disabled firefighter and we rely a great deal on Social Security, and since he was injured I have become one of the country's 45 million citizens without health care. There are many, many reasons, but the biggest one is that I know of only some of what the Bush Crime Family is up to and that's enough to know that they must be stopped.
So, here's what I'm thinking:
The road that lies ahead may not be familiar and it is certainly not the easiest one to take, but it is the only road worth taking. And with all that is at stake, it is the only way to get to where we need to be. Along the way, some of us might get lost, and sometimes we might get lucky, but we will meet wonderful like-minded folks willing to help guide us home. There may be times when we run out of gas, but that's why we need to reach out to each other. And we will all take some risks together, but the biggest risk of all, is not going.

Make sure you check the full post at DU. There's more to the story and its all fabulous. Samantha's also got some great ideas on how we can help Chuck- ideas I'll be passing along to my blogging friends and fellow Chuck supporters in the next few days.

Welcome to the fight, Sam!
mind the gap