Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rally at Rumshakers

This past Friday, the 21st of September, a rally was held for me at Rumshakers in the South Side. I would like to thank all those in attendance for coming and I hope you all enjoyed your evening as much as I did.

I would also like to especially thank the staff at Rumshakers for doing a hell of a job and also the owner, Theresa, for hosting the event.

I've known Theresa for a while now and I know the kind of work ethic and professionalism she approaches business with, so I was not surprised in the least with how well the night went. Theresa is a self made woman and an entrepreneur who has overcome the challenges of starting her own business and is succeeding at it. That's the good part. The bad part is that, instead of supporting Theresa in her efforts to bring business and jobs to Pittsburgh, the city government instead, wants to tax her out of business, limit her freedom in running that business and even going so far as to target her as a problem because she is successful.

Let me explain the last one more fully; Theresa hires an off-duty officer to stand at the door of Rumshakers so to avoid any problems within and to handle any that might arise. When problems do arise the Officer simply arrests the perpetrator while other establishments would simply kick them out on the street to continue the trouble elsewhere. This, on paper, makes it seem as if Rumshakers has more problems than other places, where in truth, the inverse is true. I find it personally repugnant, that a hard working, honest woman who is doing her best to be successful in her profession and is doing what is right (ie officer at the door) can have a knee jerk government try to punish her with some feel good politicking in order to give the illusion of trying to solve the problem.

The problem? The problem is that the government, though fat in feeding it's own bureaucracy, has thinned and cullied the police force out of manpower, equipment and training in order to save a quick buck. The current government would rather build walking bridges and dig tunnels than actually work on improving city life. Who pays for this hubris? You and I do. Theresa and other business owners do, the future of this city suffers and all that choose to stay and all those who choose to leave.

Either we take a hard look at what is REALLY going wrong with the city and make attempts to fix it, rather than having political photo opportunities at walking bridges to nowhere and unneeded tunnels, or we should all just pack up and leave. If things stay on the course they are now the city Pittsburgh will become will be a place no one wants to live in.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rally Friday 21st

I would love to have the opportunity to meet the 300,000 people who make Pittsburgh their home before the election. Unfortunately, due to time constraints I am unable to do so. But, if you would like to meet me and talk about the issues in a fun environment, I am having a Political Rally, Friday night, the 21st of September at Rumshakers over in the South Side.

There will be music and libations and everyone's favorite Libertarian Mayoral Candidate. If you are over 21 years of age feel free to stop by, I would love to get a chance to meet you and discuss what's on your mind.

Rumshakers 8pm-10pm
1224 E. Carson St
Corner of 13th and E. Carson St.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Going green to save green

As I walk the streets of Pittsburgh a few interesting things spring to mind. Such as, why doesn't our bus system run on bio-diesel? Why don't our government building use solar panels? Why is our rivers still polluted enough to have water quality warnings?

Now I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a tree hugging hippie. I am more of a conservationist in the same ilk as Teddy Roosevelt. I am more interested in reintroducing the mountain lion and wolf packs back into the Appalachians than I am about crippling a business by feel good type restrictions that make it impossible to run a business and yet would yield little to no positive effect on the environment. But come on, there are plenty of things that we can do to make our corner of the globe a little better AND save us some scratch in the long run. For instance, with the price of oil reaching record levels a solution is needed lest our bus fares go to $10 a ride on the limited 3 bus lines PAT deems profitable enough to keep open. The time to invest and make a change is BEFORE the 11th hour, BEFORE we have no other choice. That way, we will be before the wave and the forward thinking will save the city and citizens money and we will be helping the environment.

Also, electricity is a dirty business. Not to say it's crooked per se, but it produces a high level of pollution. Plus, if we continue to rely on only one source of power we leave ourselves vulnerable to price gouging, terrorist attack, mechanical failure etc. You should always have backups and as of right now, unless you have a generator in your home, if the electricity goes out, you are sitting in the dark waiting for it to come back on. The city invest in a solution for this too. Fed Ex in Oakland, CA has installed solar panels on the roofs of its buildings and 80% of its power is generated by those panels. The best part is, when power is needed the most (during the summer with a/c's blasting) the sun is out the longest and produces the most amount of power. This saves Fed Ex countless dollars...why can't Pittsburgh follow suit. Saving money AND the environment in one fell swoop.

Like I said, as Mayor I want to save Joe and Jane Taxpayer as much money as I can in order to make their lives easier. Bio-diesel buses and solar power are two ideas to do just that, with the added bonus of helping to save the planet.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Where have all the good times gone?

What good times you ask? The good times I refer to are those had at the South Side Fair. A staple of the south side and the second largest event of its kind for years. That was, until a few years ago. I believe it was in 2004, the South Side Fair took its last curtain call, done in by a penny pinching government who ignored the benefits of the fair in order to tout its ability to cut SOMETHING out of the budget. You see, when you drive a city into bankruptcy and you have to answer for it, politicians will often time cut anything in order to have a "feel good" measure that makes it look like they are doing something.

Now, I am all for cutting out waste in government but let us be serious about it. The fair served a few purposes and benefits. These include, but are not limited to, the tax revenue produced by all the sales, giving our younger Pittsburgher's something fun to do, the identity and community that such annual events bring to the city and countless other benefits that politicians often times ignore in pursuit of a soundbite that makes them come across as effective.

The governments excuse was that it was too much money for police and clean-up. Makes sense no? To a degree it does, until you realize that the business owners of Carson Street volunteered to pay for the extra police and another company was willing to donate the funds for the clean up afterwards. THIS IS IMPORTANT! This is how government SHOULD work...how I propose to have City government operate when I become Mayor. Government shouldn't solve every little problem in the world...if it did we would be socialists. BUT, government should stay out of the way of progress and let the private sector and non-profits fill in the void to benefit everyone. Together, we all benefit, it's very Musketeer like.

If you think about it, it really makes a lot of sense. The private sector and non-profits can do more with less because they don't have to deal with the lumbering bureaucracy that stagnates government. The city government killed the South Side Summer Fair, and a little part of the future died with it. In order to say they were doing something, the politicians snuffed out an event that brought money into the city and extinguished another event that may have added an extra check mark in the pro column, keeping younger Pittsburgher's in the city. As Mayor, I fully intend to work hand in hand with local businesses and non-profits in order to stop the extermination of such events in the city.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Year of David beating Goliath?

This year definitely started with an underdog pulling out some magic over a juggernaut, with Boise State knocking down Oklahoma, using everything but the kitchen sink to do it. Then, just yesterday, the little college that could, Appalachian State, did what was thought impossible...they beat 5th ranked Michigan.


This was a fantastic game, where the App. State Mountaineers refused to listen to talk that they were a warm up game, where they had no chance of winning, where they should just feel happy about being there. Appalachian state did not heed these claims but rather came to play and with righteous indignation for being overlooked and belittled they felled a giant and went home, with their heads held high.

Well, being a third party candidate I am going up against Michigan like opposition in the Democrat and Republican candidates. The two old parties are so entrenched in the mindset of people that they give little heed to the fact that they have a choice. Finally, a choice that doesn't include the term "lesser of two evils" but rather is the best choice. The choice that allows for people to be free; with both their money and their lives. It is time that the city of Pittsburgh learns the lesson of little Appalachian State and vote for the best choice, the one with heart, the one people can cheer for and the one...deep down...they are really pulling for. It is time for a Libertarian Mayor.

Hope...it is the best of things...Boise State had it, so did Appalachian State...now it is Pittsburgh's turn...hope comes with change.

Vote Tony Oliva November 6th and continue the year of the Underdog.