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3 Democrats vie for District 8 Pittsburgh City Council seat being vacated after 12 years

Jeanne Clark

Age: 63

Residence: Shadyside

Family: Widowed; two stepchildrenEducation: Attended Boston University for four years but did not graduate because of a life-threatening illness. Graduate level courses at Penn State.

Political party: Democratic

Background: Chairs Pittsburgh's 7th Ward Democratic committee, longtime activist on progressive and women's issues, on an unpaid leave from her job as communications director for the environmental group PennFuture.

Dan Gilman

Age: 30

Residence: Shadyside

Family: Single

Education: Graduated in 2004 from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor's degree in ethics, history and public policy

Political party: Democratic

Background: Chief of staff to Councilman Bill Peduto

Sam Hens-Greco

Age: 56

Residence: Point Breeze

Family: Wife, Kathryn Hens-Greco, who serves as an Allegheny Common Pleas judge; two adult daughters.

Education: Graduated in 1980 from West Virginia University with a bachelor's degree in political science. Law degree from the Antioch School of Law.

Political party: Democratic

Background: Attorney with the Downtown firm of Cole & Hens-Greco, P.C. Previously worked as a legal services attorney for University Legal Services in Washington. Chair of Pittsburgh's 14th Ward Democratic Committee but stepped aside while running for council.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 11:05 p.m.

Three former political allies are vying for the Democratic nomination in Pittsburgh's heavily populated City Council District 8, which will have new representation for the first time since 2001.

Jeanne Clark, Sam Hens-Greco and Dan Gilman say they will remain friends and join forces after the May 21 primary. The district includes Shadyside and parts of Point Breeze, Squirrel Hill and Oakland. Republican Mordecai D. Treblow, 83, of Squirrel Hill is running unopposed for the GOP nomination.

The four are seeking to fill the seat of Bill Peduto, who is a mayoral candidate.

Clark, Hens-Greco and Gilman agree that city government must become more diverse, transparent and modern.

One area in which they disagree is Marcellus shale drilling. In 2010, City Council banned shale drilling within city limits.

Clark said she opposes the ban and would work to overturn it. Hens-Greco and Gilman support keeping the ban for now.

“When council decided to ban drilling in the city — despite all of the evidence that there's no intention to drill in the city — what they said to all of the companies that were coming in to do business in Pennsylvania was: ‘Don't locate your corporation in the city of Pittsburgh,' ” said Clark, who works for the environmental advocacy nonprofit PennFuture.

Clark said her priority on council would be to diversify government and its ruling bodies so that they reflect the city's minority and female populations. Women make up nearly 52 percent of Pittsburgh's population of 305,704, according to 2010 Census data. Blacks account for 26 percent.

“We're cheating Pittsburgh out of great talent, and we're encouraging females to leave,” Clark said.

Hens-Greco said his main interest is gun violence. He would ask for commitments from council, the new mayor and police chief to end gun violence, then discuss ways to do that. He favors hiring more police officers and fostering a better relationship between police and neighborhood residents.

“If we can end gun violence, it would transform the quality of life and safety in the city for everybody,” he said.

Gilman said he would work to modernize city government and begin a Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation to help new businesses navigate bureaucracy.

He said the city should allow developers to file building plans electronically and pay for permits with credit cards.

“For Pittsburgh to be a world-class city in the 21st century, city government needs to operate in a modern way,” he said.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or




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