Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Plumbing of City Council

Warning: My advanced political readers, probably don't need this. However, since I'm hoping to be "breaking down the burgh" for anybody and everybody who wants to follow politics, I'm going to include it.

Before I continue to break down the politicians that run the Burgh I (and maybe you too?) need to try to figure out the whole city council thing.

What Does City Council Do?
When we were kids we all learned about what Congress did and what the President could do, but anybody remember the 10th grade class on city council? Me either. So here's a breakdown courtesy of Progress Pittsburgh:

City Council is the legislative branch of government. It carries out duties in accordance with the Home Rule Charter and the laws of the state, and is primarily responsible for making laws which govern the City of Pittsburgh. City Council proposes, debates, and votes on legislation governing and/or affecting the city. This body also approves appointments as provided by the Charter, regulates revenues and expenditures, incurs debt, and approves the final operating and capital budgets for the city. Council is responsible for the introduction of legislation generated by the Administrative Branch of city government. Council may also introduce legislation generated by individual Council Members or Council as a body.

Who's my Councilman?
In 1989, city councilman began being elected to represent regions, districts, of the city. Consequently, when council elections are held you get to vote for only one member of city council to represent you (as opposed to the whole city electing 8 officials). So, to figure out who your city council representative is you'll need this map.

How do Councilmen Get Elected?
City Councilmen are elected to two year terms. The odd number districts have elections in the odd numbered years and vice verse.

Alright I feel much better. Tomorrow, I'll profile councilman number 1 (District 1's Darlene Harris).

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