Dear Pitt students:
"We have an old saying in Delta House," D-Day told Flounder in the finest motion picture achievement in American history: "Don't get mad . . . get even!"
Luke Ravenstahl, mayor of Pittsburgh (which shows what could happen if you wash out of Pitt and get stuck at a school like W&J, so study hard!), today pronounced the G20 a success and in particular said police acted "admirably."
Luke will be running for reelection in five weeks. What better way to respond to the Siege of Schenley Plaza than by voting this joker out of office?
First, the math (this is where we lose the boy mayor even if he is trying to follow along). In 2005, 60,000 votes were cast in Pittsburgh's mayoral election; the winner received 40,000 votes. In 2001, 53,000 votes were cast; the winner had 40,000. Before 2001, there are no records available because yinzers were not yet connected to the Intertubes. But Pittsburgh has been losing population for 40 years (that whole "hellhole" issue), so the long-term trend should be toward fewer votes cast.
Roughly 27,500 students are currently enrolled at Pitt's Oakland campus. I suspect that 22,000 are (or could become) Pittsburgh residents. Anyone living in a dorm (nearly 7,000) can register to vote in Pittsburgh. Anyone with a bed in Squirrel Hill, South Oakland, Shadyside, North Oakland, Point Breeze, East Liberty or any other part of the City of Pittsburgh can register. Anyone whose parents have a residence in the city can register.
Pitt has approximately 11,000 faculty and staff members. I estimate 4,000 reside in the city.
That's 26,000 potential Pitt votes. Of course, not one of the College Young Republicans can be expected to participate, so subtract seven. But I estimate that at least 2,000 parents of Pitt students are eligible to vote in a city election. So that makes 27,993.
And that, even a W&J kicker would recognize, is enough to deny Luke the mayor's office in a town as small as Pittsburgh.
The deadline for registering to vote in the November 2009 general election is Tuesday, October 5. One week. But registration is easy; information is here.
(Your elders also must do their part. Dok Harris and Kevin Acklin, the other two guys on the ballot, need to become a single opponent . . . by flipping a coin, if necessary. I will work on that.)
I call on Pitt's Student Government Board, the Pitt Democrats, every fraternity and every sorority (girls Luke is currently dating are excused), the cheerleaders (ditto), the dance team (ditto) and every other recognized student organization to participate in a massive voter registration drive during the next week. Register students, faculty and staff in class, in the cafeterias, outside the Cathedral, at the Union, at bus stops, in bars, at workout rooms and on campus buses.
Oh, and someone needs to visit the Allegheny County Division of Elections tomorrow to pick up 25,000 registration forms. Coordinate with the Acklin and Harris campaigns; if you move slowly enough, they'll keep up.
Luke thought it was cool to use a sonic cannon, pepper bags, rubber bullets, tear gas and nightsticks against innocent Pitt students this week. I think it would be cool to hear the entire student section, just before the fourth quarter of the Syracuse game begins, substituting "We beat Luke" for "Let's Go Pitt" during Sweet Caroline.
One mayor to take down, one week to go.
Let's Go Pitt!
UPDATE: Gloria advises that a student can download a registration form here, and deliver or mail the form to Allegheny County Division of Elections, 542 Forbes, Suite 609, Pittsburgh PA 15219. So long as the form is RECEIVED by the Division of Elections by October 5, 2009, the voter will be eligible to vote against Luke Ravenstahl in November.
Wilkinsburg voting with its wallet
3 hours ago