Suns Out, Guns Out

Summer time fitness check in:

It’s been a couple months since the spring semester has let out and since I’ve been back state side (more on my Taiwan trip to come, my bad for the delay!).

Here’s what I’ve been up to in my fitness game.

First up – Measurements:

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 41″
  • Chest: 36″
  • Biceps: 11.5″
  • Waist: 32″
  • Hips: 39″
  • Thigh: 22″
  • Calf: 14.5″

Weight: 142.8# BF: 21%

Next up – 1RMs:


  • Bench Press: 100#
  • Bent Over Rows: 90#
  • Dead lift: 205# (new PR!)
  • Squat: 125#


  • Arm Curls: 25#
  • Arm Extension: 40#
  • Shoulder Press: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 60#
  • Lateral/Frontal Shoulder Raise: 15#

Stacked Machines:

  • Leg Press: 315# (222.705# at a 40° angle)
  • Calf Press: 585# (413.595# at a 40° angle – another new PR!)
  • Leg Extension: 175#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 145#
  • Hip Abduction: maxed out
  • Hip Adduction: maxed out
  • Chest Press: 100#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 100#
  • Seated Rows: 100#

Haven’t done much running at all this year; missed the PGH Marathon (ran every year since 2010) due to being out of the country (which is a pretty cool reason) but I’ve been biking everywhere and doing my best to keep up with the National Bike Challenge (May – Sept). I’ve also been hitting the gym for some lifting time about 2-3x a week, keeping it casual with alternating upper/lower body focus days plus some abdominal work.

Upper body focus days:

  • Bench press
  • Lat pull downs
  • Bent rows
  • Biceps curls
  • Triceps extensions
  • Overhead press


  • Incline crunches
  • Incline Russian twists with medicine ball
  • Oblique bends with plate

Lower body focus days:

  • Squats – barbell, on bosu ball, free weights
  • Deadlifts – barbell
  • Leg / Calf press – hip sled
  • Lunges – weighted with plates or dumbbells, walking

Abdominals: variations of above list


  • 969.2 miles in 46 days
Year to date:
  • 1,359.7 miles in 82 days

January – 13 out of 31 days, 106.1 miles total

February – 7 out of 29 days, 62.5 miles total

March – 3 out of 31 days, 29.2 miles total

April – 13 out of 30 days, 192.8 miles total

May – 20 out of 31 days, 440.6 miles total

June – 25 out of 30 days, 509.6 miles total

July – just started

Aside from commuting I’ve been hitting up some trails and going on group rides at least once a week. Including: Steel City Roll (first Mon of each month – next ride 07.04.16), 412 Flock (third Fri of each month – next ride 07.15.16), PGH undies ride (last Thur of each month – just went on one last night 06.30.16, next ride 07.28.16) and random rides with friends around Pittsburgh, the #LunchLoop (new) with HealthyRidePGH and BikePGH (06.17.16, 07.14.16, and 08.23.16) as well as OpenStreetsPGH (last Sun of May, June, July – new route this month) again with with HealthyRidePGH and BikePGH. For those in the Pittsburgh area feel free to come out and join me for these monthly group rides!

NEW Leadership PA Class of 2016

About a week or two ago I had the privilege and pleasure of attending the  NEW (National Education for Women’s) Leadership week long program hosted via Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politic at Chatham University. It was an intense week jam packed with knowledge, connecting and networking with new friends,  educational workshops plus a trip to Harrisburg where we met a couple of our state/legislative reps and a few lobbyists.

This program addresses the under–representation of women in the political arena via focusing on the role of women in politics and policy making in the Commonwealth of PA. This year we had just under 40 students from all over the state of PA come together to attend this program. NEW Leadership Pennsylvania™ is a part of a national network of NEW Leadership programs developed by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University.

Itinerary for the week found here – below is a bit more of a break down and notes from the workshops and speakers

Day 1: Sunday 06.05.16 
Arrive at Chatham University in the afternoon, check in and get my room assignment. I was fortunate enough to have a single dorm room; I don’t know how on campus students do it, I missed my bed already! Some refreshments and mingling till we kicked off the week with a workshop on public speaking.
Some quick stats:
Harrisburg legislation 80% male = over rep
Ready to run training program bi-partisan philly and Pgh 5 yrs
NLPA ~40 ppl 1 week
One of the goals for the week: Learn a skill, then practice it immediately
Each student was assigned a speaker or two to introduce before each event or workshop. This was to give us practice with public speaking, which happened to be our kickoff workshop!
Workshop 1 -Public speaking 101:  Dr. Gartner-Schmidt 
(surprise for me I had the honor of introducing our first speaking before we even had any training! that was fun and cool)
Ink blot tests – first thing we think/feel of when see …

instead of ink blots we were shown an image of a podium up on a stage

My first thought about this – control … some others included power, isolated, fear, nervous
  • Fear of public speaking – isolating and judgement + being liked
  • Respect
  • What’s in it for me? Goals, become better
  • Money – equalizer
  • How well we speak – equalizer
  • Extroverts vs introverts
  • Smart ppl don’t make smart communicator
  • Coming off certain way, coming across – objective
How we communicate:
1. Verbal 7%
2. Non verbal 55%
3. Voice 38%
55% of what we are saying or communicating is done so non verbally
1. Verbal
  • “so”
  • “um”
Impress vs communicate
The FOG index – readability index grade level of speaker to what is said
Listen ability – use common words
Newspaper white space why? Recover, transition, not overwhelming
Pauses allow to process
Rate of speech – ave 160 wpm best bw 120-140
Language do not 1. Over explain 2. Use self deprecation 3. Say I think (maybe or perhaps)
Use zippy words
Use adjectives
Physical characteristics
Personality traits – vocal stereotype
Neg attitudes
Worse for women – judged more for voice quality than men
Pitch goes down age up Women
Male voice goes up when age up
Vocal health – water (speak or sing wet, pee pale)
Mucus glands
  • Close when speaking – penny size
  • Open when breathing
How many of you have had speaking lessons? not many
  • Speaking voice vs singing
  • Lower pitch w no air – Tightening up
  • Zzzz teeth tip of tongue
  • Mmmmm lips
  • Feel front of mouth not throat – neck – fatigued or hoarse
  • Consonant sounds 65% standard American sounds ‘statistics analysis’
North America – pitch goes down at end of phrase
Pitch ditch
Sweden and. Canada speak up
Bogart Bacall syndrome
Women taught to drop pitch – authoritative – can be trained – tend to do so muscular n get strained
Bad tech – loud
Intienational  variety – k teacher
Mic, lave leer  – BFF
Magic of humming or straw phonation – decrease hoarse voice
Ingo titze YouTube
Why instruction may not transfer to public speaking ?
  • Goes thru lymphatic system
  • Aspirate – hold back air – choked up – emotions linked up
Ex. Earthquake what does your body do? eyes blink, vocal cords close, HR increases
Dry eyes, HR up, respiratory  up, dry mouth, breath in quick, exhale slowly – don’t hyper venal ate
What to do?
  • Pinch index n thumb
  • Drink water, gym before
  • Poker face is to poker as the cool sound is to speaking
  • Clear speech, begin and ends
  • The cool sound
2. Non verbal
Picture superiority effect – PSE
  • 10% remember
  • Pictures
  • Body – stride, get up
  • Eye contact – thought look at person then another – intimate
  • Big crowd look at exit signs – easier
  • Something that moves, want middle, want some movement
    • Monitors – teleprompter memorize as much as possible
    • Move hands , energizes voice
  • Power space
Power Points:
  • Kill bullets in slides
  • Font size – big
When introduce – start off with bang
  • Speak w energy
  • Get body moving –
    • 90 hrs prep for 1 hr
    • 60 hrs researching creating n rehearsing
    • 30 min build slide deck
First error- present facts, pour coffee but no cup , no story
Second error – too much coffee 75% rule
Murphy law
Ex. Tech, time crunch
Q&A – have a lot, takes time
Watch reactions
  • What want audience to get from talk
  • Motivation is for your audience to want to learn more – end goal
Slides don’t shield or script u – loose audience
If have to say u can’t see in back but …
Rehearse rehearse memorize … On your feet and out loud
Never read over to memorize
Energy will fall flat if don’t aloud
Know ur story clearly
Should be very to simple to understand
Don’t be so serious when presenting
When ending .. Don’t end with q n a
Hands up in middle when comes up
Goals for next 6 days
  • Get out of course
  • Future aspirations
Establish new connections and build up my network as a student leader and learn about myself as a leader In General but also what sort of leader id be potentially in the political field
I want to be a great health care practitioner that is accessible to everyone
Practice: Notes and Comments to watch out for
  • Movement but not conducting
  • Slower speaking
  • Purposeful walk
  • Look up
  • End sounds
  • Zippy words – “the coolest”
  • Focus breathing
    • Blow out all air and breath
  • Connect to audience
    • Be Authentic
  • Be grounded
    • Firm stance
  • Pitch ditch – phase pause pitch up lil bit each time
  • Watch out for not self deprivation
  • Clear speech , articulate
    • Channel Obama
    • Ums, ands, ahs etc
  • Watch for audible Inhalations
  • Spend a lot of time practice what going to say
  • Tell a story and be about helping people
  • Over due it till you feel comfortable
Temperature – Physiological
Audience have a personally – don’t let get you
Each phase is a diff person  – eye contact
Stay focus – loom for ppl looking at you  – ignore others. If 80% doing this change ur presentation or be sneaky and call out doing it during participate part
“Like” = filler
Habits – kill fillers etc
Develop defense mechanism in lives – recognize them and that they were for a time that is not needed now
Biggest one for women is men not giving attention
Women gives tons of back channeling n non verbal but men don’t – do more q n a
Public speaking tryin to create relationships
Practice aloud n big
See where speaking
Simulate !
Year will be in fall
Something interesting about you
Introduction to Women and Politics: Dr. Jennie Sweet-Cushman 
Historical gaps
  • Voting in most places women couldn’t vote
  • Coveture – marriage = husbands property (fathers until then)
  • Couldn’t buy or sell property
  • Couldn’t sign name contracts
  • Couldn’t enter biz
  • Couldn’t control earnings
  • No standing legally
  • Education
Gaps in Rights 
  • Birth control – reproductive care
  • Employment discrimination
  • Sex harassment
  • Access to credit
  • Home ownership – couldn’t get mortgage, loan
  • Title IX
  • Pregnancy discrimination
  • Roe v Wade
  • Military desegregation – allow to serve in combat rolls , what means for sex harassment and assault
Gaps in Demographics 
  • Women are numerical majority in us
  • Male 49%
  • female 51%
    • Unmarried young women
    • Increase in number
Gaps in Political Participation:
  • In voting … More engaged , more likely to vote (men more likely to lie and say did)
  • Party pref … More dem affiliated … Implication for policies n what happens
Gaps in Representation:
  • 87,504 govt units in us but less than 25% are women
Gaps in Congress:
  • In senate … more in our handout slides
  • 1992
No trans
No gays / queer
… PA tied with N Dakota
No pipeline
Gaps in Education: Women getting good start
Gaps in the Workplace: Lower wages
  • Gender roll stereotype jobs … Poorly paid jobs
  • “choosing” these jobs but not full story
  • 77 cents to the male dollar White women
  • black women less
  • Latina women less
  • Why allowed to get away with this … Not allowed to talk about what make
  • Enforcement lack of
  • Paycheck fairness act … Died again in 2014
Gaps in Healthcare: Reps are all (cis, straight, predominately white) men
  • Women proposed more bills than men
Why it matters…
  • Democratic etc.
  • Likely to vote because under rep?
  • Party choice
  • Think of questions for legislators
Commission Cross – legislator speaker
  1. What I am – trustworthy good friend fun
  2. What I know – arrogant vs confident , lie vs bullshit
  3. What I do – show up , attend meetings
Learn to listen and listen to learn
Build relationships
Day 2: Monday 06.06.16
FB – penn. ctr. for women and politics
FB page – new leadership pa alumna
Twitter – PCWP_Chatham #NEWL2016
Snapchat – pacenterwp
Evaluations in your email
Orientation to NEWLPA: 
6 point plan
  1. Public speaking
  2. Networking – How and when to activate networking groups
  3. Diversity
  4. Dress
  5. Advocacy
  6. Leadership
NewL is 15 yrs old pa
23 other states that have a NewL
Put NewL on resume! Cohort 2016
Action project
Review planners
Divided into groups – wear stakeholder hats – hear from experts public policy join us as facilitators
Present Friday
EQT foundation = sponsors
Why YOU should consider running for office:

Dana Brown – facilitator

  • Former congresswoman Melissa Hart … Rep.
  • Valerie McDonald Roberts, mayor’s office of the city of PGH
  • Former State Rep Erin Molchany
  • Former Commissioner Barbara Cross (marine corp 25yrs)
Hart –
  • Interested in public policy
    • Citizens of the US – learn about it, keep it alive
    • Get comfortable with conflict
  • Keep mind open
    • Never be afraid to go somewhere unknown
  • Should be able to things self
    • Don’t be afraid of new things
    • Don’t be afraid of work
  • Learn about math and science
    • Learn about what excites you
  • Economics – understand how American economy works – public service
  • Volunteer
  • Ran 27 yo – won – served 10 yrs … Ran senate house, won … Private sector … Republic
  • Civic engagement
  • Pitt law school
  • People wanna know: Who you are, what you stand for – if belief same will vote for you
  • Give back
  • State level to federal level
Molchany –
  • State house of reps
  • Director of Governor house … Appointed by gov to rep gov
  • Allentown pa
  • 20 yrs. in PGH
  • Going business route
    • 77 resumes 6 interviews
  • Planned parenthood – met other women n advocates who campaigned – local officials state people – underwhelmed – no one looked or spoke like me
  • Complain about or change it
  • Core center for leadership
  • 2005 legislator seat opened up, ran, 4th out of 5 but didn’t give up (dist 2)
  • Always voted
  • Ex director of PUMP – engage young people
  • Non profit – tricky cause consistency
  • Step away to run again for state rep
  • Public service – huge responsibility
  • Reapportionment , redistricting (22yr encombant vs 2) (majority of his district)
  • Re elect campaign ^ tough … Dude was funeral director .. Emotional voters … Yes u r smart but he buried my aunt
  • Tom Wolf
  • local to state
Cross –
  • Marine forces
  • Non political – allowed to vote, bumper sticker etc but not overtly involved
  • Retire – Carlie – incident commissioner out of office – will appoint
  • Election Nov, sworn in out by Jan, May start in almost 4 yr term
  • Not elected
  • Sitting on 3 person board
  • Qualifications – have pulse n 18yo
  • 2 hr interview w 5 person board
  • Rep dismiss democratic ideas
  • Bring different voice
  • Prisons children county
  • Participated at county level local level
  • Vote for you again …. Never voted for
  • What good will I do today … What good have I done
  • Economics and politics get foot in door
  • Human services, high quality low poss taxes
Roberts –
  • People asking
  • Opening happened
    • Opportunity
  • 1989 – had to run against 2 other ppl well known
  • Dem war political comm
  • Internal party politics
  • prove independent, that was for the people
  • Google
  • Grassroots
  • Absolutely need more women in office
    • need women at the table, talking
  • Have people behind you
  • Not about diversity, make sure you are a threat, show what you bring to the table
    • Make sure everyone knows name
  • Retail politics – who you know
  • Often times the voices are real and you should follow
  • Often times the voices are self serving … Understand how it works, it’s a biz, people make money
  • Always about the people
  • Smile, make a joke
  • Meet people where they are at
    • Connect
  • Run.
    • experience, network, meet people
  • Running for school board – bias in curriculum, when won got rid of that (crystallizing moment )
Regardless of political party. Women bring a diff voice , increase transparency , work across the aisle , increasing good govt – poly sci research
Crystallizing moment that gets women to run – being asked, certain issue
Cross –
  • Women seemed to need to be asked. .. 7x
  • Not commissioners wanted but needed
  • tone in politics is brutal
  • Pray to have my skin toughen but not my heart
  • Children in youth can’t fail
  • The prisons can’t fail
  • 911 calls can’t be put on hold
  • Decisions made in marine corp – respect
  • Clothes – never should be distraction – scrutinized more as women
67 counties
  • Majority comm not serving as women
  • County executive, county
Molchany –
  • Not asked
  • Actively trying to keep out
  • “its not ur turn” ” there’s a line” .. There’s no line it’s fake
  • Inspired – no one like me, weren’t listening
  • Regardless of major you are qualified to run
  • No more letting him have it
Hart –
  • It’s time to take it
  • Was asked
  • Meet currently serving officials
  • Never Intern there . . Intern for judge
  • 18 to 27 learn a lot
  • Have that confidence
  • Be prepared
  • Roll of political party
  • How and when engages in political party
  • how and when they engaged in you
Cross – tutorial on organization
  • Non standard – endorsement process
  • Vote to or not to endorse a candidate
  • Can be kiss of death. Or wonder why not endorsed
Hart –
  • Didn’t care about endorsement because was the only Republican running in a Democratic dominated race
  • Sometimes they want you to run
    • Sacrificial lamb
    • Didn’t think would win cause republican
  • State senate seat – another republican guy tried to intimidate out of running
    • he was scared of the primaries
  • Wanted to run for office – propelled to run because of increasing property taxes (motivated)
  • Hager – DA then state senate – lobby her – had ran for governor liked the job DA hager likes people to hager hates people
Roberts –
  • We basically have a two party systems . Get involved in you party
  • Respect
  • Before just running out of blue … Volunteer, campaign, known ppl
  • Don’t just arrive
  • Get feet wet
  • Learn how it operates , get info, how it works
  • Know it on front end
  • If decide that … Go to top … Start with person who worked the hardest to get there
  • Retail politics
  • Party politics remember respect
Molchany –
  • Never had the party support
  • But learned about it
  • Always have to be learning and constantly growing n changing
  • Lost then won second round 32-29 …That’s how few u could win by
  • Judge of elections … Then had to run next round
  • Get to know community and the people & what they want
End on a high note … Positive that happened & Not so positive
Cross –
  • Best ideas, good govt,
  • Never pray to win
  • Who has most votes run … Republican person refuse to run next to so went to minority
  • Cancer
  • Never confuse govt n politics
Roberts –
  • Meeting people, smiles , trails  ,  connecting inspiring
  • Lows: being lied to , not taking personal , not fund raise like wante to
  • Biggest high took on police reform … Being at table
  • Leadership can be lonely when voting against tax increase . Fiscally responsible
  • Do something on principle .. Did right thing
Hart –
  • High: chosen by pres us to chair rep convention
  • Right platform , run, speak at
  • Lows: 9/11
Molchany –
  • Lows: people who say they’re w u and are against u
  • Things people say about u that don’t have anything to do with qualifications
  • People at own table filling against
  • Names, call against – only women
  • Highs: member of house respected by majority do things care about women’s health caucus, Equality caucus, equal pay rights, talk about pay equity since 60s … Stand at signing of fed equal pay prez says thank you n keep fighting
Transition from non profit to political – skill?
  • Study Economics
  • Community group – Anything to get public speaking experience
  • Attend as many public meetings as possible – planning commissions, boards
  • Watch streamed events
  • Find the topics, meetings
These positions seem far away – what should do to gain access?
  • Volunteer on campaigns
  • Volunteer local org
  • If you are ever afforded a leadership role, don’t be afraid to lead
  • Vote always
  • Get involve
  • Apply for internships
*What are my leadership roles and identities? Currently?
*What roles want?
How or where to start to make a change? In education – public schools
  • advocates for public education
  • Evaluate education
  • Get involve with them
  • School board  meetings – go to – volunteers
  • Get to know school board member
  • State leg, education committee – got off it didn’t like how ran – wanted school choice to pass (union, school board ass, those work in public education) – state leg into school reform
  • Determine what kind of change you want
  • School unions
  • Different kinds of reform
  • Balance – know both sides – don’t know what goes on, if parent of student you know – see what it’s like and observe
  • Best way to know about education system is to go into the schools
  • “the reverse side has a reverse side”
  • Do research
  • Make inform decision
First and only female Rep in PA
Parties work together?
  • Has to do with people who get elected … Has gotten to be blood Bath
  • Get involved
  • Be respectful
  • Respect those in offices
  • Take a stand against the garbage
  • Here’s what I think and I wanna hear yours n why you think that
  • Way you approach ppl
  • To and with but not past them
  • Get ride of executive orders
Get involved?
  • Reg independent
  • Tone of this election – very polarizing
  • Legislator, fed govt, the house n senate – political
  • Politics to get in door – need R or D
  • Wanna stay
  • Get great idea – don’t care if R or D – use but can be painted by others as not R or D enough
  • Gotta get pass that to govt
How have male colleagues treated you?
  • Most will respect you if you respect, build relationship, show up etc
  • Def sexism
  • Don’t take self too seriously
  • If really offensive call out but pick battles
How important have been personally convictions?
  • Must stick with them or can’t live with self
  • If not morally grounded or steadfast etc n take office that is against that’s hypocritical some do that for experience
  • Personally always stuck to decisions – have been political decisions – some things you can’t cross that line.
  • Make sure moral compass is calibrated
What –
  • Linking together trusted individuals through trust and relationship building
  • Always be genuine and authentic
  • Helping people
Why –
  • Goals (mass vs specific) – making contacts, leaning groups that can help advance, job, sell something (if dont have good plan dont do it)
  • Learning
  • Volunteering (let’s you easily network, shows care)
How –
  • Ask a lot of questions
  • Connect
  • Relevant small talk
  • Learn about the people
  • Meet with as many people  and organizations as possible that are in my field
  • If networking once a week you are not doing your job
  • Networking is work, it is hard. 1-3x a week
  • Be on boards
  • Listen, stop talking
You have about 10 seconds to keep my attention and then I’m down
Direct and concise
Don’t break eye contact
Worst things you could do:
  • Interrupt
  • No eye contact
  • Coming on Too strong
  • Only talk about self
  • Talk inappropriately
  • Talk n on electronics
  • Quantity over quality (read who’s there, research them, pick top 3 ppl want to meet, get there early and see who’s running event ask to point out person, find something nitch n specific to talk)
  • Don’t ask for biz cards
  • Don’t ask about them
  • Stay with friends
  • If don’t know anyone get in drink line, talk to person in line, don’t Drink, exchange cards now know someone n feeling better
  • Go to get job etc. want to give everyone ur biz card
  • Try to sell yourself
  • Don’t follow up
Focus on getting to know people
Might not have what you want today …
Quality more important than quantity
Always selling everyday – trying to get point across – do in most professional manner
Develop relationship
Have biz cards – no glossy
Too many networking events are about what others can do for you vs. what you can do for others
You’ll get a lot of no’s
Help other people
Show professional
Smart – graduating from college and PhD right away
Asking for advice on things they think important for you to do
Don’t underestimate yourself
Focus – figure what exactly it is you want to know and if it’s worth bothering them about – don’t waste their time
Look directly in their eyes
Person you are talking to is most important person
Find organization that meets regularly (weekly etc) volunteer with them, canvas etc – always have to ask – try for month then sign up
Email – connect people – separate paragraphs. – address common person
What is Your Leadership Style: Emily and Shawn
True Colors:
Different drums, different drummers
Day 3: Tuesday 06.07.16 – Harrisburg trip
Notes in binder … will get to later
Making a Difference: Women in the General Assembly
Making a Difference: Women & Advocacy
Making a Difference: Women in the Cabinet
Day 4: Wednesday 06.08.16 
Action Project Orientation:
A: School board decide to pursue contract with
If yes – B: township needs to decide to change zoning
Gas companies
Policy briefing on why
Sunshine Law – cannot collaborate with your board ‘behind closed doors’ that concern the public and should be discuss openly with research and morally
Can use Power Point
5 minutes tops
Can decide how to present – who speaks etc.
JSC – go to for how this works
Can present alternative if necessary and appropriate
Policy Panel of Experts:
1. David Cannon – EQT
2. Dr. Nicole Fifer – Washington & Jefferson college
3. Adam Garber – Penn Environment
4. Corey McConn – Avella School dist
5. Patrice Tomcik – western pa field organizer of Moms clean air force
#1 David
  • First act earth day 1970s
  • 125 yrs
  • Equitable gas aka
  • Conventional wells
  • Expanded – shale
  • 9000 mile pipeline 630 Shaler couple 100 non conventional
  • 50 ppl working on environmental issues consultant
  • Urban projects – checklist – schools, school dist high on list
  • Dust, traffic lights
  • Focus out in the west pa
#5 Patrice
  • butler county heavily fracked
  • Involved school board .. Information, united as parents and community, don’t want kids affected by after math
  • Bill organizer – moms  clean air force
#3 Adam
  • climate change, gas drilling
  • 9 yrs came to pa
  • 5 yrs ago look at how affect community, health conditions, pollution
  • Push for more policies
  • Mars parent groups partner
#2 Nicole
  • look at public policy
  • Academic
  • Regulatory framework
  • Public opinion on fracking
  • 2013 first wave Washington county poll
  • Expanding to 3 state study
  • How this process works, how public engages n think about impacts
#4 Corey
  • school board
  • Signed with Range
  • 2011 – mile from school
  • Notice sound, no complaints
  • Rural dist – 500 k-12
  • 4500 population
  • Not any real opposition, lot of workers
  • Air quality okay
  • Water test monthly
  • Impact busing – added track with truckers – worked well with them tho
What are the factors that motivate your position?
Where not full filled?
#2 Nicole – public opinion
  • Most pressing was information – confused b/w conventional n unconventional
  • Validity of impacts – health n environmental
  • Info from all over
  • Where get info n how much trust … Get from local news
  • Investigative reporting vs
  • Isolated vs regulatory
  • Academics can look at statistics
  • Credible source vs not
  • Who trust for info? Scientists, researchers, academics
  • Least? State n national govt  local slightly above
  • Cost benefit analysis – road way repairs etc does equal what get back jobs etc
  • Pretty positive about economic would out way other environmental etc impacts
  • Outta state res cause for concern
  • This view has declined and are negative …. Vice verse with impacts
#1 David – Hydraulic fracturing
  • Conventional – straight well, extract gas
  • Now – goes down then out – reduce surface but issue is the surface action
  • Deposits in Small areas
  • Gyropad – not like rural areas getting closer to populations
#5 Patrice
  • Explosion of Information – peer reviewed
  • Communities more education and asking more questions – healthy for kids in short n long term
  • Don’t have x causes y
  • Have studies that show risks
  • Encroaching on densely populated places
  • Didn’t know to look for that n then it happened
  • Studies are getting more reliable info
  • Pa got into non conventional fracking and didn’t know long term then
  • Epidemiology studies
#3 Adam
  • Some smoking guns
  • Health realized issues – drilling etc
  • Hard to find out info right away till years later – environmental  issues
  • Clean air act continually updated
  • How to develop front end rather than back end with clean up
  • Precautionary – do no harm, safe guard against self – in pa don’t have that
  • Can’t do it safely – if have plan then will have convo
  • Most vulnerable pop can’t defend against
#4 Corey
  • Had a public q&a
  • Water was only concern at time – drilling, piping spill
  • No problems since
  • Well pad, less than mile of district school – forefront concern now is air
Biggest success advocating for or against?
Arguments used?
Adam – public health concerns, how could it affect ppl health
Corey – on board, roads are concerns – get dug up etc work within township confines
Patrice – divided community, listen to both sides, one side concern n didn’t want close to school and other side wants economics for their town, present kids affect more vulnerable and suffer more plus roads plus property values within township
David – difficult for officials is division of ppl, may own property but not own gas rights or might have gas rights and can lease for a lot of money (support farm etc) roads not built for this kind of traffic etc set up curfews, health issues not cut n dry uncertainty (gas drilling started in pa) much larger n more forceful than have been, get in early n address issues (health is more popular with densely populated areas)
What happens to wells when tapped out, negative impact on comm?
David – Conventional wells – around long time, loose reg, lots are abandon and big issue is where are they (older, more probs)
Non conventional – know where at, 10-16 yrs use, restoration of site and well (newer wells) what have to post to pledge to get out may not file out, fed waste law (don’t worry cause big n have money but go bankrupt)
Adam – over 100k unknown, overlap bw types, historical reminder of we’ll eventually deal with this but go bankrupt n leave them, need to figure out how to deal with now, better system of funding and how reg, range resources was fined for not cleaning out properly
Nicole – capping off Is one process, containment of flow back water, putting back into system but not contained (ponds etc) or managed has to be babysat and if no one assigned can spill out or rust etc and we go to public to then fix and tax payer money – generally not that far with remediation
Waste – ch 78 drilling conventional n unconventional … Policy not made in state etc
Economic gains – jobs, savings on bills etc. ?
Corey – landowner small farm 700 acres – benefit personally, lot of family able to preserve farms and land
School district – 275k royalties n lease payments, declines from onset – chrome books grades 7+ integrate tech
Patrice – didn’t sign lease
  • 900 signatures saying no, not seeing economic benefit
  • Stays on it for 2 years – limbo
  • County court decided to move fwd bc holding up things
  • Other well pads – not seeing personally or as a townships
  • Zoning allowed for pads in
  • No oil drilling zoned
  • Well pads just went up
  • No zoning
  • 1/2 mile away from school, mentioned not within code
  • Township ordnance – drilling, compression centers, 90% permitted area
  • Set up to have protections
  • Non conventional drilling not next to residential area
  • Lawsuit challenging this to not have entire comm open up to industrial
  • Local, municipal, state level
David – economic with or without property
Spider web out north,south,west,east
Property owner this can be concern
Company won’t put in bc you want it, it will if it’s economically sound for them
Public opinion data on fracking?
Nicole – State wide – penn state 6yrs ago – beginning so very pos then
Multiplier affect – large scale impact – bus, rest,
1.5 pre reality
11 expect
Local – very hopeful 66% pos last yr 30% down
Good to very good about 50%
Local economy num 1 concern
Shape structures?
Nicole –  look to see what ppl want
Their perception
Where the disconnects are
Publish in data base for local n state govt to know what’s happening if true how to edu
Meet public where they are at
Adam – shape where they are at
Public thinks need mo public protection
Not heard in political heard
Want them heard
Ch78 regulations – open air waste pits end
Public hearings
Get citizens in those hearings.
Aesthetic how looks? Land go back? Restoration?
David – drilling well, lots if trucks, depending on number wells per pad 10-15
  • Water impediment – fresh
  • Grime.
  • Well pad itself 10 ‘Christmas trees’ feed into well size of Mellon board rm
  • Tanks with fluid
  • Restored down to small amount
  • Landowner – agreements with how to leave it
  • Well pad itself not disturbing
  • Old wells 10s1000s not good
  • Attenders come by weekly, daily
  • Diff from processing plant
  • Some sites will be large
  • Refracting wells- Marcellas, gas rights to do over. Utica wells. Not a one time deal
  • Corey – municipality – when well is finished have clean n green can’t use for agricultural anymore but given money just the same taxes etc
  • Patrice – health – pollution created throughout process 1000trucks estimate
  • Rural areas are creating atmosphere – set boundaries
  • Diesel exhaust – carcinogen
  • Degenerates – diesel also
  • Gasses out from well – -zines … Benzine most concern (child health) methane poll, water continuation, noise n light pollution – stress noise biggest complaint (at night)
  • drilling (very noisy) actual fracking (not)
Home owner rights?
Don’t give consent to do but neighbor does
David – Can’t legally go
If only have surface rights then can go under
Buy property years ago how protection? Gas rights etc
Surface agreements.
Get them by any means if can
Corporate own usually
Some say value goes up, some say down, rides with industry
Patrice – mineral rights, if not have out up with every thing that comes with that but no monetary return – look into who has it
Air rights?
  • Usually how high can build
  • Air quality – clean
  • Civil lawsuit – trespassing etc – would come up – private action if operating then permit
  • Rilands v Fletcher
Structure of buildings?
  • Geological structures
  • Waste disposal
  • Traffic – related more, vibrations in road
  • Rural but coming in closer and closer
American energy independence? One side says its essential another says no?
  • Stop fracking team – ship frack gas overseas
  • Build export terminal – Philly
  • Push by industry to ship overseas
  • Home grown energies – solar, wind, etc can’t go anywhere it’s local cant ship
  • Solar city
  • Solar power 39% of this country powered without harm but have to get there n invest
  • Too long to get there ? Said same thing about nuclear
  • Opportunity to invest now
  • Energy efficiency – most cost effective for everyone
  • Conservation
Coal and natural gas brought up freely
Renewable issues –
Dr. Remey
Action Plan: Group b, first class energy
Benefits for the school
Pro fracking
Recommendations, district allow y/n, under what conditions
Workshop 2: Advocacy Workshop – Civic Campaigning 101
Identifying Key Champions, Decisions Makers, and Influencers
Denny Civic Solutions.
Legislator champion
Picking appropriate based on issue
What a civic campaign is?
This is a politician
These are voters
Convince these voters to vote for him and not her
= Political campaign
Constituents, advocates, coalition Members
same politician – key Decision maker or influencer
Their job is to convince politician to support their cause or oppose other group
= Civic campaign
Research – influencers, issues, start w hypothesis
Message development
Targeting – who most likely voters, swing voters, issues that resonant accordingly
Grassroots effort – top roots efforts too
Coalition development – broad, diversity
Paid, earned, social media
Fund raising
End date not always clear (political – election day)
Right champions different than candidate (direct say in who)
Interest group – part of or specific driver of civic campaign
NRA – want guns on school. – campaign school not want
Raise money to fund civic campaigns from 1. foundations – community (poverty, early edu, health n environment) influence legislators, private endorsement (Heinz) can’t fund things that lobby but research or policy development
Money from 2. individuals
Public servants?
Elected officials are our customers
View target audience, influencer, politician as a customer that u must sell a product too
The Role of your Key Champion
The Big “C”: Credibility
On the issue itself
Cut welfare vs raise taxes … Ppl vote cut welfare but cut human services vs raise taxes …. Ppl flip
The Big “R”: Resources
– money
– time
– talent
The Big “P”: Profile
Profile should match who they are influencing, not who they are advocating for
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of good when selecting
If picked wrong one, getting it down will be difficult
Where do I find a champion?
Ask: is this a legislative decision…?
Where – city council, township, supervisors, state legislative
… Or an administrative decision?
Mayor’s governor etc.
Next ask: which party is in power?
If pick someone in minority can’t influence majority
Rep in house and senate pa
Which committee will my issue go through?
Education, human service, children etc.
Is there a member of the majority party that sits on the right committee who has a personal connection to our issue?
How do I recruit my champion?
Does a donor, board member
Research, connections, meet with, let know about think highly of
Maintain champion?
1. Praise, thank you, praise, and a little more thank you
2. Ask for regular update/ strategy sessions
Ask if there is a staff person that could be assigned to your effort
3. Use ur champion in the media, social media
How many tweets does it take to raise issue to level of awareness at legislative?
30 tweets
Win, lose, draw?
Changing DPW to human services example
#IWantToWork all disabilities – blind, deaf, mental health, intellectual
Medicare expansion – number and what is (behavioral, mental, addiction)
First female chief of Cherokee nation served principal chief for 10 yrs 85-95  liberal dem party
“America would be a better place if leaders would do more long term thinking”
Day 5: Thursday 06.09.16 
Diversity Training with Chaz Kellem 
Eliminating racism, empowering women, YWCA greater Pittsburgh
To start…
Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you
Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you
Slow down
Social service agency – YWCA
Center for race and gender equity
2006 poverty for women 14.7% men 11
Be comfortable with self
No whining, excuses
I am … my past
I am … my family
I am … my friends
I am … New things
Your decisions can affect not just you but others
don’t wait to try new things, try often and as much … Go to new places
Ideas, misconceptions, stereotypes
Puzzle of life
Common sense is not common
When I lose, try not to lose lesson
Great achievements involve great risk . Change is equally hard, ppl don’t do well
Appreciate what makes you the same and value what makes you different
  • Honor confidentially
  • Listen carefully
  • I statements
  • Respectful
  • Be brief
  • Use “ouch” to educate
  • Be honest and willing to share
  • Cell phones off
Define diversity as a table
Someone who can look, sound and believe in diff values
Diversity is the education
Inclusion is the action
many institutions do one and not the other, or do one well
Diversity is about people
Variety of people surround us
Value n appreciate
Ideas – can link to bias
Thoughts – stereotypes
Actions – discrimination
Be aware and use caution
Women vote 1919
Jim crow 1960s
Title IIV
Ferguson n Baltimore riots
Olympic n Paralympic games
Women’s collegiate n prof sports
Caitlyn Jenner
History – laws – parents, grandparents etc
Moments – us
What divides us?
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Religion
  • Income
Additional :
  • Age
  • Language
  • Sex orientation
  • Ethnicity
  • Family situation
  • Education
  • Marital status
  • Parental status
  • Personality
  • Political views
Challenge come up with group answer
Day 6: Friday 06.10.16
Social Action Project Presentations

Action plan recap: 

Role playing – how’d it feel/go?
  • Interesting, difficult and off putting because not planned and impromptu
  • Put on the spot
  • Good practice
  • Do not want look like unprepared
Council township – Voted nah
Health concerns over money
Decrease tourism
No motion amended
Need to allow time for public comment – traditionally done at beginning
Go to a township, burrow, school board, planning meeting – summer goal
Look up Robert rules of conduct
Not versus all the time
‘change the game’
Great intellectual project
Be aware of and check bias
Remember ppl too
Benefits being prepared – more time
Blurred lines is this real or part of skit
Got heated
Different personalities dealing with
Good researching project
Good topic choice
Impacts and affects more than just rural
Real ppl, real feelings
Rachel Carson network
Women and environmental work and questions
Thank you notes:
1. Mr. Henry Hillman
2. Speaker you introduced
3. Favorite speaker
4. Charlene Petrelli, EQT foundation – NewL wouldn’t have ran without this funding
Thank you NEW Leadership PA Class of 2016 for an amazing experience!

Frigid Bitch 2016

Finally here’s the recap on the Third Annual Frigid Bitch! This is my second alleycat race and this year ended up being even colder than last. The week leading up got up into the 70’s and I wasn’t sure if it was going to be frigid at all. Alas mother nature had other plans and good thing too. We had wind speeds up to 25mph and the roads were covered in snow and ice. This year was so good! We ended up with over 40 riders this year!

frozen bikes 2

Race Day:

  • Check In 1-2pm
  • Race 2-4pm
  • Be back by 5pm
  • Prizes and After 6pm-???

Everyone rolls up to the House of Ragging Women, grabbed spoke cards, maps and manifestos, then began strategizing routes for completing the most checkpoints in the shortest amount of time. Winners are determined by who gets the most checkpoints followed by fastest time. Meaning if someone has a later check in time (and is in by 5pm) but more checkpoints they place above the person with a faster check in time and less checkpoints. You can ride solo or in teams (but who ever gets through the door and checks in first places higher).

There were 9 total checkpoints to try and get to.

Manned Checkpoints: (close at 4pm)

  1. The Abandon Barge (N Shore trail)
  2. Joncaire (Boundary in Panther Hallow)
  3. The Dead End of Romeo (S Oakland)
  4. The Intersections (Stanton @ McCandles)
  5. Commonplace Coffee (Buena Vista @ Jacksonia)
  6. Negley (@ Fifth)

Bonus Checkpoints: (snap pic of bike before 5pm)

  1. The Submarine (Carnegie Science Center)
  2. The Ruble of the Greenfield Bridge

Secret Checkpoint:

  1. whereabouts known only by the “Ricketts Boys” stationed at the Stanton & McCandles checkpoint

We toss on our gear and rolled out to the start line at Bruce St. On the mark, the whistle was blown and we were off!


At the end of Bruce, riders begin splitting off with some turning right and continuing down to Butler St. and others turning left then right.

1st checkpoint: Negley Ave at Fifth Ave

  • found our way from Bruce to Main st and crossed Penn. Continued on Main till became Liberty and continued on that till became S Aiken. Cut over to Negley and crossed Fifth to our first check in point
  • continued climbing Negley to finish the checkpoint, no one was happy about this! I ended up having to delayer at this point – I was so prepared!

middle finger to negley stop

2nd checkpoint: Bonus – The Ruble of the Greenfield Bridge 

  • rode through squirrel hill and over to greenfield/ schenley park to get to this checkpoint
  • I hit some black ice and slid a couple feet – luckily my layers were enough padding to escape any major injury and my panniers caught the fall allowing my bike to escape any major damage (slight readjustments to my saddle and my light holder were broken but that’s all)
  • I missed the first group pic and am not sure where the other pics are but here’s part of my crew (we also had a whiskey // vodka break)

bridge close bonus checkpoint

3rd checkpoint: Joncaire at Boundary St in Panther Hallow

  • we rode around Schenley and made our way past the Phipps Conservatory, through Oakland and down to panther hallow
  • this checkpoint required us to ride up hill on a cobblestone street, covered in snow and ice, sidewalks were not in much better conditions either then check into Iron City Bikes
  • I was able to bike up about half way before I had to dismount and walk up the rest of the way
  • good time for us to rehydrate


walking up to iron city bikes 2

Iron city 2

4th checkpoint: The Dead End of Romeo in South Oakland

  • we got a little lost trying to find this one, we ended up passing the street it was off of and had to circle back
  • enjoyed a nice fire and rehydration via water and booze plus fueling up on grilled faux hot dogs
  • very necessary as we then had to walk//carry our bikes down a long staircase to Bates St – we merged with some other riders

We rode down Bates and hopped on a bike trail (passing hot metal bridge) to downtown popping us out onto Grant St.

I started falling behind on the trail; my smaller//thin road tires were not up for the fresh snow and I could not power through as fast as the others. By the time I got to the corner of Grant where the GLCC is, I had lost sight of my group. Looking at the time I saw I 20-30 min left to get to any more check points. Meaning I could EITHER hustle over to the N Shore // N Side to get 1 maybe 2 more checkpoints but risk being late (and thus rendering that hustle wasted) OR head back with less checkpoints but guarantee I’d be on time. Ultimately, I made the decision to ride back to the HoRW.

This was doubly rewarding because not only did I check in on time but I also had time to ride over to my house, shower and change then come back for prizes and after party refreshed!

Checkpoints I missed:

  • The Abandoned Barge
  • The Intersections of Stanton & McCandless
  • Commonplace Coffee
  • The 2nd unmanned bonus checkpoint – The Submarine
  • and The secret checkpoint =>Espresso A Mano

The Swag: 

Needless to say, regardless of where you placed, everyone went home with swag!

swag and prize table

My Swag:

Podium Winners:

2016 FB winners

Veteran Bitches:

Podium of FB vets 1

This year was an absolute blast and I was so thrilled to see so many ladies that came out to race. Mad thanks to the volunteers who came out to support us with love, hand warmers, food and booze!

Fitness trackers: 16.28 miles

FB 2016 map

Screenshot 2016-06-19 18.52.42

FB elevation chart w grades

Additional footage:

2015 Recap


  • Training Runs and Races: 11.5 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 15.7 miles
  • Gym: 9x
  • Kayaking


  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 34.2 miles
  • Gym: 6x
  • Kayaking


  • Training Runs and Races: 27.38 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 74.3 miles
  • Gym: 8x


  • Training Runs and Races: 5.1 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 46.4 miles


  • Training Runs and Races: 20.54 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 76.5 miles
  • Gym: 3x


  • Training Runs and Races: 77.11 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 438.2 miles
  • Hiking: 8 miles
  • Gym: 3x


  • Training Runs and Races: 97.08 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 1,149.2 miles
  • Gym: 3x


  • Training Runs and Races: 117.02 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 907.2 miles
  • Gym: 3x


  • Training Runs and Races: 22.6 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 359.5 miles
  • Gym: 25x


  • Training Runs and Races: 25.54 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 428.9 miles
  • Gym: 24x


  • Training Runs and Races: 23.14 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 254 miles
  • Gym: 20x


  • Training Runs and Races: 67.38 miles
  • Commuting, Training, Touring & Recreational Bike Rides: 133.6 miles
  • Gym: 10x

 Goals for 2016:

  • continue to PR each race
  • PR in weight lifting (bench, squat and dead lift)
  • summer bike tour
  • officially complete pgh triathlon
  • officially complete the dirty dozen

Rainbow Ride 2015

This past Friday (June 12th) I rode in my second ever Rainbow bike ride – flock of cycles -> 412 Flock hosted monthly bike ride, pride edition. I rode about 2 years ago but this year I was able to ride for the whole thing, which was really cool since there were some historical stop sights (specific to queer culture) along the way.

actually ended up riding some extra miles (to and from home) totally roughly 20 miles for me 😀 It rained on & off but that didn’t stop us! We were also fortunate to have three police officers accompany us and keep traffic at bay as we rode through some intense intersections and turns.

rainbow ride

bike route

Tour de Pittsburgh:

We started at the Carnegie Library/ Quad area by Dippy the Dinosaur … ended up taking refuge under the big tent by the carousal due to the crazy down pour that decided to take place and waited out a few extra minutes before riding out.

We rode through park of Oakland/ Schenley park then stopped briefly at “the Paint Party” – a friendly water(color) balloon fight put on by Roots Pride.

We continued on via Panther Hallow/ Sq Hill and stopped at “the Fruit Loop” – a section of Schenley Park found along Prospect Drive. It is at least 30 years old and is the ‘traditional area of town where gay men sun bathe during the summer.’ Back in the day this was also a common hook up spot for gay men, they would park their cars along here then meet up with other men in the woods. This also happens to be the site where “David Piergalski was beat to death in 1989 by two 20-year olds who found entertainment in harassing queer” and later claimed that they were frightened when David approached them. One of them got sentenced 6 years the other 12.

“the Hot Metal Faith Community” – the church came to be in 2004 before that it was the Wild Sisters Collective (a feminist bar and cabaret) and then Bloomers bar (a bar/women’s art and music venue).

We then rode on through the south side on E. Carson riding through the Armstrong Tunnels, which was super fun with all the lights, bells, whistles and music playing.

was riding too fast to get a pic of the group but this one I found online is pretty cool

After the tunnels we popped up to the GLCC on Grant St. where we met up with Jason who gave us a quick briefing – they also happened to be celebrating their 20th Anniversary Friday-night Teen Party.

I should have moved up front more, I’m way in the back behind all the tall people. Photo courtesy of the GLCC

We rode through town down Grant then Penn circling back around via Smallman then Penn again. Quick stop at the Brewers Hotel (33rd St and Liberty) not only is Brewers a bar it also serves as an SRO – sleeping room only – serving as an Aids Hospice during the 80s. We had the pleasure of meeting up with Harrison Apple on site who gave us a brief history of the place and the role of SRO’s as bachelor housing during Pittsburgh’s industrial times.

We rode on back to town down Penn again, was a really nice ride, people out and about were cheering and dancing with us when we stopped at the lights. Our journey took us to Market Square, where we did a couple victory laps then ended our ride at the Point Fountain.

ooo there’s me!

Another successful ride. I had a lot of fun and look forward to the next one!

Roots Pride: Pride is Political

Town Hall Meeting – June 11, 2015

The Panel: from RT to LF – apologies for any name misspellings

Billy (not seen in image) – is an activist since the late 70s, involved in many organizations/ programs – Cry Out Act Up, is currently teacher in the public schools (science – biology)

G (my apologies, I did not catch this panelist’s name/ spelling) – traveled from N. Carolina to be here with us, part of Get Equal

Rasha – graduate from the Art Institute, does a lot of work to help elevate trans black men (in Pittsburgh)

Julie – a part of the Socialist Alternative

TJ – young activist, member/leader in many organizations – Youth of Hope, Allies Club

Dez – a part of True T

Aria – works closely with the LGBTQIA+ community and does a lot of work to help elevate trans women of color (in Pittsburgh)

Michael – educator, poly sci, activist for queer and trans people of color, fosters healing, zine writer, identifies as a black queer intersectionist with trans experience

Joy KMT – healer, activist, Environmentalist for Justice

Roots Pride Horizontal (3)

Questions for the panel asked by Bekezela Mguni: (I tried to get each of the answers)

1. Why is pride political? What does that mean for you/ our city?

Joy “… to be on earth is to be political, what we do with our resources and how we treat each other … being a queer person or a trans person is political”

Michael – “… those passing legislation, affect our lives… it says what we can or cannot access, tells us what resources and spaces we have or have not access to, people of color have even less access to those resources and spaces, in the political setting there is even less representation for people of color, there’s no one that looks like us/me”

Aria – “being a black trans woman in Pittsburgh is hard… we have rights too”

Dez – “everything is political, gay black men have nothing for them in Pittsburgh, have to do whatever it takes to get what they can such as space and resources”

TJ – “…the action of going to pride is political, it shows us coming together, shows that we exist …it is a form of protest…”

Julie – “…tired of the brutality caused by capitalism…”

Rasha – “…have seen what has happened and what keeps happening, just tired of being told what to do, how to do it…”

G – “being ourselves and acting as ourselves is political action, celebrating us…”

Billy – “…thinking about the opposite statement: pride is not political and what that means/ is saying, what that says to us is – shut up and it is an insertion of power and a form of silencing and policing our lives…”

This past Friday (June 5) was the first ever Latino Pride… Pride is a combination of Love and Rage… We have a right to our rage and a right to be loved… Pride is suppose to be a representation of our multidimensional selves

2. In the context of our social selves – our lived experience – what keeps you fighting? What motivates your lived experiences to go and fight against the injustices – your self and with others?

Dez – “I have 3 brothers… can walk into a store and be assumed gay, or walk in and be assumed straight… in the black community can be seen as too queer, in the queer community or in a white community can be seen as too black, assumed one way or the other and can be frustrating trying navigate and figure out where do I fit in…”

Aria – “… unemployment, discrimination within and outside the community… enough with the violence and discrimination… it is better to have a voice than to be silent”

Julie – “the homelessness, not everyone having the same access to food, healthcare, discrimination in dealing with healthcare, want to tear that down, help with the day to day stuff…”

Joy – “being black in the city can be insanely hard, there’s constant violence and discrimination, dealing with structural issues, dealing with spaces that are mostly white and not finding community there. Ex: Sharon Needles – it’s not ok to NOT think about the way we affect each other… I have 5 children, have to deal with issues about being a mother and discrimination for being black, it’s not okay to discriminate like that…”

Michael – “…7 trans people of color murdered, 20 suicides, I think about this everyday, I have close friends who are trans women of color and it can be easy for a trans man to blend in or not care, it’s terrifying, you can lose a lot: healthcare, homes, jobs, etc. … don’t have to fight for myself necessarily but fight for others like trans WOC – have personally lost 24 friends – think about other lives being in danger even if it’s not your own”

TJ – “…think about youth stuff, I’m a youth person, think about how rare that is and feeling validated in your identity can be hard, want to help the kids…”

Rasha – “think about the homelessness, no healthcare, BTR (black trans revolution), we’re used to being by ourselves and have to fight for ourselves, experience with BTR is amazing and everyone should feel that love”

Billy – “I don’t like bullies, I acknowledge the privilede I have access to – white, educated, good family, access to a queer community and I can recognize that and speak out about it, feel compelled after hearing the Azealia Banks interview… if you’re going to be a part of it, be respectful, careful and considerate of those in that community, work to not support that kind of behavior…”

Delta insurrection – challenged Iggy as a choice – Pride is suppose to represent a large group; adopting black culture via voice, body, mannerisms etc. (she’s a 25 yr old white chick from Australia) is not okay… people want black culture but hate black people, it’s not just about the culture in that moment but the history and the violence; it’s not a new complaint, it’s constant marginalization and we’re upset with what she represents, the embolism, she is indicative of continued marginalization

3. Knowing that we were challenging this embolism and disregard; how do you tackle the things that show this, how does Iggy represent this?

Michael – “phone calls, emails, FB; were sick of this; tear some shit up… when putting this together did not expect the hundreds of people to support it… woke up to 200 people attending then went up 500 by Mon the numbers were to 800… we’ve tried something like this before and have not seen results like this, the number of rallies this is 6-9 months worth of… doesn’t hurt that people don’t like her in hip hop anyway”

Joy – “implemented in serving, you can’t claim to serve a whole community or resources that you don’t listen to… old people, sober people, other communities are being isolated and when you take something like Pride on, you’re taking on that responsibility – that a responsibility to service, trying to appeal to those not in the community is disrespectful…”

G – “I’m hearing that is a device, who’s being left out? It’s suppose to a message of love and inclusion… Delta tried saying this isn’t about patriarchy etc. but that’s exactly what it is and if that’s not recognized then it’ll keep happening, it is happening all over and that is thanks to the leadership…”

Dez – “…I complain all the time about Pride events and it was Delta’s response that made me moved to act”

Billy – “doing this is so huge, they are called out on that they are not the voice; they can do what they do within their little corner but the arrogance of the claim and the stolen and re-written history is unacceptable…”

6-2-1 vote they’ve erased that 1 … to focus on that 1, to try and erase it from history shows its importance or potentially how unaware of history they are – I’m trying to remember more about what was said on this

It’s so important that we are unflinching – carelessness, plagiarism and neglect can negatively affect us; we are rich with legacy and history, reflected in a vibrant way… have never attended a Pride like that until now

What’s good about Pittsburgh? There are gems in Pittsburgh that will keep you here because they are changing the world; be BOLD and COURAGEOUS

Delta = embolism of the systemic racism and oppression etc.

4. What is your definition or vision of community? What do you think we need to get there?

Joy – “…white supremacy is structural, use these words… we are having to constantly explain our existence and lie at the intersection saying: Do you see me? I am Human! Do you see me? I am Human! Incredible to see movements like #blacklivesmater and I have to say would be nice to have a place where we don’t have to explain our existence or humanity”

Rasha – “it’s BTR (black trans revolution), it’s Michael’s house, it’s being around people who look, talk, act like me…”

Dez – “…heard there’s no black home spaces, it takes money, there’s only one I can go to and that’s only b/w 12a-5a, I have to create 80% of the events

Aria – “family, standing up for each other, ride for each other, up lifting and being there for each other, only recently have felt that from the outside…”

Julie – “care for each other, provide basic human rights for all, should not have to say this it should be the norm; can just be our selves… would be nice to get an official to help facilitate that because it doesn’t exist now…”

TJ – “safety, solidarity can be difficult because of the different privileges… be able to grown and learn from when we mess up, we’re told we aren’t suppose to exist and saying YES WE DO is hard b/c the act of existence is protest and not everyone can travel to all the places/spaces, make it accessible to everyone…”

  • Celebrate me even with everything that is trying to kill me
  • Existence is Resistance
  • May be hard but there are triumphs
  • Strong resistance
  • Ride all weekend long and all year long

a couple articles about the meeting with Delta: Pgh CP, Pgh Post-Gazette

Report from the meeting with Delta Foundation: Hosted by Dignity and Respect Campaign

  • Spent about 2.5 weeks challenging Delta, no one had been invited initially; Joy was finally invited the night before the actual meeting
  • The meeting was about 2.5 hours long
  • Was facilitated by 2 folks who at least looked like they were trying to give everyone a chance to speak
  • Mostly talked about solutions and ways to move forward without actually addressing what had happened – only a few time were actual issues that happened brought up
  • The Delta representatives were very passive/ aggressive either passing on answering anything or repeating the same answers with different words but never actually answered any question … Ex: What have learned tonight? … We talked a lot tonight
  • No accountability – they did not listen

People of Color in general are not really allowed to be emotional – seen as angry or callous – those are your choices … had to walk out at one point due to getting too heated and come back

There’s too much pain and suffering to be solved in only a couple hours

The demand for Delta: Give us a break down of your expenses – $60,000 was claimed for “other” expenses… Wanted to see a recent break down through at least 2014

Tried giving us their Audits or 9-90 but it all said the same statement $60,000 for “other” and we specified that we didn’t want to see audits or 9-90s we wanted to see the actual break down of who was getting what and how much – wanted to see how LGBTQIA+ were being supported. You can’t claim to be leading an organization and not know how you’re providing resource. $75,000 over 7 years. When we asked for the break down of who got money and how much they still only gave us their 9-90 and audits – claimed it was for “Pride stuff.” We stated what we wanted multiple times and were very clear on exactly what we wanted

Was actually the Dignity/Respect Campaign that called the meeting together NOT Delta. The person who handled the list of invites had consulted with Delta to see who should be on it and Delta didn’t initially invite Joy or Michael. Which communities were reached out to? New Voices Pgh, Dreams of Hope, Fellowship, Black Pride… Would think the people who made international news would be reached out to.

“… I saw how Gary and Chris used their power to silence others, the facilitators were not holding them accountable when they were not answering the actual question; no acknowledgement of what happened and that needs to happen before we can have any type of resolution…”

  • There’s perception that we don’t want to work together and that’s simply not true.
  • Unwillingness to acknowledge the pain and hurt they caused
  • These conversations need to happen first

“…I got the sense they were treating this like a joke… very smirky and condescending…”

Update: Delta had issued an apology on the FB page today (scroll down some I think the status with the

“More time was given to golf carts then to the trauma and violence on the trans and queer people”

“…so much malarkey – kept pressing Gary to answer and he kept pushing it aside – kept the pressure up, pressured him to answer this question, this one specific question – no one wanted to get their hands dirty, kept the conversations clean… without strong leadership, people aren’t held accountable…”

“…more interested in saving face then the community – told to wait until next week to address concerns – told no, we can’t wait until next week! – They were very stoic and uncaring…”

“Where’s your courage, Gary?”


Q&A and Comments from the Audience:

Jennifer – what do you want from us, as a community? If it’s just you on the front lines, you’ll burn out. You’ll need support – what do you want from non-leaders?

“Create space – who is creating space for QTPOC; tangible resources like funding, communication or marketing skills; can get free space; evaluate your program/ staff are there representations of the community trying to reach out to?”

“…blind spots, honoring our humanity, think outside ourselves…”

“…there’s no fence on how much or what you can support… if this does die down then there won’t anything left…”

Jasmine – has been a part of the trans community and supportive since the 90s … has been a token for a number of years and got burnt out … it’s not what you know it’s who you know – business owners, people in positions of power can step it up

Betty – persad center – new space opened and available (in Lawrenceville)

Jz – was there any legal representation at the Delta meeting? Are we thinking big enough?

  • No representation
  • We are documenting everything though
  • UPMC/ Highmark are capitalizing off the queer community
  • Finish Roots Pride then can move forward

Jessy – what would solidarity look like from the ally, comrade who may have more privilege and not really in the struggle?

“… There are millions of thing to be done for events like these to happen – rides, child care also money is great!”

“It’s important to ask ‘what does solidarity looks like’ in that space b/c it’s different each time – use said power/ privilege to support the cause”

“What do you do in those comfort spaces – are you going to have those uncomfortable conversations?”

“Inclusiveness – with Pride there are no trans people there, with Black Pride there are no trans people there”

Sun 6/14 at 11 am at Grant and Fifth, there’s a rally/protest to help support union labor vs. scab labor for Pride

Sue – blogger (Amplify LGBTQ, answer questions etc.) – been attacked a lot by Delta – can feel really isolating/ lonely, they are relentless – this is a good opportunity to be thankful and thank you for this event

Gentleman originally from Brazil – positive aspects of Brazil: 2nd largest African nation outside of Africa, the largest openly trans population, host the biggest Pride events … counter those with also being the having the largest police brutality rates … needs: healthcare, jobs, homes

This is a real Leader Full movement – it can be lonely out there fighting when it seems like you’re the only one doing so – Delta wants those speaking up/out to feel this, to feel isolated and be made examples of… we need to hold each other up, be mindful of who we’re holding up and be accountable… folks can feel like they’re the only ones and that’s not the case – we need folks to come together

Some things are better with Pride since the 90s … some things are worse

It’s now a corporate thing but not everywhere (we’re taught that is a corporate event but that not always the case)

It is possible to create a space outside of the corporate Pittsburgh Pride

Question: is there a way to make race more visible? Make QTPOC more visible?

“…find ways to become more inclusive; find different cultures to merge in…”

“Hearing ‘how do we get white people to see race’ – that’s the issue…”

“This is seen as normal and people have to fight in order to be seen or heard.”

“Having to bring POC to this table is the issue b/c you created that table without POC to begin with”

“white people are actively helping and supporting that”

“this is not just a Delta issue but an issue with the white community as a whole”

“POC know how to navigate the cities when they’re new – just type black barber or black bar – it’s about how white people use those spaces, chose to engage”

“go into white spaces and feel nervous, will be uncomfortable conversations and violence etc.”

“if white people choose to not see you then that is on them and you can’t change that”

“we always have to create our own spaces”

There used to be a committee at Delta that was well represented and suppose to be a pipeline but they’re not accessing the POC when they could. Apologetic for this, for not being able to do more

Response from Michael – “I came out when I was 16 and there was no QTPOC community in this area, only queer community had access to were 30-60 yr old white gay men who played softball with… do not have to apologize … you take this or that because that’s all you have – that’s how you go – that’s how you rectify that… feeling you had to be with white people all the time”

  • You can’t come into our communities as a loiter or consumer – you have to be in solidarity with us, be committed
  • This is not a unique experience to our city
  • Social fabric
  • Look at how real estate decision are made

Encourage you to attend your local community meeting – even if community = not the best – insert yourself in the spaces outside of QTPOC and speak out; let them see you, hear you; go outside to other spaces other than where you’re seen – it’s our brick and water, what our housing is made of

Accessibility: Minnesota is focusing on accessibility issues, providing decent spaces for people who need them – quiet, healing spaces for those with sensory sensitivities – respect people in that space and respect those spaces. Understand panic attacks

POC experience more trauma from the police when they have to call them b/c someone is having a panic attack – being knocked down, guns held in their faces – it is good to know and be aware of this b/c most spaces don’t think about these needs

Encourage people to reach out about accessibility and know it is not too much to ask for. We need to raise our standard and awareness

Question: after this weekend, after the month of June – how do we keep the pressure on Delta?

There are businesses feeling guilty about supporting Pride – bar owners – that can’t back now cause money etc.

“Can demand that the money be sent to people who are doing the work, can ask Gary to leave, have the bars pass out Roots Pride material and sell Roots shirts etc., can be strategic about it”

June 18 – the east end/side (East Liberty) is being held up and honored for being a good representation of the benefits of revitalization … there’s protesting that will be happening to speak out against this

9:30 am in Bakery Square

At Mellon square park in front of the William Penn Hotel – speaking out against this and (former) residents sharing experiences – 7:30pm

Note: try checking the Roots Pride FB event page for more details on this, I tried to get what I could about it but was hard to follow all the times/ locations

Latino Pride:

The Latino community especially those who are documented are constantly having to explain their existence – where did they come from, why are they here, where did their parents come from etc. this is particularly hard on trans WOC – namely in the US

Earn $4-5,000 a year – documented = even less money earned, face more violence

Joy – taking theory to practice takes a long time… not as educated on immigrant rights… but fuck that shit, that’s not okay… in Pittsburgh saying ‘hey we are here’

Can be hard when still getting to know yourself – your culture and class/race issues are big deals with the Latino community

Education commitments – create spaces

Tricky culture with language – switching from LatinO to LatinA

Work towards not forgetting people

Get those conversations started, they are so often erased – trans people are being killed constantly or deported to countries where it is considered illegal to be gay or trans and are being killed there

What do those spaces look like? – Listen to/for those needs

Welcome Pittsburgh – immigration reform on local, state and federal levels – need to include trans and LGB people

Roots Pride Pittsburgh: Political, Personal, Powerful – an article from the town hall mtg

*I tried my best to include appropriate links and as much info on some of the upcoming events as I could

*pics and images taken from FB page/ internet searches