CITY OF PITTSBURGH 2021 ELECTIONS
The Honorable Joseph M. James, in evaluating a PA Supreme Court case and relevant laws which provide local municipalities the ability to legislate in the area of campaign finance, has upheld the Ethics Hearing Board’s authority to enforce the City Code Ordinances on Campaign Finance Regulations, found in Chapter 198 of the Code.
Here is some news coverage of the case described as “a win for transparency, for common-sense oversight of campaign spending, and most importantly for City of Pittsburgh voters.” Click on the different news clippings to be linked to each source.
Campaign Finance and Election FAQs:
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Each candidate and their committee (if any) who are running for the next election. Note, some candidates, such as third party candidates, do not appear on the primary ballot.
- Individuals or committees making Independent Expenditures
- Every person, other than a Political Committee or Candidate, who makes Independent Expenditures to encourage or defeat an election outcome, or to advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified Candidate or question appearing on the ballot, other than by contribution to a Political Committee or Candidate, in an aggregate amount over one hundred dollars ($100.00) during a calendar year, shall file with the City's Ethics Hearing Board a form prepared by the Ethics Hearing Board, in physical or electronic form, based on the State's Independent Expenditure Report. Reports required by this subsection shall be filed by dates on which reports by Candidates making expenditures are required under this section.
- Committees formed to support or oppose ballot issues
- All Political Committees shall report to the City's Ethics Hearing Board all expenditures to, or made on behalf of, any question appearing on the ballot, in the same manner required of a Candidate Committee, as described in subsection (1) of this section. Political Committees must also report in the same manner required of a Candidate Committee, as described in subsection (1) of this section, all Independent Expenditures made to encourage or defeat an election outcome, or to advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified Candidate or question appearing on the ballot. This provision is in addition to any other filing and reporting provisions of this Code that apply to such committees, their treasurers and chairpersons.
In 2021, the even-numbered Council Districts are up for election.
Below is a color-coded map of the nine Council Districts. Click on the map to display in larger size.
To learn if you are located within one of these districts, find your “voting district” listed with your voter registration information. (Found under “precinct” on your state voter registration info).
In 2021, the positions of Mayor and the Members of Council representing the even-numbered City of Pittsburgh Council Districts will appear on the ballot.
All candidates running for office in the City of Pittsburgh are invited to please complete this survey to let voters know more about the candidates and the issues they care about. When the Ethics Hearing Board staff receives verified responses these will be included in the below infographic:
More resources to learn about the different candidates, including debates, can be found through the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh at https://lwvpgh.org/ and at Vote 411 at https://www.vote411.org/.
The City of Pittsburgh campaign finance regulations limits how much you or your organization can contribute during each election cycle based on the amounts set by the Federal Election Commission. Click image for larger size.
Additionally, City of Pittsburgh employees are limited to contributing $100 or $200 to their employer within a four-year consecutive period, as detailed in § 197.04.
ELECTION CYCLE. Begins on the day after a covered election for the City elected office which the candidate seeks and ends on the day of the next covered election for that same City elected office. For the purposes of the contribution limits set forth in Section 198.03, primary and general elections shall be considered separate elections.
A contribution includes:
- Any payment, donation, gift, subscription, assessment, contract, payment for services, dues, loan, forgiveness of a loan, advance or deposit of money or any valuable thing, to a candidate or political committee made for the purpose of influencing any election in this Commonwealth;
- Paying debts incurred by or for a candidate or committee before or after an election;
- Purchasing tickets for events such as dinners, luncheons, rallies and all other fundraising events;
- Granting discounts or rebates not available to the general public;
- Granting discounts or rebates by television and radio stations and newspapers not extended on an equal basis to all candidates for the same office;
- Any payments for the benefit of any candidate;
- Any payments for the services of any person serving as an agent of a candidate or committee by a third party;
- Any receipt or use of anything of value received by a political committee from another political committee; and
- Any return on investments by a political committee.
Note: Limitations related to contributions do not apply to volunteer labor hours.
For reporting purposes, the date of a political contribution is the date that the contribution is received by the campaign. Note the following instances are not sufficient to indicate the date of a contribution: the act of pledging a political contribution or depositing a political contribution into the bank account associated with a candidate committee, or expending campaign funds that a political contribution may have been planned for or otherwise earmarked.
Similarly, "stacking" contributions, whereby a candidate accepts a contribution for the primary election and the general election at the same time or during the same election cycle, is prohibited.
A “Public Official” is a defined term and includes those serving in elected and appointed positions in the City of Pittsburgh government.
Elected positions include the Mayor, Members of City Council, and the Controller. All candidates running for City-elected office must file campaign finance reports for the election(s) for which they will appear on the ballot.
The definition for Public Official also includes those appointed by the Mayor, City Council, or a governmental body; as well as and members of Boards, Authorities and Commissions that have the authority to expend public funds or exercise governmental power.
- For candidates – complete and return the correct form based on whether the amount of contributions (including in-kind contributions) received, the amount of money expended and the liabilities incurred each are (a) above $250 or (b) below $250 during the reporting period;
- For candidate committees and political committees– (if applicable, a candidate is not required to have a committee) complete and return the correct form based on whether the amount of contributions (including in-kind contributions) received, the amount of money expended and the liabilities incurred each are (a) above $250 or (b) below $250 during the reporting period; and
- For candidates - complete and return this total contributions form to detail the name of each contributor and the total contributions made in the current election cycle.
Note this Total Contributions Report “details the name of each contributor and the total contribution made by each contributor to the candidate committee both in the then current election cycle.” Accordingly, continue to add to the spreadsheet or form for each report.
- For Independent Expenditures - State Independent Expenditure Report
- For Everyone -- Unsworn Declarations (no notary requirement due to Covid)
- For Candidates with No Committee and No Intention to Receive Contributions or Make Any Expenditures Over $250: Waiver of Expense Account Reporting.
- There are detailed instructions at the end of the County forms. Procedural questions as to how to complete these forms can be directed to the County.
- Reports are due even if there is no activity.
- If you end your campaign or are no longer a candidate, you are still required to submit filings for the reporting period during which you were a candidate. Please inform us that this will be your last report by either checking the box that states “Termination Report” or simply email email@example.com and let us know that you are no longer running.
- Please note you can leave the field “Filer Identification Number” at the top of the form blank.
- All reports must be legible.
- Failure to comply with campaign finance requirements will be strictly enforced.
- You may leave the "type of report" box blank.
Due to our current Covid-related office closure and temporarily low staffing levels, all reports should be completed and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone who requires an accommodation for effective communication or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program, service, or activity provided by the City of Pittsburgh should contact the City ADA Coordinator as soon as possible but no later than two business days before the event. Hillary Roman, City of Pittsburgh ADA Coordinator, Hillary.Roman@pittsburghpa.gov; Remote Ph: (412) 301-7041; Office Ph: (412) 255- 2102 int. 457.
For all other questions, please contact the Ethics Office here.
Here is a chart illustrating the City of Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board filing dates, and the corresponding reporting period for each filing:
Reporting periods for campaign finance report/statement due for candidates, committees and those making independent expenditures:
- March filings, shown above in green, cover a reporting period of Jan 1-Feb28;
- April filings, shown above in pink, cover a reporting period of March 1-31; and
- May filings cover a reporting period that is the same as the County (12-31-20 to 5-3-21).
- NOTE: The Total Contributions Report due for candidates is linked to the Election Cycle and the reporting periods are listed at the top of the form (the total contributions report due in March will cover the period of 11-8-17 to 2-28-21; the report due in April will cover 11-8-17 to 3-31-21; and the report due in May will cover 1-8-17 to 4-30-21.)
Deadlines for filing:
Reports may be submitted as of the first business day of the month in the three months prior to the election. This year, in order to better coordinate with County deadlines, the Ethics Hearing Board has issued regulations to not consider filings late until after the following dates:
1st filing deadline = March 16 (one week after the nomination petitions deadline)
2nd filing deadline = April 15 (30 days after date of first filing)
3rd filing deadline = May 7 (same date as County’s Second Friday Pre-Primary deadline)
The reports will be uploaded to this site as soon as possible after receipt. Some delays in posting are unfortunately expected compared to 2019 due to our present staffing levels and administrative challenges as the office remains closed.
The City Code Ordinances on Campaign Finance Regulations, found in Chapter 198 of the Code is your guiding document. Note some instructions for completing the campaign finance reports are located at the end of the forms, and certain applicable areas are detailed on the State’s resource page.
Please direct questions to email@example.com.
The City Code provides a $50 per day late fee for each required filing.
In calculating the amount due, do not include the date of the filing deadline. Count every day it is late from the day after the deadlines noted above.
Submit payments to the City of Pittsburgh Dept. of Finance Cashier’s Office.
Candidate's Campaign Finance Reports
2021 campaign finance reports for candidates and candidate committees filed with the Ethics Hearing Board will be posted in the table below. Remember, these supplement or are in addition to City Controller and County campaign finance reporting requirements. (2021 report will be added soon.)
|Name||Office Sought||Report Type||Reported on||Report||Status|
|Theresa Kail-Smith||District 2||Candidate||04/13/2021||View|
|Theresa Kail-Smith||District 2||Candidate||03/16/2021||View|
|Theresa Kail-Smith||District 2||Committee||04/13/2021||View|
|Theresa Kail-Smith||District 2||Committee||03/16/2021||View|
|Theresa Kail-Smith||District 2||Total Contributions||04/15/2021||View|
|Theresa Kail-Smith||District 2||Total Contributions||03/17/2021||View|
|Jacob Williamson||District 2||Candidate||04/14/2021||View|
|Jacob Williamson||District 2||Candidate||03/15/2021||View|
|Jacob Williamson||District 2||Committee||03/15/2021||View|
|Jacob Williamson||District 2||Committee||04/14/2021||View|
|Jacob Williamson||District 2||Total Contributions||03/15/2021||View|
|Jacob Williamson||District 2||Total Contributions||04/14/2021||View|
|Jacob Williamson||District 2||Unsworn Declarations||03/15/2021||View|
|Anthony Coghill||District 4||Candidate||03/16/2021||View|
|Anthony Coghill||District 4||Candidate||04/14/2021||View|
|Anthony Coghill||District 4||Committee||03/16/2021||View|
|Anthony Coghill||District 4||Committee||04/14/2021||View|
|Anthony Coghill||District 4||Total Contributions||03/16/2021||View|
|Anthony Coghill||District 4||Total Contributions||04/14/2021||View|
|Bethani Cameron||District 4||Candidate||04/15/2021||View|
|Bethani Cameron||District 4||Candidate||03/17/2021||View|
|Bethani Cameron||District 4||Committee||04/15/2021||View|
|Bethani Cameron||District 4||Committee||03/17/2021||View|
|Bethani Cameron||District 4||Total Contributions (Amended)||03/19/2021||View|
|Bethani Cameron||District 4||Total Contributions||03/18/2021||View|
|Bethani Cameron||District 4||Total Contributions||04/15/2021||View|
|R. Daniel Lavelle||District 6||Candidate||03/16/2021||View|
|R. Daniel Lavelle||District 6||Candidate||04/14/2021||View|
|R. Daniel Lavelle||District 6||Committee||03/16/2021||View|
|R. Daniel Lavelle||District 6||Committee||04/14/2021||View|
|R. Daniel Lavelle||District 6||Total Contributions||03/16/2021||View|
|R. Daniel Lavelle||District 6||Unsworn Declarations||03/16/2021||View|
|Erika Strassburger||District 8||Candidate||03/01/2021||View|
|Erika Strassburger||District 8||Candidate||04/01/2021||View|
|Erika Strassburger||District 8||Committee||03/01/2021||View|
|Erika Strassburger||District 8||Committee||04/01/2021||View|
|Erika Strassburger||District 8||Total Contributions||03/01/2021||View|
|Erika Strassburger||District 8||Total Contributions||04/01/2021||View|
|Good Jobs Pittsburgh||Independent Expenditures||Committee||04/14/2021||View|
|Good Jobs Pittsburgh||Independent Expenditures||Unsworn Declarations||04/14/2021||View|
|Allegheny County Justice For All||Independent Expenditures||Committee||04/06/2021||View|
|Ed Gainey||Mayoral||Total Contributions||04/01/2021||View|
|Ed Gainey||Mayoral||Total Contributions||03/01/2021||View|
|Tony Moreno||Mayoral||Total Contributions||04/15/2021||View|
|Tony Moreno||Mayoral||Total Contributions||03/16/2021||View|
|Tony Moreno||Mayoral||Unsworn Declaration||03/17/2021||View|
|Tony Moreno||Mayoral||Unsworn Declarations||04/14/2021||View|
|William Peduto||Mayoral||Total Contributions||03/01/2021||View|
|William Peduto||Mayoral||Total Contributions||04/06/2021||View|
Prior Year Campaign Finance Reports
|Known or Expected Candidates for 2019 City of Pittsburgh Offices of City Council (odd numbered seats) and City Controller||Office Sought||Report due Friday, March 1, 2019, covering the period of Jan. 1 - Feb. 28, 2019||Report due Monday, April 1, 2019, for the period of March 1 – 31, 2019||Report due Tuesday, May 1, 2019, for the period of April 1-30, 2019||Report due Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, for the period of May 1 – Sept. 2, 2019||Report due Tuesday, October 1, 2019, for the period of Sept. 3-30, 2019||Report due Friday, November 1, 2019, for the period of October 1- 31, 2019|
|Michael Lamb||City Controller|
|Quincy Kofi Swatson||City Council District 1||Terminated campaign for primary election||No Longer Running|
|Chris Rosselot||City Council District 1|
|Bobby Wilson||City Council District 1|
|Darlene Harris||City Council District 1||No Longer Running|
|Malcolm Jarrett||City Council District 1||Candidate in the General Election, Reports First Due Sept. 3, 2019||
No Candidate Committee Formed.
|Mark Brentley Sr.||City Council District 1||Total Contributions M.B. - 5.15.19||No Longer Running|
|Ken Wolfe||City Council District 3||No Longer Running|
|Amy Schrempf||City Council District 3||Terminated campaign for primary election||No Longer Running|
|Chris Kumanchik||City Council District 3||No Longer Running|
|Bruce Kraus||City Council District 3|
|Jacob Nixon||City Council District 3||Candidate in the General Election, Reports First Due Sept. 3, 2019|
|Corey O'Connor||City Council District 5|
|Deb Gross||City Council District 7|
|Deirdre Kane||City Council District 7||
|No Longer Running|
|Leon Ford||City Council District 9||Terminated campaign for primary election||No Longer Running|
|Randall Taylor||City Council District 9||Candidate R.T. - 3.1.19
|Terminated campaign for primary election|
|Rev. Ricky Burgess||City Council District 9|
|Kierran Young||City Council District 9||
|No Longer Running|
|Judith Ginyard||City Council District 9||No Longer Running|
|Cherylie Fuller||City Council District 9||No Longer Running|
|Stephen Braxton||City Council District 9||No Longer Running|
|Barbara Daniels||City Council District 9||Candidate in the General Election, Reports First Due Sept. 3, 2019|
|Prince Matthews||City Council District 9||Candidate in the General Election, Reports First Due Sept. 3, 2019||No Longer Running|
|Rev. B. DeNeice Welch||City Council District 9||Candidate in the General Election, Reports First Due Sept. 3, 2019|
|William Peduto||4.3.17 | 3.1.17 | 2.1.17 | 5.1.17 | 5.9.17 | 7.13.17 | 8.1.17 | 8.23.17 | 9.1.17 | 10.2.17 | 11.1.17|
|Dan Gilman||4.3.17 | 4.3.17 | 3.1.17 | 3.1.17 | 5.1.17 | 8.1.17 | 8.23.17 | 9.1.17 | 10.2.17 | 11.1.17|
|Theresa Kail-Smith||3.3.17 | 3.3.17 | 3.3.17 | 6.21.17 | 7.31.17 | 10.27.17 | 10.27.17 | 10.27.17|
|Anthony Coghill||4.3.17 | 3.1.17 | 5.1.17 | 11.3.17 | 11.3.17 | 11.3.17 | 11.3.17 | 11.3.17 | 11.3.17 | 12.6.17|
|Ashleigh Deemer||4.3.17 | 3.1.17 | 2.1.17 | 5.1.17|
|John Welch||4.3.17 | 3.3.17|
|Robert Daniel Lavelle||4.5.17 | 4.5.17 | 4.5.17 | 4.5.17 | 5.9.17|
|Sonja J. Finn||2.1.18 | 2.1.18 | 2.32.18 | 3.1.18|
|Erika Strassburger||2.1.18 | 3.1.18|
|Martin Healey||2.5.18 | 3.1.18|
|Rennick Remley||2.2.18 | 3.1.18|