There is no doubt that Erie City Council will be markedly different in 2022.
Voters in the Nov. 2 municipal election will almost certainly put at least three new faces on the all-Democratic seven-member panel in a race that includes four Democrats and two Republicans vying for four open seats.
Erie County Voter’s Guide:The races, the candidates, the stakes in the municipal election of November 2
Main results:Democratic incumbent Allen leads the way in Erie City Council race
The field, however, includes only one incumbent whose seat is on the ballot: City Councilor Liz Allen, who is running for a second four-year term.
Two other current city council members, David Brennan and Kathy Schaaf, have chosen not to stand for re-election. In addition, the third four-year term of Councilor Jim Winarski ends in December. Winarski cannot race again due to the city’s term limit rules.
Winarski will always appear on the municipal election ballot. He is the Democratic candidate for the 4th district seat of the Erie County Council.
Besides Allen, a former journalist and editor of the Erie Times-News who was first elected to city council in 2017, Democratic candidates for city council are Maurice “Mo” Troop, a 45-year-old deputy director at Erie High School; Jasmine Flores, 28, candidate linked to citizens’ advocacy and social justice group Erie County United; and Chuck Nelson, 36, a pastor who lives in the city’s West Bayfront neighborhood.
The Republican candidates are Greg Brown, 39, co-founder and COO of Red Letter Hospitality; and Shawn Lyons, 47, a sales associate who unsuccessfully ran for city council in 2019.
Brown and Lyons are also trying to overcome a major component of the city of Erie’s political calculation. No Republican has served on city council since John Evans, CPA and certified financial planner, did so as an appointee between June 2012 and December 2013.
Evans had been the first Republican to sit on city council since Denise Robison, who took office in 1990. This Democratic dominance is largely due to the near 3-to-1 Democratic voter registration within city limits.
City council members serve part-time and are paid $ 6,000 per year; the chairman of the board is paid $ 7,500 per year. Members of the Board are also entitled to health insurance benefits.
Allen, 70, was the top voter in the May 18 primary. She was first elected in 2017.
âThis is a crucial time to elect people who are committed to making the whole Erie region a better place,â said Allen, who said the skills she has developed over decades as a that reporter help him to effectively scrutinize the city government with the best interests of taxpayers in disturbs.
âMy message to constituents is that I listen to as many voices as possible to hear their needs and concerns,â Allen said. âIt hasn’t been easy during the pandemic, but community leaders are finding safe and creative ways to come together. “
If re-elected, Allen has said she will ensure Erie effectively allocates her roughly $ 78 million in US bailout funding.
âI also promise to be a watchdog on how this money is spent,â Allen said.
City finances, gun violence and “rebuilding trust between residents and police,” as well as scourge and poverty are also priority issues, Allen said.
Troop is a 45-year-old vice-principal in the Erie School District. He said he ran for city council because he had leadership skills that would come in handy on the panel.
Additionally, Troop said his experience working with a diverse group of people – students, administrators and parents included – is an asset.
Troop said he is currently campaigning both in person at various community events and through social media.
âI try to communicate to voters that with me all voices count, no matter what neighborhood a citizen lives in or how old he is,â Troop said.
Troop also pledged to “work with council members, the mayor, citizens of Erie and community stakeholders to create the best version of Erie possible” if elected.
Flores, 28, works as a community support professional at the Barber National Institute. She finished fourth in the May 2019 Democratic City Council primary, just behind current Councilor Michael Keys.
âPeople sometimes tell me ‘I’m not voting’, and I remind them that in 2019 when I ran I missed 187 votes,â said Flores. âTheir vote counts. “
Flores has spoken openly about her past struggles with low wages, poverty and student debt. She believes her advocacy for social justice resonates with voters.
Voices for Dignity:A look at poverty in Erie
âI feel like I bring real and lived experiences to the conversation,â said Flores. âI stayed involved in the community on different issues even though I didn’t have a title. I am a tenant. I lived in a food desert. I have been a frequent bus driver as recently as January. I know a lot of the problems that people have.
If elected, Flores is committed to fighting poverty; access to healthy and affordable food; and affordable housing and owner / tenant issues. It would push the city to pass a âtenants bill of rights,â laws that would affirm tenants’ rights against health risks, harassment and displacement.
âProtecting the community of Erie is my priority,â said Flores.
Nelson, 37, is a pastor whose ministry, La Croix, serves some of the poorest neighborhoods in the town of Erie. He said he knew how to bring various groups of people together.
âI campaigned by continuing my usual community involvement,â said Nelson.
If elected, Nelson has promised to focus on collaboration and creative solutions.
He suggested that Erie consider adopting a land value tax, which would separately assess land and buildings for tax purposes and could generate additional income.
Nelson:Real estate value tax could transform Erie neighborhoods and lower tax bills
Allentown in eastern Pennsylvania has implemented a property value tax.
âI want to copy success,â Nelson said. âWe can see (the) changes Reading and Allentown made after we all declined together in the 1990s. We can make those changes to Erie.
âI don’t just look at the past within our city limits for solutions,â said Nelson. âWe need to be able to find best practices from other cities and use them to create the best Erie for everyone.â
Brown, 40, said he campaigned door to door and attended various events.
Asked about his key message to voters, Brown said, “Erie needs to get out of his financial woes.”
Brown said he promotes “fiscal responsibility, transparency and collaboration” as well as the responsible and “innovative” use of federal COVID-19 relief funds to rebuild infrastructure, attract new businesses and maintain the jobs that already exist.
Brown said voters are expected to elect him on Nov. 2 because “I’m the only candidate for city council who brings business acumen, (who) can provide an outside perspective and has real money invested in the city. town of Erie. “
Lyon, 47, said he was running because he wanted to make a difference in the city.
âI want change and we need change for our city,â Lyons said on his campaign’s Facebook page. âI grew up in poverty and worked very hard for many years to persevere and overcome this situation.
Lyons describes himself as a hardworking blue collar candidate.
âI believe I share the same stories and struggles in life as many citizens of our city,â Lyons said. âIt is with this mindset that I believe I would be able to better understand the direction needed to bring positive change to our city and move the city forward to solve our problems and problems in order to provide life. better to our citizens. “
Liz Allen (outgoing Democrat)
- Age: 70
- Profession: Freelance writer; library clerk per diem; Erie SeaWolves bailiff; retired journalist and editor of Erie Times-News
- Education: Bachelor of Arts, Marquette University; major in journalism; political science, minor in theology
- Staff: twice widowed; remarried; a living son; a deceased son; 22 grandchildren, including step-grandchildren
- www.instagram.com/lizforeriecitycouncil; twitter.com/lizeriepa
Let’s take a closer look at Liz Allen:Erie City Council race: Democrat Allen vows to continue scrutiny if re-elected
Greg Brown (Republican)
- Age: 40 years old
- Occupation: Co-founder and COO, Red Letter Hospitality
- Education: Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Minor in Economics, Missouri State University; Master of Business Administration from Indiana University
- Personal: Married with three children
- www.votegregbrown.com; bit.ly/GregBrownErie
Let’s take a closer look at Greg Brown:Erie City Council race: Republican Brown wants to see “a lasting economic boom”
Jasmine Flores (Democrat)
Zoom on Jasmine Flores:Erie City Council race: Democrat Flores says she struggled, like many citizens
Shawn Lyons (Republican)
- Age: 47
- Profession: Sales representative
- Education: High school graduate, Red Rock Job Corps Center; Took classes at Erie County Technical School
- Personal: Married with two children
Chuck Nelson (Democrat)
- Age: 37
- Occupation: Pastor, La Croix
- Education: Bachelor’s degree, Lindenwood University; Masters, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary; complete doctoral work at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
- Staff: Married, two daughters.
- www.chucknelson.info; www.facebook.com/ChuckNelsonErie
Let’s take a closer look at Chuck Nelson:Erie City Council race: Democrat Nelson seeks impact beyond ministry
Maurice “Mo” Troupe (Democrat)
- Age: 45
- Occupation: Assistant principal of the Erie school district
- Education: Baccalaureate from Westminster College; Masters from the University of Edinboro
- Personal: Married with three children
- www.motroop.com; www.facebook.com/MoTroop4Erie
Let’s take a closer look at Mo Troop:Erie City Council race: Democrat Maurice Troop brings passion for service