The results in Pittsburgh’s Democratic primary election confirmed what we’ve been saying all along. We want elected officials who will stand up to our city’s biggest bully – UPMC.
In the mayoral race and three competitive City Council races, candidates who were vocal supporters of the City’s challenge of UPMC’s charity status and the movement to hold UPMC accountable prevailed.
In District 8, Dan Gilman was the sole candidate who voiced support for the City’s challenge to UPMC’s tax-exempt status; his opponents deemed the challenge unwise.
In Districts 4 and 6, Natalia Rudiak and Daniel Lavelle issued public statements in support of the City’s challenge and have been active in the community effort to hold UPMC accountable.
Bill Peduto, the Democratic nominee to become the next mayor, announced his support for the City’s suit against UPMC on the day it was filed. His position that UPMC needs to be accountable to patients, workers and taxpayers was a clear part of his campaign, and featured prominently in his popular “Sweeper” ad.
We know this won’t be easy. UPMC’s decision to sue taxpayers rather than have an open and honest conversation with our community about how UPMC can be part of a stronger and healthier Pittsburgh is one indication of the fight ahead.
But we also know that holding UPMC accountable is of the highest important to Pittsburgh residents and the voters who chose their representatives yesterday.
Having our next Mayor and City Councilmembers firmly on the side of patients, caregivers and taxpayers moves us one step closer to making sure UPMC does its fair share for Pittsburgh.