Pittsburgh officers advocate voting rights and condemn assaults on transgender athletes

Pittsburgh City Council members on Tuesday officially urged federal and state officials to protect voting rights and condemned attempts to ban transgender athletes from participating in school and college sports.

Council members unanimously passed measures sponsored by Council members Corey O’Connor and Erika Strassburger.

O’Connor’s move calls on US Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania to support the For the People Act, an extension of federal suffrage that the House passed earlier this month.

The bill would curb party-political wandering in congressional districts, overcome voting hurdles, and bring transparency to a murky campaign funding system that allows wealthy donors to fund political causes anonymously, according to The Associated Press.

The bill would counterbalance progressive voting restrictions in Republican-controlled state houses across the country after Donald Trump repeatedly made false claims about a stolen election in 2020, the AP reported.

The law would provide a national standard for voting rights that would be welcomed, O’Connor said.

The council’s action condemned “deliberate efforts to disenfranchise or otherwise hinder voter turnout” by considering or passing various electoral laws.

Councilor Ricky Burgess called the recent attempts to change electoral law a “revived attempt” to suppress minority voters.

“We should all work to end voter suppression and make it easier for people to vote,” said Burgess.

The Strassburger-sponsored measure condemns attempts by state and federal lawmakers to ban transgender athletes from participating in school and college sports and calls on lawmakers to support inclusive measures to encourage transgender athletes.

It is sent to the Allegheny County Legislative Delegation, the Pennsylvania General Assembly Chair, Governor Tom Wolf, Acting Secretary of Education Noe Ortega, US Representatives Mike Doyle, and Sens. Casey and Toomey.

Supporting transgender athletes is especially important this week, Strassburger said, as Wednesday is International Transgender Visibility Day.

It is important for the council to send a message to transgender youth that there are “people in leadership positions who support you,” said Strassburger.

The measures adopted by the Council are ceremonial.

Tom Davidson is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, tdavidson@triblive.com, or on Twitter.

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