Patrick Dowd

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Patrick Dowd
Patrick Dowd speaker.jpg
Patrick Dowd speaks at a podium at an event in 2013.
Member of the Pittsburgh City Council from the 7th District
In office
January 7, 2008 – July 10, 2013
Preceded by Leonard Bodack, Jr.
Succeeded by Deborah Gross
Member of the Pittsburgh Board of Education from the 1st District
In office
December 1, 2003 – December 3, 2007
Preceded by Darlene Harris
Succeeded by Heather Arnet
Personal details
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Missouri

Patrick Dowd (born 1968) is a Democratic Party politician in the United States. From 2008 until 2013, he served as a member of the Pittsburgh City Council from District 7, which includes the neighborhoods of Bloomfield, East Liberty, Friendship, Garfield, Highland Park, Lawrenceville, Morningside, Polish Hill, and Stanton Heights.

Personal life and educational career[edit]

Dowd was raised in Chesterfield, Missouri and earned a B.A. from the University of Missouri. He moved to Pittsburgh in 1991 to study with Fritz Ringer in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1999. He has taught history first at Winchester Thurston School and then at The Ellis School.[1] He is married to Leslie Hammond, who also graduated from the University of Pittsburgh before becoming a lecturer in the history department.[2] They have five children and live in Highland Park.[3]

Political career[edit]

Pittsburgh Board of Education[edit]

In 2003, Dowd won a four-year term on the Board after defeating incumbent Board President and Democrat Darlene Harris in an upset.

[4] As a candidate for school board, Dowd pledged to restore accountability to the system and in an intensely heated January 26, 2005 board meeting.[5]

Dowd led a five members coalition to removing Dr. John Thompson as the Superintend of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. The board launched a national search for a superintendent. The board hired Mark Roosevelt. [6] [7]

Dowd's departure from the board came in December 2007. His Accountability Contract and evaluation model remained in effect as did RISE, a program of teacher evaluation and PELA, a program for principals.

Pittsburgh City Council[edit]

Dowd was elected as the Democratic nominee to represent District 7 on the Pittsburgh City Council on May 15, 2007, and won the seat unopposed on November 6, 2007. [8] (Primary elections are generally decisive in the heavily Democratic city of Pittsburgh.[9])

He began serving on January 7, 2008. Shortly after taking office, Dowd drafted and successfully encouraged his colleagues to sign a Proclamation to Improve Governance in Pittsburgh.[10] Dowd also crafted and council passed a resolution calling for a task force on intergovernmental cooperation [11] which led to the creation of CONNECT, a Pittsburgh-based development initiative to increase cooperation between Pittsburgh and its adjacent municipalities.[12] In May, 2008, Dowd also started an innovative constituent outreach program called Council-to-Go[13] which enables him to stay in regular contact with residents of his council district. Dowd consistently worked with Ravenstahl to bring increased focus on bike and pedestrian initiatives.[14][15] In 2010 Dowd led a coalition that included Council President Harris, Councilwoman Rudiak and Controller Lamb and that offered a viable alternative to Ravenstahl's proposed 50-year lease of all public parking assets in the Pittsburgh.[16] In the fall of 2011 the state accepted this plan.[17]

As a member of the board of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Dowd made customer service and infrastructure reinvestment top priorities. In 2009, PWSA launched a controversial water and sewer line insurance program that has successfully provided coverage to nearly 100,000 customers[18] That same year, Dowd was instrumental in the creation of the Distribution Infrastructure System Reinvestment Fund, which added 5% charge to customers bills and dedicated that revenue solely to infrastructure reinvestment.[19] In 2010, Dowd supported the PWSA administration in bid to reinvest in its antiquated information system. Dowd also led the effort to bring an outside management firm in on an interim basis to overhaul the management of the Authority. Veolia of North America began their innovative contractual relationship with PWSA in July, 2012. They are scheduled to be in Pittsburgh until December, 2014.

In 2011 Dowd and Judge Frank Lucchino led a voter initiative to create a new library tax in Pittsburgh. The ballot initiative called for the creation of a 0.25 mills property tax dedicated to the Carnegie Librargy and received the backing of 72% of Pittsburgh voters. This tax is part of a six prong effort to provide sustainable funding for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Dowd announced in June 2013 that he would resign his seat on city council effective in mid-July to become the inaugural executive director of Allies for Children, a start-up advocacy group, A special election to fill his seat was held with the regularly scheduled municipal election in November 2013. The seat on city council was won by Deborah Gross, the endorsed D in the race. [20]

Dowd also served as a member of the board of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh,[21] Riverlife [22] and the Pittsburgh Zoo.[23]

Mayoral campaign[edit]

Dowd announced on February 19, 2009 that he would challenge mayor Luke Ravenstahl in Pittsburgh's May 19 Democratic primary.[24] In his announcement, Dowd criticized what he saw as Ravenstahl's failures on campaign finance reform in light of the mayor's veto of a campaign finance reform bill in the summer of 2008,[25] a risky bond deal at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority,[26] wasteful spending[27] and the Lamar LED controversy.[28] Dowd was endorsed by the Stonewall Democrats and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, among others,[29][30] but lost in a three-way race to Ravenstahl by 31 points, receiving 28 percent of the vote.

Allies for Children[edit]

In June 2013 Dowd announced he would step down from City Council to become the inaugural executive director of Allies for Children a start up child advocacy non-profit in the Pittsburgh region.

Allies for Children


  1. ^ Schmitt, Doug (2006-11-14). "An Interview with Patrick Dowd, President of the Pittsburgh Board of Education". Retrieved 2009-02-19. [dead link]
  2. ^ Hart, Peter (2006-02-16). "Obituary: Fritz K. Ringer". University Times. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  3. ^ Ramshaw, Gregg (2008-04-30). "Leadership Series: Patrick Dowd, City Council". Pop City. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  4. ^ Lee, Carmen J. (2003-05-22). "Hopes rise for school board harmony". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Dowd, Patrick (2004-09-05). "Forum: Raising the bar for our schools". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  7. ^ Dowd, Patrick (2005-08-28). "Forum: Accountability for the city schools". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  8. ^ "2007 Municipal Election Summary Report". Allegheny County Board of Elections. 2007-11-06. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  9. ^ Boren, Jeremy (2007-04-07). "Pittsburgh City Council races draw big field of hopefuls". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Lord, Rich (2009-12-07). "Organization hopes to spur urban-suburban cooperation". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Lord, Rich (2008-08-11). "Officials pledge better city for cyclists, walkers". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Smydo, Joe (2010-11-13). "City council unveils new parking proposal". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  17. ^ "Pension reprieve: The city keeps control, but there is still much to do". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2011-09-22. 
  18. ^ Lord, Rich (2010-03-26). "Water director asked by Dowd to resign". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  19. ^ McKinnon, Jim (2009-12-12). "Water users in city get 5% rate increase". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  20. ^ Balingit, Moriah (2013-06-17). "Dowd to resign next month from Pittsburgh City Council to run new education nonprofit". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Lord, Rich (2009-02-19). "Councilman Dowd enters race for mayor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  25. ^ Lord, Rich (2008-06-09). "Mayor vetoes campaign finance reform". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  26. ^ Lord, Rich (2009-03-10). "Financial deal backfires on city water authority". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  27. ^ Lord, Rich (2009-03-31). "Dowd slams Ravenstahl on 'wasteful spending'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  28. ^ Lord, Rich (2009-05-12). "Dowd slams Ravenstahl over billboard controversy". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  29. ^ "Dowd for mayor: The councilman has the drive to make the city work". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2009-05-10. 
  30. ^

External links[edit]