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Why I Am Running for Mayor


Like many of you, I love Erie.

For 20 years, I’ve walked and biked around the city and talked with residents. The same issues always surface: jobs, schools, taxes, blight, and violence.

Though I wasn’t born in Pennsylvania, I’ve worked for years with volunteers to improve Erie. I ask questions, research, collaboratively envision solutions, and – when I hit a stumbling block – try another way.

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Democrat Lisa Austin kicks off campaign for Erie mayor


As a private citizen, Lisa Austin has spent years tackling historic preservation of buildings, blight removal, improving neighborhoods and assisting small businesses. Now, Austin wants to address those same issues, and more, as the city of Erie's next mayor.

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The Buki Plan, the Viaduct and Erie CPR

Lisa Austin, Adam Trot and Rev. Anthony Harris

Compelling revitalization plans have recently been created for the county, city, and neighborhoods of Erie. While these have gathered important data and impressive proposals, the urgent need to stop the planned demolition of the McBride Viaduct, a vital pedestrian and bike bridge at East Avenue, has been hinted at, rather than shouted. In his April 2016 transmittal letter published in the Reader, and in his recent presentation at the Jefferson Educational Society, Charles Buki outlined key strategies Erie should embrace.

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Creating culture of design excellence in Erie: Lisa Austin


ERIE, Pa. -- Erie’s industries provided generations of hardworking people with well-paying, lifetime jobs.

As employers have downsized, moved away, or closed, workers and their families have suffered from unemployment, poverty, crime and hopelessness.

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Waiting on a Train

Lisa Austin

The journalist, transportation expert, and Albion native, James McCommons, says that “America has a passenger system suited to a third-world country.”

For much of the past century, the U.S. has poured billions of tax dollars into massive highway systems instead of investing in public transit. Like any addiction, the more you feed it, the more the needs of our automobiles grow.

As Joni Mitchell sang, “they paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.” Charles Buki, in his 2016 Comprehensive Plan, Erie Refocused, noted “recent development on the Bayfront ha[s] featured an abundance of … parking which cannibalizes prime waterfront sites.”




The MADE IN ERIE PRODUCT DESIGN LAB will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 9:30am to 3:00pm; press release below. Free and open to the public, all teachers, teens, retirees, college students, New Americans, the unemployed and others should consider attending all or part of this day-long event at the Blasco Library.

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United We Stand

Lisa Austin

A little more than a century ago, city leaders commissioned John Nolen (1869-1937) to create a plan for the improvement and extension of “Greater Erie.” In his 1913 report, Nolen encouraged improved public transportation, increased access to the waterfront, and retention of open spaces. Much of what Nolen proposed is echoed in Emerge 2040 and the Erie Refocused planning documents.

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An EMTA Charter for the 21st Century

Lisa Austin

When the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority (EMTA) charter was signed in 1966, Lou Tullio was mayor. With few updates, Mayor Sinnott wants to renew that contract. Is this in the best interest of residents?

Some weeks ago, the County has announced that it wants to control the EMTA board appointments. This is not unreasonable. County Councilman Andre Horton noted that County already funds “the lion’s share” of the EMTA budget and represents 100% of the ridership.

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Erie CPR: Connect + Respect

Lisa Austin

While lecturing at the Jefferson Educational Society on May 3, Michael Furhman noted that the “east side is a work horse,” and commented that this side of the city is home to a prison that takes up three city blocks. In addition to Lampe Marina, and a few underutilized parks, the east bayfront features a large waste treatment plant and vast Eric Coke industry site.

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