BRANDI FISHER (Photo by J.L. Martello)
Late Tuesday, Feb. 16, the New Pittsburgh Courier learned that the Alliance for Police Accountability (APA), a grassroots organization pushing for reconstruction of the criminal justice system, will file more than 65,000 signatures in support of two ballot initiatives. The organization will file 43,000 signatures for an Allegheny County initiative ordinance limiting solitary confinement in the county jail, and 21,000 signatures for a City of Pittsburgh home rule charter amendment prohibiting the use of no-knock warrants by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.
“These two initiatives are critical to the public health and safety of the residents of Allegheny County,” said Brandi Fisher, founder and president of the Alliance for Police Accountability, in a statement.
“The community has the power to make the decisions that impact their lives and this initiative is one way for that to manifest.”
“More than a thousand people, organizers and volunteers, have spent seven weeks in the cold and damp circulating these petitions,” said campaign manager Daniel Moraff in a statement.
“We have demonstrated in dramatic fashion that when legislators fail, the people of this county will not stand idly by.”
The campaign invested in directly impacted communities and individuals, with several formerly incarcerated staff, including the subject of a recent article on the use of the restraint chair, which would be prohibited by the proposed county ordinance.
The petitioning effort led by the APA featured more than 100 volunteer-run signing stations across the county. The effort received critical support from New Voices PGH, SEIU Healthcare PA, Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, Pennsylvania United, and dozens of other local organizations.
After a county review of the signatures submitted and the text of the legislation, the charter amendment and ordinance will appear on the May 18 primary election ballot.