I would like to respond to a recent letter accusing me of switching party affiliations in order to run for city council to serve my own "selfish interest" (Letters to the Editor, What is Robb's affiliation, Feb. 22, 2011).
First, let me unequivocally state that when I switched my registration to the Democratic Party in 2009, I had no intention of running for public office. I had not even considered the possibility at that time.
I've always had a moderate, centrist political philosophy. During recent years, however, I have found myself aligning with the basic principles of the Democratic Party, due in no small part to the actions and rhetoric of the Republican politicians such as the ones referenced in last week's letter. I switched my affiliation to the Democratic Party because I associate myself with the fundamental ideals of that party - and for no other reason.
Letters such as the one published last week serve as an excellent example of why we need to return a sense of civility to city politics. I look forward to leading the way by focusing the discussion on the needs of our neighborhoods so we can work together to address the problems facing our residents and build a better Pittsburgh.
I believe voters are interested in issues such as spurring economic development and attacking blight in the Hilltop communities; finding solutions to problems such as parking, litter, graffiti and reckless and irresponsible behavior in South Side; and establishing safe and secure neighborhoods throughout the district.
We need to focus on ways to address the city's long-standing financial problems while balancing the rights of our city workers. We need to aggressively develop and maintain the city's valuable green spaces and riverfront areas.
With a collaborate effort from residents, businesses and city government, I am confident we can accomplish great things together over the next four years and beyond.
The writer is a candidate for District 3 City Council.