As you are already aware, tomorrow is an enormous day for Bellevue. Tomorrow is election day and we have shared more relevant facts and honest data about the alcohol referendum than that old, crusty set of Encyclopedia Britannica you keep on the shelf. Allowing alcohol sales in Bellevue is a major step forward in the future development, growth, and progress in Bellevue. There is absolutely no doubt allowing alcohol sales will open up opportunities for investment in our community which have been sealed shut for nearly a century.
Please hear what we are saying no one – not Liberty in Bellevue or A Better Bellevue – believe that allowing alcohol sales will instantly fix everything that ails Bellevue. Allowing alcohol sales will simply open up opportunities that never previously existed and enable groups like LiB, BIGr, A Better Bellevue, and others to work together in attracting new investors, would be restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, business owners, home owners, and young professionals/families to our “beautiful view.” Allowing alcohol sales will help put Bellevue on the same map with other communities in Pittsburgh revitalizing and experiencing an unprecedented renaissance.
However, in addition to voting to allow alcohol sales (did you know we are voting to allow alcohol sales in Bellevue?), the Democratic voters of Bellevue’s First Ward have another choice to make as well. If you are a registered Democrat living in Bellevue’s First Ward (green area in map posted below), you must choose between incumbent and former Council President, Linda Woshner or challenger Susan Schafer to be your representative on Bellevue Council.
Long time followers of LiB will surely recognize the name Linda Woshner. As the former Council President, Ms. Woshner has been the focus of much criticism over the years from LiB. From the days of old when we fought to secure our grilling/outdoor burning rights via the Bellevue Grill-abration, it was Ms. Woshner’s bill which we protested. More recently, in terms of allowing alcohol sales, it’s been Ms. Woshner and one other member of Bellevue Council who have refused to acknowledge what every community development professional has professed that alcohol sales will encourage economic development in our struggling community. Additionally, as the owner of millions of dollars of local Bellevue real estate, we’ve found it suspect the way Ms. Woshner has challenged changes to local code enforcement on rental properties in recent months (including increases to rates/fees to perform regular inspections of rental properties).
Susan Schafer, on the other hand, has been faithfully involved in local community projects and groups for many years. She’s been a board member of Bellevue Initiative for Growth and Revitalization and has taken on leadership roles with projects like with Improve the Vue and the Bellevue House Tour. Ms. Schafer ran for office unsuccessfully once before (nearly beating Ms Woshner in her previous run for council).
Bellevue needs a new vision and new opportunities for growth. Two years ago the voters of Bellevue responded to this cry for change by replacing three council members with relatively unknown, new faces to the political scene. If that momentum for change, growth, and revitalization is to continue it will require us to vote in favor of progress, not the same old thing.
Liberty in Bellevue encourages Bellevue to vote in favor of allowing alcohol sales and to replace yet another council member with a fresh face. We encourage all Democratic voters in Bellevue’s First Ward to vote for Susan Schafer to become the next Democratic nominee for Bellevue Council.