Leon Ford announces run for Pittsburgh City Council
Leon Ford announced Thursday he will run for Pittsburgh City Council next year.
Ford, an activist who was paralyzed after being shot by police, said he will be bold, courageous, resilient and speak for people who don’t feel represented on City Council.
“They heard us, but they weren’t listening,” Ford said in a video posted to a Facebook page for his campaign. “We’re tired of protesting. We’re tired of going to these community forums that aren’t really solution based. We’re tired of politicians playing us like our voices matter when they’ve already made decisions that are impacting our lives.”
Ford, 25, of East Liberty will run for the seat held by Councilman Ricky Burgess in the May primary. Both are Democrats. Burgess, who declined to comment, is seeking his fourth council term. Council members serve four years and are scheduled to make $66,371 in 2018, according to a proposed city budget.
Council’s District 9 includes East Hills, East Liberty, Friendship, Garfield, Homewood, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington, Point Breeze and Stanton Heights.
Ford was shot multiple times during a traffic stop in November 2012. He remains in a wheelchair. Pittsburgh settled a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Ford for $5.5 million in January.
He emerged as a central figure in protests around the city after Antwon Rose II was shot and killed in June by East Pittsburgh police Officer Michael Rosfeld.
“I never considered running for office until I realized that I was one of the only voices bold enough to stand up for the people and speak truth to power. I am more than a survivor; I am a champion for all the people who have lost faith in our leaders and the system,” Ford wrote in a post on his campaign’s Facebook page.