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Nick Pisciottano, Democratic nominee in the 38th Legislative District, has family roots in Pittsburgh that date back to before the Civil War.
“I really care about the people in my area,” said Pisciottano. “I want them to know that I’m invested here. I’m here to stay. I want these people to be able to succeed. I want to see them get good jobs and support their families and send their kids to good schools.”
Pisciottano credits family members for his desire to work in public service.
Education: West Mifflin Area High School; B.A., Accounting & History, Washington & Jefferson College; Master’s, Government Analytics, Johns Hopkins University
Career: Certified Public Accountant; President, West Mifflin Community Foundation
“My grandfather was on council in Dravosburg in the ’70s,” Pisciotanno said. “My uncle was on school boards and involved in public service and I also witnessed my father devoting his time to public service. Most people don’t really understand that public office at the local level is often-times a thankless job.”
Pisciottano has witnessed the devastation that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused in our area and around the world. He thinks we have a long way to go to recover.
“The schools were already operating on shoe-string budgets, and now with the pandemic and needing to get students all the proper equipment to learn remotely and safety materials, it will require a lot of funding,” said Pisciottano. “I plan on working to reform the school budgets and see to it that our schools get the funding they deserve.”
But due to the pandemic, the state is currently operating at a $5 billion deficit.
“The two biggest expenditures in the state of Pennsylvania are public education and health and human services,” said Pisciottano. “I don’t see any way possible that we could cut health and human services considering the current pandemic and I absolutely disagree with anymore cuts to education.”
Pennsylvania is going to have to look elsewhere for funding — including revenues from gambling and marijuana legalization — “because the people can’t be taxed anymore,” he said.
One area that Pisciottano believes the state must tackle is the Delaware business tax loophole. “The state of Delaware does not have corporate tax, so some businesses in Pennsylvania, that operate mainly in Pennsylvania, say that they are headquartered in Delaware to avoid Pennsylvania taxes,” Pisciottano said. “This isn’t right and I will put a stop to this.”
Pisciottano is concerned about social justice and police reform issues, but said he stops short of calls to “defund” police.
“I am no expert in police work,” he said. “I know that the police officers in my area are good, middle-class, hard-working union employees. They just want to feed their families and send their kids to good schools. I know that some reform is needed. I am aware of some initiatives taking place in Harrisburg so I will review those initiatives as they come.”
Pisciottano supports Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and supports Joe Biden’s campaign for the presidency.
“I do support Vice President Biden,” Pisciottano said. “I think because of his background and his roots he would be good fit for this area. As for Governor Wolf, I can’t give him a grade. I think he’s done a good job in those circumstances. I would simply push for more transparency with the COVID stuff. I think small businesses need to know why things are happening and need explanations whether or not they agree with it, they do deserve transparency.”
Unfortunately, Pisciottano doesn’t see any sudden end to the pandemic restrictions.
“I think it will be gradual,” he said. “I think, even with the vaccine, precautions are going to be in place to reduce the risk of it coming back. I don’t think it will be one of those things where we just wake up one day and it’s all over.”
Jason A. Mignanelli is a freelance writer from Pittsburgh’s North Hills and a student at Duquesne University. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published October 29, 2020.