The Record


UPDATE:  The items below the *Original Record* were published when the site launched, but we have to keep you updated on new items too — unfortunately.

Vice Chair of the URA and City Councilwoman, Tonya Payne, is using abandoned buildings throughout District 6 as campaign billboards rather than working on economic development to have them restored…

Vice Chair of the URA and City Councilwoman Payne using district blight for re-election
Vice Chair of the URA and City Councilwoman Payne using district blight for re-election

See more pictures and read it here…

—————————– ORIGINAL RECORD—————————

Where should we start?  How about here…

Tonya Payne has not sponsored legislation that improves the quality of life for the people of District 6. 

However, she did sponsor legislation aimed at increasing the reimbursement rate for gas for city council members.  Not residents, CITY COUNCIL members…

Tonya sponsored legislation to get a higher reimbursement rate for City Council members.

Hey, What about me?!?

Meanwhile District Six suffers from one of the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the city.  How about we focus on jobs and training instead of reimbursement rates for gas?

But when you listen to this interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette it is clear she has no record to stand on.  Instead, she constantly blurts-out, “I’m doing this for the people” and brags about how she has “every endorsement” known to man…

We don’t think “the people” think Tonya Payne’s record shows that she’s doing it for them.  And turns out she did not receive the Post-Gazette’s endorsement.


Tonya Payne has the worst attendance record on city council. 

Tonya kicked off the year as a show.

Tonya kicked off the year as a no show.

Tonya Payne kicked off the year as a no show.  In addition, Tonya Payne often leaves before meetings are over leaving District Six voiceless in too many cases. While comparative attendance records are not available via the City of Pittsburgh,  each City Councilperson’s attendance record is available from Pittsburgh City Council in accordance with the PA Right to Know Act. 


Tonya Payne voted against Barack Obama

Now we don’t have a problem with voters and leaders who supported another candidate, EXCEPT in cases where they voted AGAINST the will of their district.  Barack Obama carried District 6 with over 85% of the vote in the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary.  So how could Tonya Payne vote against him?  Poor judgement.

The First Family

The First Family


Tonya Payne illegally hid legislation as an act of vindictiveness

In an act of retribution, Tonya Payne committed an illegal, embarrassing and unacceptable act.

She hid legislation (never introduced it) from City Council to sabotage the future development of August Wilson’s childhood home because she was angry at his niece for standing up against the Isle of Capri casino plan.

The late, great August Wilson is a native of the Historic Hill District; his family is working to rehabilitate his childhood home into a regional and national landmark.

The late, great August Wilson is a native of the Historic Hill District; his family is working to rehabilitate his childhood home into a regional and national landmark.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

From Dec. 3 through Jan. 16, the City Planning Department sent six e-mails to council, asking about the status of the designation for 1727 Bedford Ave., where the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright grew up. It had been approved by the Historic Review and Planning commissions, and sent to council for the final action on Oct. 10

Asked whether she got the e-mails, Ms. Payne said, “If you said I got them, I got them…”

Please read the entire article for yourself.


Tonya Payne is an ineffective advocate on complex issues.

“I’m so perplexed right now” says Tonya Payne. 

Those were her choice words regarding the bond financing issue for the City of Pittsburgh.

District 6 includes Oakland, Downtown, the Northside, Hill District, and Strip District.  How can we afford leadership that doesn’t get the issues?  We have lost opportunity and time, and the people of this District just cannot afford it anymore.  With the complex issues being addressed on the federal and state levels we need leadership that is on top of the issues locally.


Tonya Payne is a poor communicator which hinders her ability to advocate for District 6 residents and causes embarrassment, sometimes nationally.

It’s not often that a city councilperson makes national news.  But Tonya Payne did.  She is quoted all over the country for her notorious “Who really cares about it being unconstitutional?” comment.

Did I say that?

Did I say that?

Seriously?  Don’t you remember taking an oath to uphold the constitution, Tonya?

In all fairness, we think she was trying to say, that the issue (which was related to reporting stolen and lost firearms) is important enough to take a social and political stance on and perhaps even challenge the existing law. 

But instead, Payne made herself an internet legend — and all of us by default.  See for yourself what happens when you Google this issue.  Sigh.


Why did Tonya Payne disrespect the legendary Freedom Corner monument?

Freedom Corner is sacred land located at the corner of Centre Ave and Crawford Street in Pittsburgh. It serves as a beacon of light, hope and determination for Pittsburghers working toward social justice. 

Freedom Corner is the point of departure for many public marches, demonstrations and gatherings.

Freedom Corner is the point of departure for many public marches, demonstrations and gatherings.

The Monument was proposed in 1992 to memorialize the Civil Rights Movement in Pittsburgh.  It is inscribed with the names of heroes and sheroes — living and deceased. 

Yet, Tonya Payne took formal legislative action and pulled funding from Freedom Corner!  WHY?

“Sala knows that I’m going to make sure that he doesn’t get his grubby paws on it [the City held fund].”  Here, read it for yourself!

Her leadership is just so embarrassing sometimes.  “Sala” is her former boss, founder of the monument and primary fundraiser for its development. 

Payne’s energy should be directed towards addressing the many challenges of District 6 – ie. crime, unemployment, quality of education for our children etc, not seeking acts of revenge on her former boss.

As usual, when residents became outraged, Payne tried to reverse her steps.  In this case she re-created a city-held fund for Freedom Corner to cover her despicable actions.  Shame on Payne!

In case you need a few more examples of Payne on the record…

So are you ready to “Stop The Payne”? 



2 Responses to The Record

  1. Phil says:

    Wow. The irony of using her position at the URA to identify dangerous and neighborhood-value-decreasing vacant buildings that to post re-election signs is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Absenteeism, blocking the August Wilson nomination when other politicians would have jumped at the opportunity to support such a key asset is unforgivable. Assuming that your constituents will support a casino without even consulting with them is just asinine. This, combined with her abseentism and other lapses of representation is truly embarrassing. I can’t wait to vote for Daniel Lavelle.

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