How to Request Campaign Yard Signs around Pittsburgh

I know, I know – yard signs don’t generate votes. My campaign staff friends tell me this and I say “phooey” to them.

I notice signs. And I especially notice the signs in my own neighborhood (Manchester on the Northside) which is 70% Black and 30% white. I notice which candidates have support. I notice which campaigns show up at the polling place. I notice the campaigns that take Black votes for granted. I record it on my Facebook page. And I keep it close in my heart.

I notice signs when we went on vacation. I notice signs driving around places in everyday life. I mostly see Republican signs, tbh, no matter where I go.

For example, I live in Manchester near said polling place (obviously) and have never been asked by any campaign to represent there.

Anyway, I also live in a rowhouse with a brick sidewalk as my front yard. It is historic, but it does not lend itself well to planting signs. I make it work through brute force, geometry, and physics. Right now, I have exactly one campaign sign, from Summer Lee for Congress. They brought it to me early last spring, about six months ago. That’s a lot of eyeballs who have seen my sign since then. I live four houses in from a busyesque intersection, especially during evening rush and Steeler/Pitt games. So for 180+ days, people have seen my Summer Lee sign in Manchester.

My other signs are cause related, not campaign related. No other candidate has made accessing a yard sign convenient or easy. So they’ve lost 180+ days of eyeballs and neighbors and joggers and school kids and more seeing a literal sign that those candidates are invested in Manchester, a predominantly Black neighborhood.

I’ve repeatedly asked about signs. I am directed to some location in the East End near Trader Joe’s but only during certain hours and requiring advance planning, etc. Other campaigns will sell me a sign for a donation.

Neither of those tactics feels very supportive of people with disabilities who can’t just drive over to East Liberty during bankers hours or to those who don’t have the funds to make a donation – you know, poor folx and also some people with disabilities.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the Democrats are not distributing yard signs on the Northside. Even if they don’t intend to take Black voters for granted … they are.

Yard signs are not just an inside joke among voters. While there’s something to be said for leaning into tradition to turn out more voters, there’s also the impact of distribution. I drive through the East End neighborhoods and seem millions of signs. Not Homewood as much as Squirrel Hill. Why is that? And what does it say about the campaigns and the supporters who get out the signs?

I desperately want Shapiro and Fetterman to win their races, it feels like our lives depend upon it so I do not understand their silence on these matters. I hope someone, anyone, on their campaign reads this and at least ANSWERS my email.

So today I dug up a little information to share with you if you’d like a yard sign of your own. I have sent another round of requests for information to each of these campaigns and will update as they respond. One responded (Jessica Benham) while I was creating this post so there you have it.

I’m also going to offer my home as a place to store signs (and more) to distribute to Manchester AND to the LGBTQ community. Have your people call me.

Also be sure to read the Political Q&A series on our blog.

So you want a campaign yard sign? Here’s what I found from candidates I support.

First, don’t just put a comment on social tagging the candidate or their page or their staff about your sign. That’s silly. It won’t hurt, but it is not a plan.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the Democrats are not distributing yard signs on the Northside. Even if they don’t intend to take Black voters for granted … they are.

Summer Lee for Congress – I was contacted in the Spring by phone baking volunteer who asked me if I wanted a sign. I said yes and it was at my door within a few days. So I’d suggest you contact the campaign and ask.

Josh Shapiro/Austin Davis for Governor/Lt. Governor – you can pick up signs in East Liberty or you can request ONE by mail. That’s why I did – I’ll update when I receive it. I don’t know if the sign is Shapiro only or Shapiro/Davis. It sure would make sense if the first Black man to (probably) win the Lt. Governor race is included in signs sent to Black neighborhoods. But … Here’s the link to request the sign.

John Fetterman for US Senate – I have no idea how to get a Fetterman yard sign except to buy one for $18 on his website. I would hope the campaign would be all over the Northside and send us a sign about a better future.

Chris DeLuzio for Congress – Front and center on his website, you can request a sign. There’s no details on how you’ll get the sign. I requested one even though it is not my district. This is an important race. His opponent is horrific.

Aerion Andrew Abney for PA State House – Aerion has signs all over Manchester, he has always been well represented in his previous races. I’m not sure how to request a sign, but I suspect you can simply contact the campaign and ask.

Jessica Benham for PA State House – Jessica has signs that can be delivered anywhere in her district, no donation required. She replied to my inquiry personally in under 15 minutes. She has a form on her website.

Emily Kinkead for PA State House – I had one of her signs in 2020 and it was weathered so it was repurposed. It was delivered to my volunteers – they reached to ask me if I was interested. I think if you contact the campaign, you’ll get a response.

La’Tasha Mayes for PA State House – La’Tasha is running in the seat formerly held by now-Mayor Ed Gainey. She will be the first out Black lesbian to serve in the PA General Assembly. She’s not in my district, but she might be in yours? I suggest you reach out to her website and request a sign.

Sara Innamorato for PA State House – Sara is running for reelection. She is a strong ally and supporter. I do not see a yard sign tab on her website, but you can contact the campaign and ask.

Lindsey Williams for PA State Senator – Lindsey is also running for reelection. She’s done some very innovative work as a legislator and activist. On her website, you can click on volunteer/get involved and find a form to request a yard sign.

Go to the campaign website and search. Send a message through the website. Visit the Facebook page and ask.

But here’s another thought – do more than put up a sign. Volunteer. Go to the campaign HQ and stuff things, knock on things, call people. Organize a house party. Register your neighbors. Specifically ask everyone 18 and older in your life if they are registered and ask them to support your candidate.

Maybe take some yard signs and put them out in the community. Ask your neighbors if they want one and be the drop-off spot and deliver to the neighbors. While it is up to the campaigns to make sure they are connecting with everyone, even those who can’t drive to East Liberty or make a donation, so do we as voters, neighbors, supporters, and American responsible for making sure our candidates are connected with our community.

Of course yard signs are not the ONLY tool, but if someone isn’t pointing out inequity of resources during campaigns – what can we expect after the election?

And while I’m speaking about yard signs … you have two other options to request signs to support causes.

First, Protect Trans Kids signs are available at no cost (donations accepted) to show your support of our trans children, youth, and adults.

Second, PLC created #PghCatFolx yard signs as a fundraiser to help support our assorted cat and cat folx projects. These signs require a donation as of now because PLC uses the funds to pay for cat food, TNVR procedures, supplies, etc.


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