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O’Malley running for city commission

Matt O’Malley, candidate for Pittsburg city commission, stands in front of the Pittsburg city welcome sign with a campaign poster. Recently, O’ Malley helped to plant flowers in front of the Pittsburg welcome sign. Dominic Santiago

After years of living in the Pittsburg, Matt O’Malley has decided to give back to his hometown by running for a city commission seat.

According to a letter he has been sending to potential voters, O’Malley is not only a Pittsburg native but a seventh generation southeast Kansan.

“I got my strong work ethic from my family’s roots as miners, farmers, soldiers and business people,” the letter reads. “My values come from my strong faith, which has called me to be a helper. I attended grades K-12 at St. Mary’s Colgan schools and graduated from Pittsburg State University in 2008. My wife, Lacy, and I have been married for six years and are raising two boys, ages one and four.”

O’Malley says that one of his main reasons for running for a city commission seat is the opportunity to help Pittsburg thrive in the coming years.

“I decided to run for city commission because Pittsburg is my hometown and I want it to be a place that thrives for generations to come,” O’Malley said. “I don’t want to be special; I just want to serve. I’m a regular guy who wants to be a listening ear and a voice for those who don’t get heard and those who might be hesitant to speak out.” 

One of the aspects O’Malley highlights in his campaign is his activeness in the community.

“I am active in our community and volunteer with several community groups,” O’Malley said. “Through my servant leadership roles and my job as the Director of Outreach and Development for Live Well Crawford County, I have had many opportunities to learn about Pittsburg’s strengths and challenges.”

O’Malley’s campaign letter lists nine priorities of the campaign, including inclusion (to “elevate the voices and experiences of historically excluded and undervalued populations”), childcare (“the expansion of the Family Resource Center and establishing new daycare facilities”), workforce development (through “partnerships to promote skills training, trade schools and higher education”), housing, (through “developing homes for families and individuals with average incomes and holding slumlords accountable”) support for local business, (“including reevaluating the city’s weighted local preference policy for sealed bids”), active living, (through “parks catered to our aging residents as well as sidewalk, bike lane and trail development”), informing residents of their power (through teaching “how to report road problems and join citizen advisory committees”) and cleaning up the city (through the “creative use of vacant properties and limitations on political yard signs).

In addition to his campaign priorities, O’Malley says that he wants to focus on community inclusion.

“During my campaign, I have been primarily communicating with the public through my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/omalleyforpittsburg,” O’Malley said. “I have also sent out 400 personal letters and knocked on over 1,000 doors asking residents two questions: What is your biggest concern for Pittsburg? and What is the best part about Pittsburg? If elected, I will continue to manage my social media page and welcome any calls, texts, or emails from residents.”

O’Malley also encourages eligible PSU students to participate in the vote on Nov 3.

“Local elections matter and only about 20% of all registered voters will vote during a non-presidential election year,” O’Malley said. “If the youth vote showed up, they could single-handedly decide which three candidates will be elected to make the decisions for Pittsburg that will affect everyone.”

Any questions about the upcoming election should be directed to the Crawford County Clerk’s Office.

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