Denise Winebrenner-Edwards, People’s Weekly World editorial board member, won re-election to the City Council in the borough of Wilkensburg, Penn., right outside of Pittsburgh.

Winebrenner-Edwards was first elected in 1997 with a slate opposed to the privatization of the Wilkensburg schools. Wilkensburg Residents against Profiteering (WRAP) ran a multi-racial slate for mayor, city council and school board at a time when the incumbents gave away public schools to private interest at the expense of the children. Since the anti-privatization’s slate election they have maintained their promise of keeping profiteers out of the public schools.

Winebrenner-Edwards faced a serious write-in campaign from a local landlord. The incumbents, including Winebrenner-Edwards, faced an ultra-right whisper campaign that used both racism and red-baiting.

“The electorate rose above it,” said Winebrenner-Edwards from her home in Wilkensburg. “It was a tough election with everything that people have to deal with,” referring to Bush’s war on terrorism, the economic crisis and the effects of racism. “But for many, what happened in Florida [during the 2000 presidential election] is still an open wound.”

With the help of the WRAP incumbents, three trade unionists were elected for the first time to the City Council and the local school board.