For press and media inquiries:


A Pittsburgh Judge Wants to Use the Bench To Fight Evictions and Mass Incarceration“, Maria Hawilo (The Appeal, May 13, 2021)

Mik Pappas, elected judge in 2017 with the support of the local DSA, is now running for higher office as part of a slate that wants to change the legal system in Allegheny County.

How Local Judges Shape The Criminal Legal System In Pennsylvania, Explained“, Maria Hawilo (The Appeal, May 12, 2021)

While their function remains the same, minor courts in Pennsylvania have two different names. Most counties call their minor courts “magisterial district courts,” presided over by magisterial district judges, or “MDJs.” But both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh call their minor courts “municipal courts.”

How Pittsburgh Activists Are Seizing A Rare Chance To Reshape Courts“, Sam Mellins (The Appeal, April 19, 2021)

Grassroots groups are backing a slate of judge candidates in the May 18 primary. If elected, they could curb bail, high sentences, and other drivers of mass incarceration.

Skipping Democratic endorsement, three Allegheny County judicial candidates join forces instead“, Ryan Deto (Pittsburgh City Paper, February 9, 2021)

The endorsement from the Allegheny County Democratic Committee is becoming a lot less popular than it used to be. But, three local candidates for Common Pleas Judge who are skipping the endorsements are deciding to join forces instead and endorse each other in an effort to boost their similar platforms focused on judicial reform and equity in the court system./em>

District Magistrate Mik Pappas Is Making His Run For Common Pleas Court Judge Personal“, Brittany Hailer (Pittsburgh Current, January 26, 2021)

“Navigating the nuances of a person’s circumstances and needs is key and it’s how he came to understand the justice system. It is through this lens which he presides. This lived experience, he said, makes him the judge he is. He wants to focus on rehabilitation.”

Advocates fight to end cash bail; highlight important role in this year’s Allegheny County magistrate races“, Ryan Deto (Pittsburgh City Paper, January 13, 2021)

“We have a responsibility to report to the public,” says Pappas. “When I think of how much we rely on incarceration and arrest, and I see how much it impacts people’s lives, we need to think of opportunities of diversion.”


“New workshop helps Pittsburgh residents satisfy court debt”, Juliette Rihl, (PublicSource, November 20, 2020)

The workshop’s approach was comprehensive: local organizations were there to offer community service opportunities and free financial counseling. A pro-bono lawyer helped her make sense of her paperwork and gave legal advice. Pappas worked with her to go over her individual circumstances and come up with options for satisfying the debt, be it a payment plan or community service.


“How Magisterial Judge Mik Pappas lowered eviction rates by 39 percent in his district“, Ryan Deto, (Pittsburgh City Paper, May 22, 2019)

These settled cases are usually best for both parties, says Pappas, and they tend to take a bit more massaging than just determining who was in the right according to current law.


“Questions about eviction? Landlord-Tenant Town Hall provides legal advice”Amanda Waltz, (Pittsburgh City Paper, March 6, 2019)

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts and Judge Mik Pappas try to combat housing insecurity with workshop

Landlord-Tenant Town Hall and Speak-Out, Highlight Reel


“Newcomer Mik Pappas Unseats 24-Year Magisterial District Judge”, WESA Staff, (WESA, November 8, 2017)

“I attribute (this win) to… the incredible energy that’s out there in support of transforming politics locally to a politics that is centered on finding solutions to those crises that exist at the neighborhood level,” he said.


“Pittsburgh district judge race early test of resurgent left”, Chris Potter (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 14, 2017)

“It’s a bellwether for things to come,” said Mr. Pappas, of Highland Park. “You see all this energy on the left, and that to me is the future.”

District judges handle preliminary criminal proceedings, like setting bail and adjudicating landlord-tenant and other neighborhood disputes. But Mr. Pappas said such decisions “go to the core of a community’s stability,” and can help transform the justice system.


“Progressive, Independent Mik Pappas kicks off campaign for Allegheny County District Judge”, Ryan Deto (Pittsburgh City Paper, July 18, 2017)

Pappas, a Highland Park resident who was raised in East Liberty, kicked off his campaign in front of a packed house inside East Liberty Lutheran Church on July 13. He told the crowd of more than 120 that he seeks to reform the way a judge can work within the justice system for the betterment of those most affected by the system: poor and minority residents of Pittsburgh. His platform includes increasing access to affordable housing and legal services, disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline and working to lower problems associated with mass incarceration.



Rally to Transform Justice in Allegheny County – Feb 27, 2021

2021 Court of Common Pleas Announcement

2017 District Justice Campaign Video

Friend of Mik Pappas YouTube Channel

League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh Candidate Statement



Download Printable Window Signs

Stop Punishing Poverty – Download 8.5 x 11 || Download 11 x 17
End Mass Incarceration – Download 8.5 x 11 || Download 11 x 17
Prevent Family Trauma – Download 8.5 x 11 || Download 11 x 17

Yard Signs (can be picked up or delivered to your door)

Thanks for signing up!