Mayor urges McKeesporters to show pride
Mayor Michael Cherepko is embracing a local campaign that encourages McKeesport residents to take pride in their hometown.
“All too often, it seems like some individuals thrive on negativity,” the mayor explained. “I've found, in my position, that most residents and even former residents have this city in their hearts. We're proud of McKeesport.”
During council's September meeting, Cherepko distributed buttons promoting a grassroots effort to build support for the city he believes is on an upswing. The buttons read, “Pride in McKeesport? Yes, and it starts with me.”
Tube City Community Media founder Jason Togyer, who in the city serves on boards for the G.C. Murphy Foundation and McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center, developed the buttons during his publicity efforts for the 53rd annual International Village.
“They were a promotional item,” Togyer said of the buttons, noting Tube City had produced maps during the past two years' events. “I thought we could give away something that had more meaning to it. People aren't going to wear a button unless they support the cause.”
As a product that appealed to youth as well as adults, Togyer said he was surprised to see dozens of International Village attendees coming back to the event's mobile broadcast location for more buttons. Since then, he has received several emails requesting more.
Togyer said he was flattered to receive a positive response from the city's administration.
“It becomes a symbol for what our entire theme has been in McKeesport since my administration took office — working together to build a better McKeesport,” Cherepko said. “We've been asking for everyone to put political and personal agendas aside to truly focus on the best interest of the city of McKeesport.”
State Sen. James R. Brewster, who served as the city's mayor before taking that post, said it's refreshing to see Cherepko embrace a campaign of hometown pride.
“It's the only way to unify the city and work for common goals,” Brewster said. “As elected officials, our job is to give people hope first.”
McKeesport Councilman Dan Carr often has touted McKeesport as the hub of the Mon Valley.
“This administration is dedicated to once again making McKeesport a place to go instead of go through,” Carr said. “Our recent events this summer have proven to our neighboring communities that we are still a leader by having a positive attitude and proving we can work together.”
Togyer, who calls the McKeesport region home, said the city is doing its part to generate an interest for activities at Renziehausen Park, the Marina at McKees Point and other regional assets.
“I was born in Versailles, grew up in Liberty borough, and now I live across the river,” he said. “It frustrates me to see how many people turn their back on McKeesport, and they don't do anything to make things better.”
Togyer said pride in McKeesport has to start with someone, and it's up to those who already have pride in the town to share it. He suggested an emphasis on the arts, culture and small business while maintaining one basic, yet critical concept — a positive attitude.
“If Lawrenceville can do this, if East Liberty can do this, if the Steel Valley can do this, McKeesport can do this,” Togyer said. “But it has to start on the grassroots level. The city — the government — can't do it alone. It's got to start with the same things that are driving it in other areas.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Century mark beckons for Ben
- Highmark seeks double-digit increase for more benefits, heavy use
- Flyers continue mastery of Penguins at Consol
- Wanted sex offender caught hiding in homemade fort in Washington County
- Steelers’ defense on pace for fewest sacks in 16-game season
- Cops: Washington County surplus store sold stolen items
- Officials identify witness to Port Authority bus crash after releasing photo
- Corbett rips Wolf tax proposals during Hempfield campaign stop
- Canadians more fearful, aware after ‘very rare’ attack in Ottawa
- WPIAL, coaches are still looking to schedule Week 9 rivalry games
- Motorist in Downtown mishap, passenger arrested on drug charges