McKeesport council embraces 'respect'
With campaign buttons and a resolution of support, McKeesport council formally embraced a New Year's message of respect.
The Rev. Darrell Knopp, who chairs McKeesport's Message Committee as a group within the Mayor's Select Committee on Crime and Violence, approached council on Wednesday night with buttons that simply read, “Respect.”
Joined by committee members the Rev. Earlene Coleman, JoEllen Kenney and Annette James, Knopp spoke about the importance of respect as McKeesport strives to reinvent itself by eliminating negativity and dissolving the culture of violence.
“We're asking for your support,” he told council. “We would like to request a resolution of support that gives us some credibility and respectability and gives us awareness within the community that the highest authority within the city supports what we are trying to do.”
Council unanimously presented and approved a resolution calling the “uplifting promotional campaign ... necessary to establish self-respect and dignity in our city.”
The city will host an official kickoff of the message campaign on Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. in the parking lot of city hall, 500 Fifth Ave. The Salvation Army will serve hot chocolate.
“We're going to kick off this campaign to instill pride back into the residents of McKeesport,” Cherepko said. “I believe it's a critical component to the long-term solution of curbing crime and violence, which is reaching out to youth now and trying to impact them in as many positive ways as possible.”
With the youth being involved in many “unfortunate” city events, including homicides and other shootings in 2012, Cherepko said children and teens should be hearing consistent messages in school, at home and in the community.
“I think a lot of us were fortunate enough to grow up in homes where you really got it and the parenting was there,” he said. “When you live in a city that is economically distressed and there are single-parent families and some of those single parents are working to help them survive ... a lot of times there are some things that are lacking at home.
“It's all too easy for elected officials and community leaders to say it's not our problem, but I think as elected officials we need to do what we can to help make McKeesport a better place to live.”
Councilwoman V. Fawn Walker-Montgomery said she, like other officials, does not have all of the answers to change an entire community or world.
“God has the answers, and all we can do is pray about it,” she said. “That's why it's so important to volunteer and give back to the community. It's not about one event. It's about what you can do every day.”
Soon, McKeesporters will see signage to remind them of the message campaign. They will be posted at key intersections, and smaller versions will be available for any home or business where they are welcome.
With respect carrying the city through the year's first quarter, 2013 also will bring messages of dignity, hope and love.
The public is invited to share ideas about how the quarterly messages can be conveyed by contacting the mayor's office at 412-675-5020.
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.
- Local residents reminisce about Glassport pool
- Mifflin Road project is on schedule, within budget
- More work to begin on Homestead-Duquesne Road
- Homestead Cemetery board files for bankruptcy
- Mon Yough school districts, nonprofits getting by for now with no state budget
- Steel Valley extends superintendent’s contract
- 3 charged in carjack attempt in Duquesne
- Restrictions begin on Route 51 south
- Intrepid VFW post in West Mifflin earns all-state designation
- Irwin woman waives sex charges to court
- Homestead summit addresses ways to help inmates transition after prison