Dem candidates appear at Hill District forum
Voters at a candidate forum in the Hill District on Monday wanted to know how Pittsburgh's next mayor would pull their neighborhood out of economic despair and create jobs for minorities.
More than 150 people filled the pews of Wesley Center AME Zion Church during a two-hour forum and question-and-answer session hosted by the Hill District Ministers Alliance, a group of clergy from 20 churches.
Much of the discussion focused on plans by the Pittsburgh Penguins to redevelop a 28-acre site where the Civic Arena once stood on Centre Avenue.
“If all we do is develop 28 acres, we've failed,” said City Councilman Bill Peduto, who earned an endorsement Monday from the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers. “The development has to include the community around it.”
Peduto, 48, of Point Breeze; former state Auditor General Jack Wagner, 65, of Beechview; state Rep. Jake Wheatley, 41, of the Hill District; and school bus monitor A.J. Richardson, 36, of Sheraden, are running in the May 21 Democratic primary for mayor.
Richardson did not attend. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is not running for re-election.
Wagner said he believes there are many opportunities to redevelop the Hill, but he said it won't happen if crippling acrimony between City Council and the Mayor's Office continues.
“We need to work with each other, and that's something that hasn't happened in city government for a number of years,” he said.
Wagner, if he becomes mayor, said he hopes to work with Wheatley.
“Jake Wheatley is a tremendous asset in Harrisburg and, Jake, I hope you stay there,” Wagner told his opponent.
All three candidates agreed minorities should play a larger role in overseeing city authorities and departments. They said minorities deserve to work in jobs related to the Penguins development.
“When you're contracting with the city, you need to reflect the diversity of the city,” Wheatley said.
Wheatley touted his Hill District roots and efforts to encourage minority employment in the state contracting process.
“I'm the only one on this stage that can show consistent and long-term advocacy for inclusion and diversity,” he said.
Peduto said he supports a plan espoused by the Hill District Consensus Group to dedicate $1 from every car that parks in lots near Consol Energy Center and put it toward improving the Hill District. His opponents didn't address the $1-per-car idea.
Jeremy Boren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7935 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.
- Pirates acquire infielder from Indians, designate Axford, Gomez for assignment
- Komen acceptance of drilling-linked money raises ire
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Jack Bruce, bassist of 60s band Cream, dies at 71
- Flight 93 memorial fire hints at struggle to safeguard historic artifacts
- Penguins look to buck shots, goals trend
- Cafeteria worker tried to stop Washington school shooter
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Ferrante trial: Cyanide order form in plain sight
- Fábregas: Cancer-stricken California woman chooses to plan her death
- Lower Burrell man, awaiting trial, jailed for shoplifting