Pittsburgh City Council http://wesa.fm en Pittsburgh City Council Says Ban On Blood Donations From Gay Men Is Discriminatory http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-city-council-says-ban-blood-donations-gay-men-discriminatory <p>Pittsburgher Dan Burda’s partner of eight years, Rohn, passed away from a heart attack this year. Like many families of the recently deceased, Burda and his loved ones wanted to donate Rohn’s skin, tissue and organs to someone who needed them.</p><p>But they were not allowed to do that because of a long-standing FDA ban on such donations from any man who has had sex with a man.</p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:51:45 +0000 Liz Reid 27549 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh City Council Says Ban On Blood Donations From Gay Men Is Discriminatory Burgess Introduces Priority Communities Initiative for Redevelopment of Troubled Neighborhoods http://wesa.fm/post/burgess-introduces-priority-communities-initiative-redevelopment-troubled-neighborhoods <p>Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess has introduced four pieces of legislation that he said will help spur development in some of the city’s most troubled neighborhoods.</p><p>One piece of legislation would create the Pittsburgh Priority Communities Commission, a body that would be tasked with creating comprehensive redevelopment plans for six to eight neighborhoods that show the most potential for an economic resurgence.</p> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 13:08:02 +0000 Liz Reid 25034 at http://wesa.fm City Looks to East Liberty Model for Transit-Oriented Development in Homewood http://wesa.fm/post/city-looks-east-liberty-model-transit-oriented-development-homewood <p></p><p>Homewood, once the home of Andrew Carnegie and George Westinghouse, has had more than its share of economic troubles in recent decades.</p><p>According to data available from <a href="http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/dcp/snap/published_data.htm">PGHSNAP</a>, Homewood had a population of nearly 31,000 people in 1940. By 2010, that number had decreased 79 percent to 6,442. In 2009, the median income was just under $20,000, and in 2010, 46 percent of residents were living under the poverty level.</p> Sun, 23 Feb 2014 13:42:22 +0000 Liz Reid 24856 at http://wesa.fm City Looks to East Liberty Model for Transit-Oriented Development in Homewood County Councilman Asks For $15 Million For August Wilson Center http://wesa.fm/post/county-councilman-asks-15-million-august-wilson-center <p>Allegheny County Councilman Bill Robinson (D-Hill District) is asking for $10 million to $15 million in capital funds from the city and county to bail out the <a href="http://wesa.fm/post/fate-august-wilson-center-open-question">financially strapped August Wilson Center for African American Culture</a>.</p><p>About $7 million would be used to pay off the center’s unpaid bills, including its mortgage, and keep the facility, which is facing liquidation. The legislation was introduced in County Council by Robinson who did not respond to a request for comment for this story.</p> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 17:29:23 +0000 Michael Lynch 24775 at http://wesa.fm Councilman Dan Gilman on Being a Millennial in Pittsburgh http://wesa.fm/post/councilman-dan-gilman-being-millennial-pittsburgh <p>Councilman <a href="http://dangilman.com/biography/">Dan Gilman</a> is no stranger to Pittsburgh City Council.</p><p>From his college days as an intern, to his 10-year stint as chief of staff for now-Mayor Bill Peduto, Gilman is familiar with the city’s political atmosphere.</p><p>Now serving the residents of <a href="http://pittsburghpa.gov/district8/councilman-dan-gilman">District 8</a>, he is one of the council's youngest members.</p><p><strong>Dan Gilman on Pittsburgh's Millennial Generation: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 13:45:00 +0000 Katherine Blackley 23879 at http://wesa.fm Councilman Dan Gilman on Being a Millennial in Pittsburgh City to Implement Nighttime Transportation Solutions Along Carson Street http://wesa.fm/post/city-implement-nighttime-transportation-solutions-along-carson-street <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">According to City Council President Bruce Kraus, between 15,000 and 20,000 people stream out of South Side bars, venues and pubs around 2 </span>a.m.<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> every Friday and Saturday night.</span></p><p>That creates public safety problems and significant transportation issues, Kraus said, which is why for the last two years he’s been working with the Responsible Hospitality Institute, or RHI, to find ways to manage the nightlife economy in the city.</p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:17:14 +0000 Liz Reid 24664 at http://wesa.fm City to Implement Nighttime Transportation Solutions Along Carson Street City Council Declares Tuesday Feb. 18th Marcus White Day http://wesa.fm/post/city-council-declares-tuesday-feb-18th-marcus-white-day <p>Marcus L. White, Jr. would have turned two years old on Wednesday.</p><p>But when he was just 15 months old, he was killed when someone fired shots into a family picnic on East Hills Drive.</p><p>In his honor, City Council declared Tuesday, February 18, 2014 to be “Marcus Lamont White, Jr. Day” in the city of Pittsburgh.</p><p>Around three dozen of Marcus’s family, friends, and supporters crowded into Pittsburgh City Council chambers for the proclamation on Tuesday.</p><p>Among the speakers was Andre Scott, the cousin of Marcus’s mother, Jameela Tyler.</p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:18:21 +0000 Liz Reid 24609 at http://wesa.fm City Council Declares Tuesday Feb. 18th Marcus White Day Councilwoman Wants Swift Repurposing of Vacant School Buildings in the West End http://wesa.fm/post/councilwoman-wants-swift-repurposing-vacant-school-buildings-west-end <p>Finding new uses for vacant school buildings can be difficult.</p><p>According to <a href="http://www.pewtrusts.org/uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/Philadelphia_Research_Initiative/Philadelphia-School-Closings.pdf">a study released by the Pew Charitable Trusts</a> last year, empty school buildings can cost millions of dollars to maintain and are often sold below market value. The study also found that buildings are easier to repurpose if they have not been vacant for long.</p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:50:42 +0000 Liz Reid 24601 at http://wesa.fm Mayor, Council Renew City's Commitment to Summer Youth Employment Program http://wesa.fm/post/mayor-council-renew-citys-commitment-summer-youth-employment-program <p>Councilman Ricky Burgess has spent the last few months hammering away at his fellow legislators with regard to the Pittsburgh Summer Youth Employment Program.</p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 12:26:25 +0000 Liz Reid 23953 at http://wesa.fm City Council Grills New Peduto Appointees for Legal and Tech Teams http://wesa.fm/post/city-council-grills-new-peduto-appointees-legal-and-tech-teams <p>Mayor Bill Peduto’s nominees to head the city’s legal and tech teams came before City Council Wednesday.</p><p>The mayor has tapped Lourdes Sanchez Ridge to be the next city solicitor, while Debra Lam is his choice for the newly created chief innovation and performance officer position. As part of that position, Lam would also be in charge of City Information Services, but she said it’s not primarily a technology position.</p> Wed, 29 Jan 2014 19:18:50 +0000 Liz Reid 23557 at http://wesa.fm City Council Grills New Peduto Appointees for Legal and Tech Teams Concerns About Land Bank Legislation Aired in City Council http://wesa.fm/post/concerns-about-land-bank-legislation-aired-city-council <p>Pittsburgh City Council had their first opportunity to discuss Deb Gross’s <a href="http://www.pghcitypaper.com/Blogh/archives/2014/01/14/gross-introduces-land-bank-legislation">proposed land bank legislation</a> as a group on Wednesday. The bill was first introduced on Jan. 14.</p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 22:47:22 +0000 Liz Reid 23193 at http://wesa.fm In a Preliminary Vote, City Council Denies Historic Status to Produce Terminal http://wesa.fm/post/preliminary-vote-city-council-denies-historic-status-produce-terminal <p>Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Deb Gross’s controversial bill to designate the Strip District’s Fruit Auction &amp; Sales Building as a historic structure was voted down in a committee meeting today.</p><p>Ahead of the vote, Gross made her case for the building one final time.</p><p>“It really makes the Strip District, the Strip District. It’s a defining location,” said Gross. “If you’re talking about where to meet, where to park, where to go. When you picture the Strip District in your mind, you see this building in your mind’s eye.”</p> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 21:33:04 +0000 Liz Reid 22884 at http://wesa.fm Peduto's Early Retirement Plan for City Employees No Longer Tied to Pensions http://wesa.fm/post/pedutos-early-retirement-plan-city-employees-no-longer-tied-pensions <p>Mayor Bill Peduto’s early retirement plan for city employees was once again brought before City Council on Wednesday, but with one major change.</p><p>“This program has nothing to do with pensions,” Peduto’s Chief of Staff, Kevin Acklin, told the legislative body. “It’s a separate benefit that we would propose to make available to these employees if they so elect, or if their service is terminated.”</p><p>The change comes after rumblings that tying early retirement to pensions might not be allowed under Act 47 oversight or by the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 19:00:32 +0000 Liz Reid 22875 at http://wesa.fm With Peduto's Support, Rudiak Introduces Open Data Bill in Council http://wesa.fm/post/pedutos-support-rudiak-introduces-open-data-bill-council <p>With the support of Mayor Bill Peduto, City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak has introduced legislation to establish a comprehensive open data ordinance for the city of Pittsburgh.</p><p>If the bill passes, Pittsburgh would join New York City, San Francisco and more than a dozen other cities that have embraced public data sharing.</p><p>Rudiak said in a news conference Tuesday that the ordinance would go above and beyond the current Right to Know law, which requires that government agencies provide information to the public upon request.</p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 17:38:03 +0000 Liz Reid 22809 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh's New City Council President Focused on Open Communication http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburghs-new-city-council-president-focused-open-communication <p>Bruce Kraus was sworn in as the new President of the Pittsburgh City Council on Monday. Although Kraus has often been allied with former council member and now Mayor Bill Peduto, he vows to be an independent voice in city government.</p><p>Moving forward, he says he's especially interested in bringing more collegiality to a somewhat factioned city council. Tue, 07 Jan 2014 21:52:34 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 22484 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh's New City Council President Focused on Open Communication Bruce Kraus Elected President of Pittsburgh City Council http://wesa.fm/post/bruce-kraus-elected-president-pittsburgh-city-council <p>Bruce Kraus said he couldn’t get the old song “It May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It’s Spring)” out of his head this morning, as he prepared for the vote that would confirm him as president of the 138<sup>th</sup> Pittsburgh City Council on Monday.</p><p>“It may be the coldest day that the city has seen in the last 10 to 20 years, but in our hearts it is spring, because we are experiencing a true and genuine rebirth,” Kraus said.</p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 21:01:19 +0000 Liz Reid 22414 at http://wesa.fm Bruce Kraus Elected President of Pittsburgh City Council City Council to Hold Meeting on Illegal Dirt Bike and ATV Riding http://wesa.fm/post/city-council-hold-meeting-illegal-dirt-bike-and-atv-riding <p>It is illegal in the state of Pennsylvania to ride dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, on city streets.</p><p>But Carrick resident <a href="http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/06/13/dirt-bikers-causing-problems-in-several-city-neighborhoods/">Donna Williams said</a> that hasn’t stopped a group of teenagers from tearing down Kirk Avenue on their dirt bikes and ATVs.</p><p>Williams said the young men also have made a habit of riding their vehicles in Birmingham Cemetery.</p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 20:54:52 +0000 Liz Reid 22360 at http://wesa.fm Gilman Says He Won't be a 'Rubber Stamp' for Former Boss Peduto http://wesa.fm/post/gilman-says-he-wont-be-rubber-stamp-former-boss-peduto <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As Bill </span>Peduto<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;is sworn in as mayor of Pittsburgh, his former chief of staff will move into his old City Council seat.</span></p><p>Dan Gilman won the District 8 seat in a landslide victory in November, <a href="http://wesa.fm/post/gilman-rudiak-smith-lavelle-gain-voter-approval">clinching 89 percent of the vote</a>.</p> Fri, 03 Jan 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Liz Reid 21117 at http://wesa.fm Who Will Be The Next Council President? http://wesa.fm/post/who-will-be-next-council-president <p>The first order of business after City Council swears in its newly elected members Jan. 6 is to choose a new president who will run the council for the next two years. The semi-annual election is always fraught with back room deals and unlikely alliances.</p><p>“That vote won’t be decided until five minutes before that meeting,” said Jim Motznik, former Pittsburgh City Councilman (2001-2010) and current District Municipal Court Justice.</p> Thu, 02 Jan 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 21339 at http://wesa.fm Councilwoman Deb Gross Hopes to Manage Growth in East End http://wesa.fm/post/councilwoman-deb-gross-hopes-manage-growth-east-end <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Pittsburgh’s newest City Council representative, Deb Gross, </span><a href="http://wesa.fm/post/deb-gross-clinches-district-7-city-council-seat" style="line-height: 1.5;">won out</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> against four other candidates in a special election, after District 7 representative Patrick Dowd vacated his seat in July.</span></p><p>Gross took her seat at the beginning of December, one of the busiest times of the year for the council.</p> Thu, 02 Jan 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Liz Reid 21550 at http://wesa.fm Vote on Historic Designation of Produce Terminal Delayed Again http://wesa.fm/post/vote-historic-designation-produce-terminal-delayed-again <p>A vote on whether the Strip District’s Fruit Auction and Sales Building should be designated as a historic structure will be delayed another week.</p><p>Council’s newest member, Deb Gross, represents the Strip District, and is in favor of preserving the building to the fullest extent possible.</p><p>“Having said the word 'preserve,' everyone&nbsp; understands that some modifications are going to be needed to that property in order for it to achieve a positive function in the Strip District and a positive function in the business mix,” Gross said.</p> Wed, 11 Dec 2013 21:49:26 +0000 Liz Reid 21218 at http://wesa.fm With Council Approval, Red Light Cameras Are Coming to Pittsburgh http://wesa.fm/post/council-approval-red-light-cameras-are-coming-pittsburgh <p>Pittsburghers who have a habit of cutting it close when driving through yellow lights may want to make some adjustments.</p><p>City Council passed a bill Tuesday to install automated red light enforcement systems, also known as “red light cameras,” at the city’s most dangerous intersections.</p><p>Councilman and Mayor-elect Bill Peduto said he was supportive of the legislation, and that he had introduced a similar bill several years ago.</p> Tue, 10 Dec 2013 18:16:17 +0000 Liz Reid 21134 at http://wesa.fm Demonstrators To Call On Peduto, City Council To Keep Pittsburgh A 'Human Rights City' http://wesa.fm/post/demonstrators-call-peduto-city-council-keep-pittsburgh-human-rights-city <p>Eight state and local organizations are coming together to put the issue of human rights on the minds of Pittsburghers.</p><p>Demonstrators are expected to gather outside downtown’s City-County Building Tuesday on International Human Rights Day to call on City Council and Mayor-elect Bill Peduto to ensure Pittsburgh’s future as the 5<sup>th</sup> “Human Rights City” in the U.S.</p><p>In April 2011, City Council issued a proclamation declaring Pittsburgh to be a” Human Rights City”—meaning its citizens strive toward bettering the city’s living conditions.</p> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 21:34:35 +0000 Michael Lynch 21050 at http://wesa.fm Does City's Tech Team Have the Resources to Implement Peduto's Data-Driven Approach? http://wesa.fm/post/does-citys-tech-team-have-resources-implement-pedutos-data-driven-approach <p>Mayor-elect Bill Peduto and his team have repeatedly said they want to implement a data-driven approach to governance, but in Tuesday’s budget hearing, questions arose as to whether City Information Systems, or CIS, has the resources to provide the kind of data the future mayor will need.</p><p>CIS is responsible for a wide variety of tasks, including, but not limited to, network administration, website development and maintenance, software development, voice and data communications and operating the 311 response center.</p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 12:58:31 +0000 Liz Reid 20807 at http://wesa.fm Urban Redevelopment Authority Facing Massive Cuts in 2014 http://wesa.fm/post/urban-redevelopment-authority-facing-massive-cuts-2014 <p>Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority is facing massive cuts under Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s proposed 2014 budget.</p><p>At a City Council budget hearing on Tuesday, Robert Rubenstein, acting executive director of the URA, said he was disappointed with the proposed budget’s $2.2 million cut to the authority’s budget.</p> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 12:47:04 +0000 Liz Reid 20784 at http://wesa.fm