Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said he became addicted to watching the Republican National Convention this week. He described falling asleep on his couch watching the late night shows and cable news.
“I’ve been watching conventions since I was in second grade,” Peduto said. “I can’t think of a convention that I actually became compulsively obsessed with watching.”
The mayor will be traveling to Philadelphia this weekend to take part in the Democratic National Convention. It’s the first time he will be in attendance at a convention. He said Democrats need to take the high road and deliver a vision of opportunity with policies to accompany that vision.
And he said Hillary Clinton needs to address the controversy surrounding her emails and Benghazi without going on the defensive.
“If she allows it to linger, it will be an issue that will drag her down throughout the campaign,” Peduto said. “But if she can somehow seal it and then move on, she has a lot better chance to be able to convert undecideds.”
Addressing recent Black Lives Matter protests in the city, Peduto said we need to be able to work together to address concerns voiced by both minority communities and police officers worried about their safety.
“Blaming each other is not going to solve a thing,” Peduto said. “Have that conversation about how we can heal within a community, and then how we can build our trust back between our officers and our lower-income neighborhoods.”
Peduto commented on the Pittsburgh Penguins entering into negotiations with three potential tenants for the development planned for the old Civic Arena site.
“The potential for the office development looks promising, so that should be moving along,” Peduto said. “But it’s really the housing development that we’re keyed in on and that’s the one that’s been lagging.”
Peduto said meetings with the Penguins to develop affordable housing on the site are back on track, and he’s hoping both developments will begin before the end of the year.
The mayor also reflected on the passing of Bill Cardille, a local TV personality who hosted Chiller Theater on WPXI for 20 years. Peduto said Saturday Night Live was initially not live in the Pittsburgh market because of Chiller Theater’s popularity.
“He goes beyond icon status in Pittsburgh,” Peduto said. “He’s going to be sorely missed.”
And Thursday night, the mayor performed with classic-rock band Cheap Trick at First Niagra Pavilion. He said he’s been a fan of the band for nearly 40 years and has seen them perform more than 20 time..
He went backstage for a meet and greet and ended up on stage singing “Surrender.”
“It was one of those bucket list things,” Peduto laughed. “I’ll get over it in about three years.”
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