Comparing this phase of his campaign to the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” Pittsburgh City Councilman and Democratic Mayoral Candidate Bill Peduto is rolling out a different education-related policy initiative every day this week.
The move is part of his 100 Days/100 Policies effort.
“If we lack quality public education in this city it does not mater what type of city government we have, people will not chose to live here,” Peduto said. “If we enhance public education in the city then we have the critical building block to do a whole lot more within city government.”
The leadership of the Pittsburgh Public School District is politically separate from the leadership of the city, but Peduto said as he meets with voters they are not willing to accept “that’s not my job” as an answer.
“They do not want to hear that the mayor’s job is not a part of education," Peduto said. "In fact they believe that the mayor should take a leadership role in education."
Among the initiatives to be released this week is a plan to create “The Baby Promise,” which would focus on early childhood education.
“If we are really going to create a Pittsburgh Promise we need to do so before the kids are 5 years old so they have a chance to start out of the gates equally,” he said.
Peduto will also look at intergenerational solutions and plans to deal with school and community safety issues. The policy papers will all be released on Peduto’s campaign website.
The candidate said the overarching goal will be to support programs that have already been launched or envisioned by local education advocates in what he calls “wrap around services” that will use little or no city money.
When Jack Wagner launched his mayoral campaign he also noted that he would use his bully pulpit to push for better education in the city.