Bill Peduto marked the beginning of his second term as mayor of Pittsburgh at an inauguration ceremony at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland Wednesday. In a speech, he emphasized his goal to make Pittsburgh “a city for all” that encourages economic development while also preserving existing communities.
While economic growth has come with concerns about housing affordability and access to jobs and good schools, Peduto said, the city’s resiliency with the rise and fall of the steel industry shows it has the capacity to solve these problems.
“We always found a way to come back,” said the mayor, who ran unopposed in 2017. “We always found a way, in Pittsburgh spirit, to work together, to roll up our sleeves and to get to work. That’s what Pittsburgh’s magic is.”
To ensure all residents have access to affordable housing, early education and other benefits, Peduto said, the city must think differently about the role of government. He proposed partnering with local foundations, nonprofits and companies to invest in city projects and initiatives.
By creating what he called an “Urban Wealth Fund,” Peduto said the city could match contributions from partner organizations and thus help to stimulate more equitable economic development.
“We can’t do it alone,” Peduto said. “We’ve learned that in the past – that the only way that this city was able to survive was that we were able to work together, the Pittsburgh way.”
Peduto said his administration is working with a team from Harvard, through Bloomberg Philanthropies, to develop this model. He also emphasized environmental goals and called for more green space and infrastructure.