“Let’s build a new Pittsburgh!”
Newly elected mayor Bill Peduto proclaimed those words as he addressed a crowd at his victory party in Homewood Tuesday night. The Democrat handily defeated Republican challenger Josh Wander and third party challenger Les Ludwig.
And while not a surprising victory in a city where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1, Peduto said he’s ready to deliver on the promise of a new Pittsburgh.
“We are at a transformative time in this city’s history,” he said.
Peduto said he would like to see all Pittsburgh neighborhoods reach their full potential, and he hopes his administration can give them the tools they need to help themselves.
Peduto said he wants to "create within the mayor’s office itself new positions that work on urban empowerment, that concentrate on education, partnerships with faith-based institutions and non-profits, and to concentrate on rebuilding business districts like right outside this door on Homewood Avenue, and investing in housing.”
Peduto said Pittsburgh is poised to go in a great direction.
“We can be that next Austin, we can be that next Seattle, we can be that next Portland, but it’s going to take an all-hands-on-deck approach and a whole new way of doing government in this city to get there,” he said.
That new way of doing government is one of his priorities.
“Unfortunately, the first thing we have to do is rebuild and restore trust with the community,” Peduto said. “It goes beyond just the public safety department. It goes department by department.”
Peduto will succeed Democratic Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who announced earlier he would not seek re-election. Peduto said he won’t take any down time after campaigning, adding that over the next several days he will be making major announcements about his transition team and future plans.
“My time between now and January will be fully given to transition,” Peduto said. “Transitioning into a new city government, restructuring the city government, restructuring the mayor’s office, doing national searches for the best people both here and nationally to build a new city.”