Walking Along the Allegheny River, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from kotog’s photostream

In 2009 a broad-based coalition of faith-based groups, labor unions, environmental organizations, and community leaders came together to help City Council pass three groundbreaking new laws that promised to dramatically change how public dollars are spent on private developments.  This package of laws offered fair wages to employees at new developments, cleaner air through cleaner construction practices, and cleaner water through modern stormwater management techniques.  City Council passed these laws unanimously and they went to the Mayor’s office to sit on a shelf and never be implemented.

1. Respecting Our Laws

City Council, like any other legislative body, is in charge of passing laws. The Mayor and administration, like any other executive body, is in charge of putting them in place.  The Mayor doesn’t get to decide which laws to put in place and which to leave on a shelf, yet many laws passed by unanimous vote of City Council are still gathering dust.  It is time to follow the law and implement our laws.

The labor unions, community leaders, environmental groups, and faith-based organizations didn’t give up months of their lives to fight for these important laws to see them fall into a black hole in the Mayor’s office.  They fought for them because they are important for the citizens of Pittsburgh.  As Mayor I will immediately implement the laws passed by City Council, starting with clean air, clean water, and fair wages.

When the people of Pittsburgh agree to support private development with public dollars they deserve to know that those dollars are contributing to a better life for their neighbors, cleaner air for their children, and cleaner water for everyone in the region.