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Photograph courtesy of @billpeduto

PITTSBURGH, PA (Sept. 23, 2015) – Mayor William Peduto and Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin will be honored guests today at the White House Arrival Ceremony honoring His Holiness Pope Francis.

The President, First Lady and their guests will welcome Pope Francis to the White House during his first visit to the United States. Today marks the third official papal visit in White House history. An estimated 18,000 people are expected to attend today’s ceremony for Pope Francis, making this the largest event to take place on White House grounds. Guests were required to report to the grounds for check-in from 6 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. this morning.

As announced in a statement released by the White House Press Secretary, during this visit the President and the Pope will continue the dialogue, which they began during the President’s visit to the Vatican in March 2014, on their shared values and commitments on a wide range of issues, including caring for the marginalized and the poor; advancing economic opportunity for all; serving as good stewards of the environment; protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom around the world; and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities.

After signing the new paid sick leave policy into law in August, Mayor Peduto contributed to a White House blog post that featured several federal initiatives that the Peduto administration has been working on. Last evening Mayor Peduto and Kevin Acklin convened with nine other mayors from U.S. cities and several senior White House officials to continue the discussion on major initiatives that could be developed through federal-local partnerships.