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The Progress and Promise of Pittsburgh’s Turnaround

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Check out this great article from Governing about the progress and promise of Pittsburgh’s turnaround. Bill Peduto and his administration represent a new brand of politics–one that has committed to addressing issues such as income disparities, environmental sustainability and early childhood education.

By: Alan Greenblatt, November 2014

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Dan Gilman has a good story to tell. The district he represents on the Pittsburgh City Council is thriving, with half a billion dollars’ worth of new construction in the works and tech companies from Apple and Google on down expanding their operations. Over the past decade, the district’s population has grown by 10 percent, with newcomers under 35 not only helping to end the city’s long population decline, but also bringing its median age down lower than the nation’s as a whole for the first time in decades. Property values are climbing so fast that Gilman can’t afford to buy a home in his own district. “I love my landlords,” he joked recently to a crowd at a fundraiser.

But what allowed Gilman to pack a big basement room with developers, bankers and lawyers a full three years ahead of his next election was not simply that his district is prospering. He is known to have a close and valuable friendship with Pittsburgh’s man of the hour, Bill Peduto, who was elected mayor last year after serving on the city council for more than a decade. The city has changed markedly over that time — growing younger and more prosperous, and more liberal as well. Pittsburgh has been a Democratic city as long as anyone can remember, but it was a union town full of Democrats with a conservative streak, especially on social issues. Now Peduto is helping to reshape Pittsburgh into an assertively liberal city, one whose leaders talk about green energy, inequality and economic justice. Read more…

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