The Citizen

Our Future with Governor Dan Onorato

Over the last six years that I have served as Allegheny County executive, we achieved momentous results by working together, putting taxpayers first and keeping our focus, making southwestern Pennsylvania an attractive place for businesses to invest and families to live. We know the story because we’ve been through it together. Six years ago, we …

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Beyond the Neighborhood

For those of us raising families in the 1970s and 1980s, Fred Rogers was that patient, soft-spoken gentleman who made extraordinary connections to our children on the same TV set that usually carried appallingly bad programming. Fred certainly was that wonderful television teacher, but he was much more. He was the genius behind the most …

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Greening the Region

The G-20 Summit provides southwestern Pennsylvania with an unprecedented opportunity to share its compelling story with the world. Ours is the tale of a region dramatically transformed by foresight and innovation, which have led to a remarkable economic and environmental revival. After the collapse of the steel industry in the 1980s, our region worked hard …

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We Have the Power

A likeable 12-year-old is shot and killed. Children settle disputes with guns. Other children fear they may be caught in the cross fire. How can this be? All of us wonder and wish for something better. More than one-third of all Allegheny County fifth-graders cannot read adequately. Without this ability, they fall behind and become …

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The Case for Consolidation

The governments of Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh – the two largest governments in our region – duplicate many departments and services, including parks, public works, human resources, computer services, emergency management and so forth. This redundancy of functions and services results in operational inefficiencies, public confusion and unnecessary costs.​ However, there are …

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Campaign Retrospective

“I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.” — Mark Twain ​ My campaign for mayor showed me two Pittsburghs. The first exists as all others do, with big problems, big challenges and big possibilities. …

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His Last Resort

I don’t want to be mayor of Pittsburgh. I want to change Pittsburgh forever, and I’m convinced the best way to do that is as mayor. There are, however, other ways to make our city better. You could work for an extraordinary politician who cares for this city like no other place on earth. You …

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Raging Grannies

Sometimes we Raging Grannies create quite a stir. Being of a “certain age,” none of us ever expected to find ourselves before an audience, let alone exiting to applause. But there we are, clambering up on stages and platforms, wearing outrageous hats and running shoes, singing like canaries and loving it. A feisty dozen women …

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Hold That Thought—Now’s the Time to Act

“Things do not change; we change.”—Henry David Thoreau Soon you will be asked to choose the purpose, shape, size and basic character of your local government. Fellow citizens are organizing now to ask you whether to reorganize the many layers and types of local government that have defined Allegheny County for almost 250 years. The …

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Tom Vilsack: From Pittsburgh to President

The remarkable story of Tom Vilsack began in a Pittsburgh orphanage where Dolly and Bud Vilsack adopted him. He grew up in Squirrel Hill and graduated from Shady Side Academy and later Hamilton College and Albany Law School. In 1998, he upset a heavily favored Republican opponent to become the first Democratic governor of Iowa …

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The Sword Over the City

There is a problem in the center of our region that almost defies description in one peculiar aspect.  Somehow, the larger it gets, the more invisible it becomes. The problem is debt. The City of Pittsburgh owes almost $1.2 billion, most of it borrowed over the last 15 years. It must pay another $400 million …

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Three Places That Found Redemption

A story of redemption is a story of profound change that we make ourselves. Time won’t redeem us, nor will promises or fond memories. When our cherished world has collapsed in front of us and we stare into the abyss, the choices are stark: keep walking straight ahead and fall into oblivion, take one tentative …

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