Bringing together local mobile food entrepreneurs and brick-and-mortar businesses, Councilman Gilman introduced and passed modern legislation paving the way for food trucks owners to operate more freely in the City of Pittsburgh and replacing an antiquated ordinance that was designed for ice cream trucks of years’ past. Previously, city code required mobile food vendors to move locations every half hour, granting operators little time to prepare and sell their fares. With the passage of the legislation, food trucks are now able to remain in the same location for four hours, operate in areas within Schenley and Frick Parks, and park in metered spots throughout the City. Additionally, food truck operators will be encouraged to adopt environmentally sustainable and socially responsible business practices, operate in underserved city neighborhoods, and serve healthy and nutritious foods. The legislation creates a more welcoming place for food trucks, which have become an integral part of Pittsburgh’s internationally recognized food scene.
Comprehensive Government Reform:
Councilman Gilman introduced and passed government reform legislation to create more transparent and accountable city government. The package of ordinances overhauls the City’s campaign contribution regulations, resurrects the city’s previously defunct Ethics Hearing Board, and creates an online clearinghouse to help streamline public information related to the City of Pittsburgh government.
The first ordinance addresses campaign finance by matching campaign contribution limits to federal standards, eliminating the practice of “stacking” or accepting donations for two campaigns simultaneously, prohibiting candidates from transferring funds between separate political committees, and requiring candidates to file monthly reports for the five months leading up to election day. These requirements will take effect for the 2016 election cycle.
The next ordinance comprehensively reinvigorates the Ethics Hearing Board and creates a more effective, proactive, and independent investigative and enforcement body. Key changes include ensuring that the Board is appointed by an independent body, providing new legal protections for whistleblowers, and requiring the Board to convene regularly to review and take necessary action on disclosure statements.
The final ordinance creates an easily navigable, centralized web portal containing up-to-date information regarding meetings of City boards and authorities, contact information for all City departments, and comprehensive financial reports. This ordinance also calls on the Mayor’s Office to conduct a feasibility study on videotaping meetings of select City boards, authorities, and commissions and changing their times to 6:00 p.m. in order to accommodate the average person’s work schedule.
Reasonable Accommodation for Pregnant Workers:
Councilman Gilman introduced and passed two pieces of legislation and a resolution aimed at reducing the discrimination and stigma pregnant women and nursing mothers continue to face. More than 35 years after the Pregnancy Discrimination Act made it illegal to discriminate against a woman because of her pregnancy; pregnant women still face workplace discrimination, especially in physically-demanding jobs. Passing reasonable accommodations legislation provides a real solution to pregnant City and contract workers currently being asked to choose between their health and their livelihood.
Councilman Gilman introduced and passed legislation that prohibits perpetrators of illegal dumping from bidding on or participating in City contracts. Pittsburgh has 440 known dump sites—more than any other municipality in Allegheny County. Councilman Gilman's legislation bans any person(s) caught dumping illegally from bidding on or participating in any City contracts for a maximum of three years.