In 2015, Pittsburgh earned additional accolades for livability, vibrant neighborhoods, and natural beauty. Councilman Gilman built on the momentum from the prior year and accomplished a great deal toward creating a more accountable and transparent city government, more vibrant communities, and livelier business districts.
Comprehensive Government Reform:
Councilman Gilman authored and passed legislation to overhaul campaign contribution limits, resurrect the defunct Ethics Hearing Board, create an easily navigable, centralized clearinghouse of public information related to city government, and call for a feasibility study on videotaping select public meetings and holding certain City Board, Authority and Commission meetings at 6 p.m. to accommodate the average person’s work schedule.
Councilman Gilman sponsored and passed a resolution to encourage the Urban Redevelopment, Stadium and Exhibition, Pittsburgh Parking, and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authorities to adopt non-discrimination policies to cover sexual orientation and gender identity of all employees.
In collaboration with proprietors of mobile food trucks and owners of brick-and-mortar restaurants, Councilman Gilman updated Pittsburgh’s outdated mobile food vendor ordinance to create a friendlier environment for food trucks. The legislation allows food trucks to sell their fares in one location for up to four hours, park at metered spaces throughout the city, and operate in Frick and Schenley Parks. Additionally, the legislation encourages new and existing food trucks to adopt sustainable practices, operate in underserved neighborhoods, and sell healthy foods. This legislation advances Pittsburgh’s international reputation for its burgeoning and vibrant culinary scene.
Working with Councilman Corey O’Connor, Next Gen:Pgh, Shift Collaborative, the Busker Street Union, Councilman Gilman advocated for the creation of a space within the Squirrel Hill business district for street performers. The Street Stage, located near the corner of Forbes and Murray Avenues, will continue to enliven the street and encourage patronage for local businesses. The concept is expected to expand to other neighborhood business districts in the coming years.
Bringing City Council to College Campuses:
District 8 is home to four prestigious institutions of higher education: University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, and Carlow University. Councilman Gilman hosted mobile office hours on college campuses to foster a more open and accessible local government. Representatives from Councilman Gilman’s office were on campus to discuss students’ community concerns, educate students on city services, gather input on their ideas for Pittsburgh, and provide materials related to biking, public safety, renting, and civic engagement. Dates and times for future mobile office hours will be posted on social media sites and on the District 8 webpage.
Councilman Gilman has been a champion for the renovation of Wightman Park, a community asset in need of repair. A plan for the park was developed with the feedback given by community residents both online and in community meetings. The ultimate plan, designed by consultant Pashek Associates, will include three play spaces to accommodate the needs of children of all ages, stormwater infiltration features, a walking path that traverses the entire park, a new baseball area, and more inviting entrance plazas on both Solway and Wightman Streets.