WE'VE BROUGHT BACK PITTSBURGH'S PROMISE
When the City entered oversight in 2003, it was an extremely difficult time for employees and residents. Our workforce was cut by a quarter, pools and recreation centers closed and for years our neighborhoods didn't get the investment they deserved. On top of that, residents and families were still leaving our City.
Nine years later, however, we’ve brought the promise back to Pittsburgh. Despite an economic recession, we’ve been able to balance our budgets and save for a rainy day without raising taxes. We went under a “debt diet” and paid off over a quarter-million in past administrations’ debt. Financial agencies have taken note of our responsible management by giving us nine bond rating upgrades.
Today, Pittsburgh’s Third Renaissance is in full swing and marked not just by Downtown’s transformation, but by job creation and development happening in many other neighborhoods. Crime has decreased for six straight years, and for the first time in decades our population is on the rise. We’re deploying innovative strategies to reinvest in our neighborhoods, like opening more cost-effective spray parks in place of pools, partnering with the district attorney to crack down on disruptive properties and launching a citizen-service program that transforms vacant lots into community gardens. And we’re investing in our future by caring deeply about the lives of our young people through programs like The Pittsburgh Promise.
Third-party publications keep recognizing Pittsburgh as a top place to live, work and visit. As the world continues to point out Pittsburgh’s transformation, we’re excited that our financial overseers are ready to remove the proverbial “dark cloud” of financial oversight. We believe that our financial policies have stood the test of time and that we will remain a city that attracts ‘most livable’ ratings and more residents for years to come.
MORE JOBS AND DEVELOPMENT
In addition, we launched a new program that gives business districts tools to market their businesses. With the help of the URA’s Biz Buzz program, new banners donned Bryant Street for the event.
KICK-OFF THE HOLIDAY SEASON IN MARKET SQUARE
Next Friday, Nov. 16, we'll officially kick off the holiday season here in Pittsburgh when I light the City's holiday tree on the City-County Building's portico and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership kicks off the much-anticipated Light Up Night festivities. This year's 52nd annual celebration boasts exciting performances stunning parades, and spectacular fireworks, along with the highly anticipated Market Square Season of Lights. New this year is the Peoples Gas Holiday Market - a European-style market featuring unique collectibles, handmade ornaments, live performances and a whimsical, full-sized Santa’s house offering free photos with Santa in exchange for non-perishable items and donations to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The market, and all the Light Up Night festivities, will enhance the Downtown experience, and I'm excited for the opportunity to showcase the heart of our City - and its $5 billion in investment - to workers, residents and visitors from around the country.
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Thursday, November 8, 2012
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687