Rehabilitate the Reputation of Penn Hills
If you've lived in Penn Hills for any amount of time, you know the look you get when you tell people where you live. That look that says, "Ew why?" You're probably also very familiar with the look you get when those people come to visit. The one that says, "Wow this place is nice!"
For far too long, we've allowed the evening news to tell our story. Outsiders don't understand that Penn Hills has ten times the population of most Pittsburgh suburbs, which is why we end up on the news ten times more than their little town.
It's clear to me that there's a vast disconnect between what people think of Penn Hills, and what Penn Hills actually is. And to date we've done a terrible job pushing back on those narratives.
These negative narratives have dramatic effect on our lives. It affects resident acquisition and retention, homeownership, and makes businesses hesitant to set up shop here.
My goal is to combat this negativity with a marketing campaign that shows the greater Pittsburgh region that Penn Hills is not just what they see on the news, but a community with many beautiful, unique and diverse neighborhoods full of affordable homes where the people are hard-working, and neighbors are friendly and helpful.
That's the Penn Hills I know.
These types of initiatives have been successful in East Liberty, Lawrenceville, Sharpsburg and Millvale, places that arguably started in worse-off positions than we currently are.
If successful, we can expect an increase in population, homeownership, property values, and local businesses that serve the people.
I've already begun consulting the current mayor and council on what an initiative like this could look like, and I hope to continue that work as a member of council.
If you feel the same as I do, then I ask for your vote in the Primaries on May 16th!
In the News
- 3 running for 2 ballot spots in Democratic Penn Hills council race; Republican race uncontested
Penn Hills Progress
April 18, 2023
- PHCDC Vice President, Alan Waldron, explains the Penn Hills Census
November 22, 2023
- PHDC Canvass Launch w/ Candidates
Saturday, April 29 @ 10:00am
Griff's Grounds Coffè
1817 Leechburg Rd., Penn Hill, PA 15235
- PHDC Canvass Meet Up
Saturday, May 6 @ 10:00am
Duff Community Park
50 Duff Rd, Penn Hills, PA 15235
- Volunteer Appreciation Night
Friday, May 12 @ 6:30pm
Futules' Harmar House
1321 Freeport Rd, Cheswick, PA 15024
- PHDC Canvass Meet Up
Saturday, May 13 @ 10:00am
Penn Hills Community Park
120 Colorado St, Penn Hills, PA 15147
- Primary Election Day
Tuesday, May 16
Get out and vote!
Transparency and Accountability
Let's be honest, our government isn't exactly known for being accessible, communicative or receptive to input. That's why I'd like to implement an online community collaboration system that allows residents to submit help requests, code violations, and share and collaborate on ideas.
Such a system will engage residents to become more active and connected to government and provide much needed transparency and accountability of their concerns.
Crime tends to uptick everywhere in a recession, and Penn Hills is no exception. The best way for a local government to reduce crime is to reduce the demand for it by providing opportunities for residents who might otherwise turn to criminal activity.
The Penn Hills CDC's community census initiative aims to identify needs of individual residents and align them with existing programs and services. Whether those issues are food insecurity, lack of education or job skills, transportation or access to digital services, we must support the PHCDC's work to connect services to the people that need them.
Water and Sewage
Believe it or not, water and sewage bills in Penn Hills aren't that much different from most of the Pittsburgh region.
This was the case for a long time, but as other towns have had to upgrade their systems (as we have already done) their fees have come more in line with ours.
That said, we need to seriously evaluate if privatizing the management of our sewage system makes financial sense for Penn Hills taxpayers.
Home Rule Charter
The Penn Hills Home Rule Charter was approved and put into effect in 1973 and has never been modified in its 50-year history.
I believe it's time we form a committee to review the Home Rule Charter and suggest revisions and updates to it.
It seems that anytime our government gets its hands on some money, they spend that money on themselves.
Of all the $18 million we received from the federal American Rescue Plan, very little was spent on resident amenities such as parks, trails and other recreational amenities.
On council, I'll be a voice for residents ensuring we're not forgotten in the budgeting process.
Collaborate with Our School District
A common phrase heard around the municipal building is, "That's a school district problem, we're not the school district."
School district problems are municipal problems.
Council should meet with the school board quarterly to align goals and objectives that benefit all residents.