This type of radical solicitation of public input on issues facing a city is not something I’ve seen a PA Mayor (or any Mayor?) do, and it’s awesome. When lots of people participate, that dilutes the power of special interests. Obviously Peduto will get less popular as he actually starts doing some of this stuff (problems tend to persist not because we don’t know the solutions, but because certain elements of the interested public benefit from the status quo), but it really does look like he wants to do the right thing for the broadest public and will take this input seriously. I continue to be more excited about the Bill Peduto administration than the Bill DeBlasio administration:
Nearly 1,110 people took the new mayor, a former city councilman, up on his offer to recommend fixes to the vast universe of issues confronting Pittsburgh and the city government, from education and affordable housing to public safety and economic development, among many others.
“You guys hit the ball out of the park,” Mr. Acklin told an audience of several hundred Monday night during a two-hour summary of the group’s recommendations at the David Lawrence Hall on the Pitt campus. “Bill was right.”
Mr. Peduto, who will be sworn in Monday, hefted the white binder holding the 1,100 pages submitted by the volunteer committees, telling the crowd it would become the “blueprint” for his administration.
“It’s not that we’re going to be able to do all of this, but we’re going to try to do a lot of it,” Mr. Peduto said, adding that working on the committees’ reports brought his new team together and gave them an introduction to the issues they’ll face. “This gives us something very real to work from.”
(via Robert Zullo)