Year later: Mayor continues fight to revive Aliquippa

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MAYOR DWAN WALKER HARD AT WORK (Photo By Abdul Al-Nakhli)

by Abdul Al-Nakhli
ALIQUIPPA, Pa.—In 2012, change came for Aliquippa. Dwan Walker, 37, became the first African-American mayor of Aliquippa, a post he takes to heart.
He loves his city, fights for his city, and wants to see it thrive. Against a wall inside the council office, the words, “Aliquippa: Founded by Steel, Formed by its people,” are painted, words Walker takes to heart and immediately worked towards rebuilding.
During a recent Council meeting, his passion was full force. During that meeting, he made one point clear. The city of Aliquippa will grow and prosper, and a new chapter in the city’s history will be realized.
“Everybody knows the story of Aliquippa, it’s a story as old as time. It’s the one thing that frustrates me the most; we’re still telling the same story we have for 40 years. We can make it better, we just have to go out there and find it.
“We have to work together to keep the city moving forward. We can’t do anything without the voice of the people,” said Walker, “There is a vision for this city, and it is not to be status quo.”
Aliquippa is now a non-profit entity, able to secure the same state funding directly and become self sufficient. Five new businesses have opened, and a new Code Enforcement Officer was hired, and overall, a change in how the city operates.
During his first year of his term, Walker essentially was baptized by fire. He dealt with everything from a firefighter’s injury, horrid blizzards, a hostile standoff, and budget constriction and staff issues. Dealing with each issue has helped him become a better mayor.

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