Peduto at Chamber: Focus on small neighborhood development

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Given his frenetic schedule since taking office, it is not surprising that Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto was a hair late for his address at the African American Chamber of Commerce’s March PowerBreakfast.

Nonetheless, he still managed to present a plethora of plans to remake the city by “focusing inward” on small neighborhood development. To that end, he said, he has realigned priorities in such a way that now 30 percent of his office is dedicated to the new Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment.

Peduto said education should be part of these empowerment efforts. He said he wants to make Pittsburgh Public Schools a top-rated district again. He proposes a “baby promise” to ensure universal pre-kindergarten service as one way to do this, even though the district has 15 schools with pre-k classrooms.

Neighborhood development, of both housing and business districts, are also key. And Peduto said he wants to reallocate resources away from massive neighborhood development initiatives like the one already begun in Larimer, and is re-tasking the city and its authorities to concentrate on renovation of existing housing and business properties.

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