Councilman Wilson goes over the new legislative maps for Pittsburgh City Council and the new Capital Budget
Photo: Office of Councilman Wilson
As City Council resumes business following recess, I wanted to share some important legislative updates from City Hall.
Before Council went on recess in late July, we passed a new Reapportionment Plan for City Council districts in Pittsburgh. This plan draws new maps for each City Council district so that each Councilmember has as close to an equal number of constituents as possible. This is based on the principle that the voting power of each citizen should be equal to that of any other citizen under the “one person, one vote” standard. Additionally, though it was not always feasible, Council made a strong effort to avoid splitting any city neighborhoods in the process of drawing these new district maps. Finally, whereas the Central Northside had been split across my and Councilman Dan Lavelle’s districts, I fought successfully to bring it back together in District 1. In the last 10 years, the population grew considerably in Pittsburgh’s East End and dropped elsewhere in our city, including on the Northside. As a result, Councilmembers representing the East End saw their districts shrink while ours will grow considerably. Specifically, District 1 will now jump across the Allegheny River and encompass a great swath of downtown Pittsburgh as well as the entire Strip District. This new District 1 map will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023. If you have questions about the new map, please review the legislation itself (Bill 2022-0437 on pittsburgh.legistar.com), as well as its accompanying attachments.
Later this month, Mayor Ed Gainey will come to City Council and propose his first operating and capital budgets for the City of Pittsburgh. The Capital Budget funds projects that are used to design, build, restore, retain, or purchase City-owned assets, have a minimum value of $50,000 and have a minimum useful life of five years. The Operating Budget funds expenditures that pay for most day-to-day governmental activities. Earlier this summer, my office submitted 47 Capital Budget requests for consideration by the Office of the Mayor and the City’s Office of Management and Budget. Our requests totaled $67.8 million and sought money for investments at Lake Elizabeth in Allegheny Commons Park, reconstruction of the California Avenue bridge over McClure Avenue, restoration of the Swindell Bridge, renovation of the restroom building at Jack Stack Field, new dek hockey boards at Marmaduke Park, landslide remediation and general maintenance at Riverview Park, more city trash cans in every Northside neighborhood and sidewalk repair or replacement across the Northside.
In the last few months, my office has received and routed many requests for assistance with city services to the relevant city departments. Many of you have gotten very good at using 311 to direct the city’s focus and resources to the municipal issues that you encounter on your street or in your neighborhood. We are happy to continue assisting everyone by directing such requests to the relevant city departments. I have biweekly standing meetings with the directors of the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) and monthly standing meetings with the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Department of City Planning (DCP). Most of the requests for assistance that my office receives involve issues that can be addressed by these three departments. At these meetings, I escalate constituent requests so that city leadership can help me deliver a reasonable solution in a timely manner to my constituents. In the last mayoral administration, many of you reached out to the Office of Community Affairs to also seek assistance with constituent services. Mayor Gainey’s administration has set up the Neighborhood Services Team to assist constituents with city issues. You will see representatives from this team at Northside community meetings this fall. If you need help with a city issue, I encourage you to utilize this Neighborhood Services Team by emailing them at [email protected]
If you have any thoughts about any of these updates, please feel free to call us at (412) 255-2135, email us at [email protected], or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We look forward to hearing from you.
COUNCILMAN, DISTRICT 1