This month, Councilman Wilson discusses some of the community engagement work he did while City Council was on recess for the month of August.
Photo: Office of Councilman Wilson
I hope this month’s newsletter finds you well! City Council was on recess for the month of August, so I wanted to fill you in on some of the important community engagement work I have had the opportunity to do during that time.
First, I was humbled to dedicate the Fineview Field as the Kenneth “Kenny” Minton, Sr. Memorial Ball Field. Kenny Minton was a hardworking baseball coach and community member for 34 years, from 1978 through 2014. His wife, Mrs. Pamela Minton, is a pillar of the Northside community and their seven sons keep the family legacy of coaching youth sports alive. I was greatly honored to present Mrs. Minton with a City Council proclamation at the dedication of the field. Kenny made a deep impact on the Northside and will be remembered fondly for his love of coaching our Northside youth.
In a similar vein, I was proud to replace the sign for the Richie McCabe Memorial Ballfield, at the corner of the West Commons and Federal Street. The City of Pittsburgh made and installed a wooden sign in honor of Richie McCabe in the past. Because that sign rotted and fell away some years ago, I asked for the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) to create and install a new metal sign.
Finally, I had the distinct honor of replacing a memorial plaque for John, a 12-year old boy from Deutschtown. On Valentine’s Day in 1996, John was struck by an EMS vehicle at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Tripoli Street. Tragically, he died of his injuries a week later, at Allegheny General Hospital. At the time, my predecessor Councilman Dan Onorato worked with DPW to install a memorial plaque for John at this intersection. In February of this year, John’s sister Jessica reached out to my office asking for help to replace this plaque, which had become irreparably damaged over the last two decades. I worked with DPW and Jessica to design and install a new plaque that will hopefully better withstand the test of time. I’m really appreciative of Jessica’s strong advocacy in getting this plaque replaced. My staff and I were also deeply touched to be invited to the unveiling of this plaque and a balloon release that Jessica and the rest of John’s family organized at the location of this tragic accident.
Getting to meet with Northsiders and hear important stories about the history of my Council District has been so informative and gratifying for me during my first two years on City Council. I am glad I could use this space to share some of that history with all of you. As an elected official representing a rapidly changing Northside, it’s easy to focus on the things that are new and different, or the things that need to be changed. In last month’s newsletter, I discussed some of the exciting infrastructure improvements coming to the Northside. But I also want all of you to know that I take seriously the great and rich history of the Northside, and am committed to preserving this history, including the memories of the many wonderful community residents and leaders that came before us.
As always, I encourage you to reach out to my office with questions, concerns, ideas, or anything that needs to be fixed or updated. I also encourage you to reach out and share your personal Northside history and stories. We look forward to hearing from you!
Councilman Bobby Wilson