Peduto pushes partnerships as he welcomes national conference
November 17, 2016 6:28 PM
Mayor Bill Peduto welcomes the National League of Cities' annual City Summit at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown on Thursday.
By Adam Smeltz / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto sported a Fred Rogers-style cardigan today to greet hundreds of municipal officials, urging partnerships to tackle community problems.
“The 21st century in America is the century of cities. We have the opportunities to solve our problems, to look at Pittsburgh as an example of a city that was knocked down to its knees but has come back,” Mr. Peduto said at the City Summit, a conference held by the National League of Cities.
“The way that we do it is that we partner together,” he went on, channeling the late WQED and PBS personality. Roberto Clemente Jr., a son of late Pittsburgh Pirates legend Roberto Clemente, joined Mr. Peduto in welcoming the crowd at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown.
More than 3,000 people are expected in the city for the four-day summit, which began Wednesday. Last held in Nashville, Tenn., the 92nd annual gathering centers on challenges facing appointed and elected leaders across the country.
Mr. Peduto used his introductory remarks to spotlight 100 Days of Us, a campaign led by the Garfield-based Sprout Fund to encourage civic activity. Timed to coincide with the first 100 days of President-elect Donald Trump's administration, the approach can help communities declare their own 100-day plans and priorities, the mayor said.
Mr. Trump will take office Jan. 20. His transition team did not immediately answer a request for comment.
At Sprout, program officer Ryan Coon said the group will begin accepting applications in December for 100 Days of Us. He said the nonprofit seeded a 100 Days fund with $100,000 to support local projects, such as small-scale neighborhood and community-based plans for boosting civic engagement.
Sprout also is raising money to back projects in education, women's rights and criminal justice, among other priorities, Mr. Coon said. He said the group is “very interested” in helping other communities start their own 100 Days campaigns. The push is using the Twitter hashtag “#100days” and a website at http://100daysof.us.
Mr. Peduto said he hopes every city will jump on board.
“You can burn a city. You can flood a city. You can rip the economic heart out of a city,” he said. “But if a city invests in its people, a city will come back.”
Adam Smeltz: 412-263-2625, email@example.com, @asmeltz.
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