McKeesport council last week unanimously approved a resolution in support of the McKeesport Message Campaign, "an uplifting promotional campaign to instill pride within the residents of McKeesport."
The Rev. Darrell Knopp of Mc-Keesport Presbyterian Church produced a plastic grocery bag full of buttons that read "Respect" before telling council about the campaign, which he chairs as part of the Mayor's Select Committee on Crime and Violence.
Councilwoman V. Fawn Walker-Montgomery lamented a bloody year in the city, noting that 2013 began with the shooting deaths of four people at a New Year's party.
The resolution notes "council feels this campaign is necessary in order to re-establish self-respect and dignity in our city."
"It will take time to build momentum," Pastor Knopp said. "But we have to start somewhere."
During last week's council meeting, he passed out the "Respect" buttons and announced that a kickoff event will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday in the City Hall parking lot, 500 Fifth Ave.
Two residents also addressed council regarding ongoing concern over the use of all-terrain vehicles in the city's Haler Heights neighborhood. The dispute began after a neighborhood resident purchased land to create trails.
Marti Gastel, a 30-year resident of the city, said the back deck of her Wainwright Avenue home used to overlook a "beautiful bowl of trees" that has now been turned into dirt-bike trails. She said the depression in the ground is like an amphitheater -- it intensifies the sound of the dirt bikes.
Like other residents have before, she urged council to outlaw ATVs and dirt bikes in the city.
Officials said they intend to hold a public hearing on the matter in February.
Annie Siebert: email@example.com or 412-263-1613.