A coalition for good: Squirrel Hill group stands the test of time

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A lot has changed, for good and for ill, in the city of Pittsburgh during the past 40 years. Through it all, Squirrel Hill has remained a popular, urban neighborhood, sustained by a vibrant business district, diverse and well-maintained housing, quality schools and convenient access to public transportation.

One ingredient in that recipe for neighborhood success has been the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, a pioneering, grass-roots organization founded in 1972 as part of an effort to ward off the blight and flight that harmed many other communities.

Over the years, the organization has been sustained by the financial contributions and expertise of residents and businesses alike. It has played an ever-evolving role as advocate and watchdog. While the coalition's early years were directed toward improving water and sewer lines and repaving arteries and sidewalks in the community, it has been active on a long list of interests -- public safety, school enrollment patterns, commercial and residential development, park improvements and recreational opportunities.

In other words, the coalition has been involved in all the elements that make a neighborhood a home. Congratulations and thanks are due the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition for its role in preserving Squirrel Hill as a safe place to live, work, shop and play.

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