I have had the privilege of being able to work on a number of issues since being elected that I care deeply about and hope to pursue for four more years. My top three priorities for my next term are:
I am hard at work marshalling resources for a comprehensive partnership between city departments and agencies to support Carrick and its residents. For too long the business district needs, quality of life concerns, and housing stock have been forgotten in one of the city’s largest and most diverse neighborhoods, and I am changing that!
While I am emphasizing meeting the needs of Carrick, that does not mean I am leaving the other communities in my district behind. The commitment I have already shown to improving the main streets in the district will remain. Maintaining the momentum that has been built over the last four years is crucial to making sure economic opportunities are available for those who need them the most.
I am working with DPW to refine the area of responsibility of the Public Works 4th Division while also advocating for a more robust training program for our snowplow operators. I am also committed to recapitalizing the snow treatment fleet on a consistent schedule, so reinvestment is always occurring. This will also afford us the opportunity to right size the fleet and get more of the “salt hogs” (smaller trucks) that are better able to navigate the side streets and dangerous hills that make up the Council District.
Substance Use Disorders have been a problem in many communities across the country for a long time, and Council District 4 is no exception. Under my leadership, Prevention Point Pittsburgh was able to get a mobile care unit in the district one day every week. I aim to further the harm reduction work being undertaken in the district. This support includes my office’s involvement with groups like the South Pittsburgh Opioid Action Coalition (SPOAC) which is thriving and doing wonderful work distributing the lifesaving drug, Naloxone.
SPOAC’s work is not limited to Naloxone trainings -- they are undertaking wide reaching education efforts. My office did work identifying clusters of overdose incidents, and upon inspection we noticed that many of these incidents take place in the immediate vicinity of our district’s churches. Given this information, in collaboration with SPOAC, we are working on developing a faith summit to help educate clergy on ways they can combat SUD’s and support the most vulnerable members of our community. This includes championing person first language, which I have taken a pledge to promote, as well as advocating for policies that encourage harm reduction and not the abstinence only approaches most people are familiar with.