The close of 2010 gives me the opportunity to look back and reflect on my first year in office. A lot of that time was spent learning the inner workings of City government, figuring out how to maneuver through the legislative process and utilize the tools at my disposal to better serve the residents of my district.
Major policy decisions marked my freshman term, from the prevailing wage ordinance requiring fair wages to workers providing services to the city, to legislation regulating storm water disposal for City funded contract work, to the discussion on how to fund the ailing pension fund. Equally important was the response to the day to day requests and needs of my constituency. Whether it was addressing proper snow removal, pothole repairs, or clearing overgrown weeds in vacant lots, these were and will continue to be the pressing needs to which we in my office often act as first responders.
From reflection of 2010 I look forward to the year ahead. We will continue to ensure the prompt response and provision to requests for service to the residents of our district. On the policy front, I will make most of the maturation gained from my first year as your representative on City Council to build upon my vision of strengthening the fabric of our communities and addressing everyday quality of life issues via proposed legislation.
Using my acquired knowledge and looking toward my vision of empowering communities, I have already begun to outline and look into prospective legislation to tackle the current economic climate and to respond to quality of life issues brought to our attention by the residents of District 6. I was intrigued by recent legislation passed in San Francisco which requires a certain percentage of local workers to be hired for government funded contract work. I have been looking into the possibility of drafting a similar bill for Pittsburgh. This would help to guarantee that development which occurs in our neighborhoods not only helps to foster a thriving business community, but that the residents who live in those neighborhoods also receive their just reward. It can help in the stabilization of ailing communities by reducing unemployment and keeping valuable dollars within neighborhoods.
My office is also looking into legislation to address noise complaints from residents Downtown. Because it is not a residentially zoned district, the current noise ordinances that apply to residential neighborhoods are not applicable within the Golden Triangle. The rapidly growing residential population has increasingly expressed concerns over such quality of life issues. We must ensure the vibrancy that they provide to the area, and are therefore looking at the possibility of an ordinance which would control noise levels around residential buildings during the late evening and early morning hours. This is an example of how my office can work in conjunction with communities to improve conditions within their neighborhoods.
2011 is shaping up to be an exciting year for District 6. It will lead to the halfway point of my first term in office, and it will be the year in which I will explore legislative opportunities to strengthen the communities that make up the fabric of Pittsburgh. To empower communities, to stabilize neighborhoods, to foster development and business opportunities: These are the elements that will continue to form the strategy for 2011 and beyond.
R. Daniel Lavelle
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Office of Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle
414 Grant Street, 5th Floor | City County Building
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2134 | facsimile 412-255-0737