Press Releases City Council District 7 (c) 2015 | City of Pittsburgh | All rights reserved TODAY: Councilwoman Gross will host a Post Agenda on farm-to-table, local sustainable food, food hubs, and the regional food system <p><strong>Pittsburgh, PA</strong>&ndash; This afternoon, Councilwoman Deb Gross will be hosting a Post-Agenda that will focus on our region&rsquo;s food system. With Farmer&rsquo;s Market season upon us,&nbsp;the session will be a timely opportunity to learn more about how the local food system works, its value to urban dwellers and the region&rsquo;s farmers, and&nbsp;what impact the food economy has in the 10-county Pittsburgh region.</p> <p>The session will feature&nbsp;speakers from the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council,&nbsp;The Penn State Center Pittsburgh, Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, and Penn&rsquo;s Corner Farm Alliance</p> <p style="margin-left:1.0in;"><strong>WHO</strong>: Councilwoman Deb Gross, Dawn Plummer, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, Heather Mikulas, Penn State Extension, Laura Mundell, Southwestern Pennsylvani Commsion, and Neil Stauffer, Penn&rsquo;s Corner Farm Alliance</p> <p style="margin-left:1.0in;"><strong>WHAT</strong>: The Post-Agenda will tackle the region&rsquo;s thriving food economy and explain how food is grown and moves in and around Pittsburgh.</p> <p style="margin-left:1.0in;"><strong>WHEN</strong>: The Post-Agenda will begin at 1:00 pm in Council Chambers, Pittsburgh City-County Building, 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.</p> <p align="center">###</p> Wed, 06 May 2015 18:34:25 -0400 Statement by Councilwoman Deborah Gross regarding PWSA Green Infrastructure Grant Program <p><strong>For Immediate Release:</strong></p> <p><strong>February 20th, 2015</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Pittsburgh, PA: Statement by City Councilwoman Deborah Gross regarding PWSA Green Infrastucture Grant Program</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I am happy to voice my full support for the newly-approved PWSA Green Infrastructure Grant Program. As both a City Council Member and in my role as a board member of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, I believe that the Green Infrastructure Grant Program will be a vital asset for City of Pittsburgh property owners and community organizations as we move toward a more sustainable, green-oriented philosophy related to possible stormwater solutions.</p> <p>We need to work together to solve problems associated with combined sewer overflow, we need to raise awareness to ensure that our region&rsquo;s stormwater management issues are tackled through a coordinated approach, and we need build sustainability and affordability environmental best practices. Opening pathways to enlist a united coalition of citizens, property owners, and our water authority is an important step in our work toward these shared goals.&rdquo;</p> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:52:45 -0500 Statement by Councilwoman Deborah Gross in response to body found at Sunnyside Elementary School <p dir="ltr"><strong>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:<br /> December 17th, 2014</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">PITTSBURGH -- Statement by Councilwoman Deborah Gross in response to the body found at Sunnyside Elementary School in Stanton Heights:</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I am saddened to hear of the shooting-related death today in Stanton Heights near Sunnyside Elementary School. My thoughts are with both the victim&rsquo;s family and students and parents of Sunnyside Elementary. I have been in direct contact with officials from our public safety department, and am grateful to them for their work to ensure the safety of Sunnyside students.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><br /> # # #</p> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:55:50 -0500 PITTSBURGH CITY COUNCIL PASSES LAND BANK BILL IN HISTORIC 8-1 VOTE <h5>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:</h5> <div>Pittsburgh &ndash; In a historic 8-1 final vote held earlier today, Pittsburgh City Council passed legislation to create a land bank in the City of Pittsburgh. The legislation originally introduced by Councilwoman Deb Gross in January, was refined over an intensive four month community engagement process with neighborhood leaders from throughout Pittsburgh.</div> <div>Partnering with Councilman Corey O&rsquo;Connor, Gross worked to craft amendments to her original legislation ensuring protections for owner-occupants, allowing for a community petition process to guide land bank activities and to guarantee representation from acrossthe city on the land bank&rsquo;s governing board.&nbsp;</div> <div>In a statement on today&rsquo;s vote, Gross said:</div> <div>&ldquo;It was inspiring to see my colleagues stand united during today&rsquo;s vote. Today&rsquo;s action by Council was the result of healthy public discussion about neighborhood-led development in our city. It was a pleasure to work to bring our legislative body together to find common ground.</div> <div>Through the creation of a land bank, residents and community groups will finally have a device to empower neighborhoods to reimagine Pittsburgh. Today was the first step to equip neighborhoods with the power to drive what happens in their communities.&nbsp;</div> <div>This would not have been possible without such a wide variety of community leaders fromacross Pittsburgh working for our collective mission to establish a Pittsburgh land bank as a vital community tool, one that will strengthen our city block by block.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; # # #</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:27:57 -0400 PITTSBURGH CITY COUNCIL TO HOLD EVENING PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED LAND BANK LEGISATION <p>Pittsburgh, PA &ndash; To facilitate and continue a robust community discussion regarding legislation introduced by City Councilwoman Deb Gross earlier this month, Pittsburgh City Council will hold an official public hearing relative to a Pittsburgh Land Bank on <strong>Thursday, February 20<sup>th</sup> at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers</strong>.</p> <p>The rescheduled public hearing comes in response to a high volume of &nbsp;thoughtful comments and suggestions made by community members and organizations relating to the creation of a Pittsburgh Land Bank.</p> <p>&ldquo;Allowing for more time between original introduction of legislation to create a Pittsburgh Land Bank and an official public hearing will foster an even more thorough and productive discussion of community suggestions and concerns regarding the proposed land bank,&rdquo; said Councilwoman Gross.</p> <p>Gross added, &ldquo;Council is excited to hear community input as to how we can produce even better land bank legislation together, furthering our goal of equipping all neighborhoods with the tools that they need to remedy vacant and abandoned properties in their communities block by block.&nbsp; I look forward to continued collaboration with the community and my fellow Councilmembers to ensure that every voice is heard and that we end up with the strongest possible legislation.&rdquo;</p> <p>An official post agenda allowing for expert testimony and discussion of the legislation will be scheduled at a later date, but will also be televised and open to the public.</p> <p align="center"># # #</p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 11:10:14 -0500 COUNCILWOMAN DEB GROSS INTRODUCES LAND BANK BILL TO ADDRESS BLIGHT, IMPROVE CITY PROPERTY VALUES, STABILIZE TAX BASE <p dir="ltr">PITTSBURGH, PA - In today&rsquo;s meeting of city council, Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Deb Gross introduced legislation that, if passed, will create a land bank in Pittsburgh. This proposed legislation will transform Pittsburgh&rsquo;s current land recycling system from a fragmented and disjointed process into a single entity, enabling residents and community groups to effectively transform vacant and abandoned properties in their neighborhoods .</p> <p dir="ltr">The proposed land bank &nbsp;will have the power to quickly acquire, maintain and strategically dispose of vacant properties throughout the city. Gross&rsquo; legislation, her first as Chair of Pittsburgh City Council&rsquo;s Committee on Land Use and Economic Development, comes as the most significant step in reforming the City&rsquo;s outdated and conflicting land recycling process, allowing for civically-minded neighborhood focused development across Pittsburgh.</p> <p dir="ltr">The bill comes as a result of state legislation, passed in 2012, empowering Pennsylvania municipalities to establish land banks to address the economic and social issues created by entrusting tangled bureaucracies to manage blight and vacant land. The state legislation, titled State Land Bank Act, is based on national best practices in land recycling.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The Pittsburgh Land Bank will level the playing field in community development throughout our City, allowing all community groups to have a hands-on role in revitalizing their neighborhoods - not just those with full-time staff capacity,&rdquo; said Gross.</p> <p dir="ltr">Gross added, &ldquo;I have heard from countless constituents about issues related to vacant properties in our neighborhoods. Currently, we have a 60 year backlog of vacant and blighted land in our City. It&rsquo;s time to finally empower our communities by giving them the tools they need to improve our neighborhoods.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">Distressed properties&mdash;totaling more than 35,000 in Pittsburgh&mdash;spread blight, depress property values and lead to increases in crime. Consequently, research has shown that improvements to blighted parcels produce noticeable reductions in gun assaults and vandalism.</p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; ###</p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 11:28:56 -0500 Pittsburgh City Councilwoman-elect Deb Gross names former Dowd communication director as chief of staff, District 7 community outreach staffer as office's community development liaison <p><strong>Pittsburgh, PA</strong> &ndash; Newly elected Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Deb Gross, who won a November 5<sup>th</sup> special election to fill the City Council seat vacated by Patrick Dowd in July, has announced that she will be bringing on former Dowd communications director, Nate Hanson as her office&rsquo;s Chief of Staff.</p> <p>Hanson, who worked as Dowd&rsquo;s primary communications strategist and representative, will continue to oversee office communications, and will work closely with District 7 residents, neighborhood groups, businesses and community leaders. Hanson is also a recently nominated member of the City of Pittsburgh Propel Commission, where he serves on a working group currently rewriting the commission&rsquo;s bylaws and chairs Propel&rsquo;s Diversity Committee.</p> <p>Land use specialist Moira Egler will also join Gross&#39; office as Gross&#39; community development liaison. In this role, Egler, who has worked as the District 7 constituent services assistant since March of 2012, will assume full-time responsibilities for helping to coordinate Gross&rsquo; &nbsp;work in community development, constituent services, and land use policy in District 7, which includes the neighborhoods of Lawrenceville, Strip District, Polish Hill, Highland Park, Morningside, Bloomfield, Friendship, and a portion of Stanton Heights. Egler&rsquo;s professional background includes working in community development in post-Katrina New Orleans.&nbsp;</p> <p>Gross, who will be officially sworn into office on December 6<sup>th</sup> during an 11 a.m. ceremony in City Council Chambers, said, &ldquo;I am excited to announce that Nate Hanson and Moira Egler will be joining my office team and will continue their commitment to serving District 7 residents. Both Nate and Moira will bring serious attitudes of dedication to public service and diverse skill sets that will contribute to the neighborhoods that have elected me as their representative.&rdquo;</p> <p>Gross added, &ldquo;Moira and Nate were integral to ensuring that the needs of my new constituents were met during a 5-month vacancy period in City Council District 7. I can&rsquo;t wait to officially start work with my new team and hit the ground running to serve District 7 residents.&rdquo;</p> <p>Both Hanson and Egler worked in the District 7 office to provide constituent service support for District 7 residents during the office&#39;s vacancy period from&nbsp;Dowd&rsquo;s July resignation through the November 5<sup>th</sup> special election.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; # # #</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 15:55:33 -0500