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Identity & Community

Pittsburgh Nonprofits Ready to Take Seat at Main Table

Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Bill Peduto says he wants to give nonprofits a seat at the main table in his administration. 

He made the comments Monday before about 500 Pittsburgh area nonprofit organizations gathered for the annual Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership meeting. 

“It's an extraordinary time for us in terms of a partnership because Bill (Peduto), through his councilman efforts, really understands and grasps what the importance of neighborhoods are to the future of this community," said Kate Dewey, President Forbes Funds, which hosts the GPNP. "He also works so extensively with community-based organizations that he kind of gets our gestalt.”

Dewey said the nonprofits will readily embrace Peduto’s offer in the hopes of forming a “formidable partnership to make sure that we can improve the lives for all Pittsburghers.”

Dewey said past mayors have been more focused on larger development projects and less focused on the neighborhoods that are on the margins. She called the anticipated focus on communities in need the “next chapter for the community.”

Dewey does not worry that the new administration will lean to heavily on the nonprofit sector. 

“We touch on every aspect that a community needs to embrace in order to be a thriving community and we are so diverse,” said Dewey, who points out that nonprofits account for 10 percent of all employment and 5 percent of the gross domestic product.

The main focus of the GPNP is to create unity in the nonprofit sector while making sure the voice of the sector is heard and leveraged. 

The members of the group will also be focusing on the Affordable Care Act and its impact on community providers, changing the name of the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare to the Department of Human Services, and fighting for a strong transportation bill in Harrisburg.

“Clearly the transportation bill is one that effects everybody in this community,” Dewey said. “We are very concerned about making sure it passes with some might behind it.”