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Bill Peduto's New Administration More Diverse Than Pittsburgh Itself?

Mark Nootbaar
90.5 WESA

As Bill Peduto rolls out ideas for his new administration, Pittsburgh City Paper editor Chris Potter notes that the transition is an interesting honeymoon time period for the city and the mayor-elect. Diversity, accountability, and transparency have been common buzzwords for the emerging team.

He symbolically embraced the diversity of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods when he chose to hold his election night victory party at Homewood's Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum.

From there Potter says the Peduto cabinet is shaping up to be more diverse than the city of Pittsburgh itself, and not just for racial and ethnic reasons.

With former city council person Valerie McDonald-Roberts and former public works director Guy Costa on board, along with new appointees from outside city government, Potter says Peduto’s office strikes a balance of old hands and new political blood.

“You’ve got to have people who kind of know where the levers are, potentially where the skeletons are buried as well.”

When Bill Peduto first came to city hall in 2005, Potter says he was repudiated by people in black neighborhoods for focusing on the affluent East End.

“Eventually it sunk in that he was going to have to be more than mayor of the East End if he wanted to be mayor of the city,” says Potter.

Peduto has since turned that image around by working with the service employees international union on a prevailing-wage bill, by working closely with neighborhood and Congressional representatives in Homewood, and by building political relationships in the South Hills.

“What you really saw this year was the culmination of a really carefully put together campaign over the course of years,” Potter says.