One hundred days in office: Mayor Ed Gainey on violence, young people, campaign promises
On today’s episode of The Confluence:
Mayor Ed Gainey on efforts to increase public safety, and his intention create ‘a city for all’
(0:00 - 13:47)
Early Sunday morning, a shooting left two teenagers dead and several wounded in the North Side. This is one of a series of violent incidents that communities across the city have experienced.
Mayor Ed Gainey has been in office for 100 days so far, and says he plans to schedule a meeting with public safety and community leaders to introduce his “All In,” citywide approach to public safety.
“You have to actually see it from a safety side as well as a public health side,” says Gainey. “This is something that for our children that we really have to deal with because what happens Sunday is tragic and I couldn't imagine losing a child.”
In the interview, we also speak with Gainey about fulfilling a campaign promise to get UPMC to “pay their fair share,” expanding inclusionary zoning in the city, and his optimism in the efforts to create a city that serves all.
A survivor of Merrill’s Marauders is receiving the Congressional Gold Medal
(13:49 - 22:30)
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a call for volunteers to complete a dangerous mission. Approximately 3,000 soldiers agreed, and in February 1944, they began a nearly 1,000-mile trek through the Burmese jungle.
Their assignment was to navigate Japanese-occupied Burma to cut off communications and supply lines, capture a Japanese held airfield and open an Allied supply route between India and China.
After five months and a successful mission, only 130 were still fit for duty. The others were killed, wounded or were seriously ill from malaria, typhus, or dysentery. The unit, dubbed “Merrill’s Marauders” after their commander, Brigadier General Frank Merrill, has now been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
There are five members of that unit alive today, and one of them is 97-year-old Russell “Huck” Hamler, who lives with his son Jeffrey in their Baldwin Township home.
Hamler volunteered for the mission while stationed in Puerto Rico. He was told very little before being sent to India for training.
“We all had to do the job,” says Hamler. “You just go through life and you do what you have to do to live. And that's what I did.”
Hamler will receive his Congressional Gold Medal Sunday at the Baldwin Township Community Building.
The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.