September 8, 2009 |

Luke has been good for city

As a proud American, I believe in the democratic system, freedom of speech, and the press..

Each of us matter and our voices should be heard. I support everyone's right to stand behind the political figure they trust and support. As a resident of Pittsburgh I support our current mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, because he has made my community and this city a superior place to live.

There are 89 neighborhoods in our stunning city and each one needs help, due in part to past decades of financial despair and population decline. I am a community volunteer and attend meetings throughout the city in hopes of finding ways to help and understand of how best to improve my neighborhood. No matter the day, or time of these events, Mayor Ravenstahl is present. 

He reaches out to his constituents, advocates for us, imparts the advancement his office is currently making to improve our quality of life, and outlines the goals for our city's future.

He asks for our input and listens to our gripes, issues, reservations and personal stories, taking his time, allowing everyone to have their moment. He responds with courtesy, grace, dignity and humility. 

In the short time Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has held his office, impressive improvements have been made throughout Pittsburgh, including the 311 hotline, the Pittsburgh Promise, the Green Trust fund, the Redd-up program and partnering with our neighboring boroughs for trash collection to name a few.

Only a few years ago downtown was more like a ghost town, but instead of blowing tumbleweeds we had massive amounts of blowing litter. Today "Dahntahn" has been transformed, clean and vibrant with alluring flowerpots and trash-cans close at hand. To some this may seem a waste of money, but in reality the cost is in fact very small, and the benefaction to our self esteem, as well as how wonderfully our city is perceived by visitors is priceless.

Recently the mayor conducted several neighborhood walkabouts. I, along with other community leaders in Carrick, were asked to fill out a request form highlighting some of our main areas of need and distress. This list was vast from replacing missing street signs, adding signs, road repairs, new curb and safety line painting, abandoned buildings, graffiti, deadbeat landlords, to a greater police presence.

Mayor Ravenstahl and his office came through with flying colors. It's the beginning, a restoration of hope, the leg up we've needed for many years. These steps have helped to bring back pride and integrity to Carrick. 

There have been many articles in this, "the best local Pittsburgh paper," The South Pittsburgh Reporter, that feature the mayor's activities and his hands-on involvement in the neighborhoods The Reporter covers.

He attends our community council meetings, has been to Mount Oliver Community Days, marches in the Carrick Halloween parade, and engages at our Night Out events and so much more. Why? Because he cares about Pittsburgh, and he cares about you and me. We have a mayor that stands out and shines in a time when others have lost touch with the people they serve.

Mayor Ravenstahl did not create our city's problems but he is our first leader in a very long time to actually do something to fix them.

I am proud to be a part of this great city and I'm excited that my mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, cares about my issues, concerns and values.

Dawn Harder

Proud Pittsburgh resident in Carrick

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