MWCDC hears from those interested in joining board
Eight Mount Washington Community Development Corporation Board nominees hoping to win a seat during next month’s election addressed community members at the MWCDC community forum meeting on September 17 at the Mount Washington Senior Center on Virginia Avenue.
Each nominee addressed the audience and gave a short presentation on their individual backgrounds, connections to the Mount Washington community, and what they hope to achieve as a board member over the next term.
The meeting was opened by MWCDC board president Breen Masciotra who introduced each of the candidates.
First to present was Mount Washington resident Brett Robinson, president of Terra Building Group, LLC. His firm owns six properties in the community.
If elected, Mr. Robinson plans to work with the board to create plans for promoting the MWCDC, expanding the business district, and replacing blighted properties.
The next speaker was attorney Joseph Rewis, co-owner of Bingham Tavern. Mr. Rewis has been a Mount Washington resident for 15 years and said he would like to bring his law practice to the area. He owns both commercial and residential properties in the Mount Washington and plans to provide advice to small businesses on how to grow and invest in the community.
Matthew Steve works for a private equity fund that makes investments in small businesses. He has a background in finance and owns 13 rental properties in Mount Washington. Mr. Steve has experience in investing and renovating properties, and would like to see a younger demographic move into the community.
Michael Grande, a 12-year resident of Duquesne Heights, said he would like to focus on helping to move forward on the progress of Shiloh Street and Emerald Park development. Mr. Grande also he has many connections with business owners in the business district.
A current board member seeking reelection, Therese Moss has lived in Mount Washington for 26 years and has been a MWCDC member since 2001. Ms. Moss previously served five elected terms on the board. She talked about several of the projects she has supported during this time including grant writing and communications.
Ms. Moss actively volunteers with litter cleanups and tree planting activities. If reelected, she hopes to more work with fundraising, governance, and opportunities in housing.
Talia Piazza works for Neighborhood Allies and has a background in neighborhood revitalization. A Mount Washington resident, she purchased her home through the MWCDC. Ms. Piazza said in addition to her passion and enthusiasm for making the neighborhood better, she also offers technical expertise on community development.
A lifelong Mount Washington resident, Tom Brady has served multiple terms on the MWCDC board over the last 16 years including two terms as vice president. He is the blockwatch captain of his street and an active member of the Friends of Grandview Park and Neighbors on the Mount community groups.
The final nominee to speak was Bishop Victor Cianca who is a current board member seeking reelection. Bishop Cianca said his family has lived on Mt. Washington for more than 100 years and if reelected, he’d like to focus on making the community more aware of the MWCDC’s work in the community. Bishop Cianca also possesses a background in nonprofits and grant writing.
Following the presentations, Ms. Masciotra thanked the nominees and also provided an update on the sidewalk construction along Grandview Avenue.
The sidewalk construction is set to occur in phases as the city works with elected officials to raise funds. The installation of the sidewalk from the Monongahela incline to the flagpole will begin on October 5.
The deconstruction and reconstruction of the sidewalk structure that extends over the mountain will begin in the spring.
Board elections will be held at the next MWCDC Community Forum meeting on Thursday, Oct. 15 at the Mount Washington Senior Center on Virginia Avenue. Only MWCDC members are eligible to vote in the election.