Aug. 12, 2019

I am extremely disappointed that Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto shows little concern for your safety and the safety of visitors to the city’s Cultural District, while he simultaneously seeks to increase his own police protection.

Kevin McMahon, president and chief executive officer of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, expressed the views of many individuals from the suburbs in a Post-Gazette article on Aug. 2. He raised concerns about an increase over the last year in the Cultural District in the number of homeless people, aggressive panhandling, disorderly youth, open marijuana use, lewd acts in alleyways and a rise in the number of people who are publicly intoxicated or under the influence of controlled substances – all “unchecked by law enforcement.”

As a member of the House of Representatives representing Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, your safety is my top priority. The Cultural District is one of the four significant assets of Pittsburgh that attracts people to our area. We can boast superior educational institutions, premier medical and research organizations, professional sports franchises, and the Cultural District – but not if serious safety issues go unaddressed.

Instead of reassuring us that something positive will be accomplished through hard work, the mayor deflects this concern by saying the citizens have little concern for those who have the least.

Peduto is not using the resources available to him, such as working with local and state officials to come up with a plan to make Pittsburgh safe and secure. My House colleagues and I are out front, protecting and promoting families and communities by passing numerous bills this past spring that stand up for victims. Just look at what is happening in Philadelphia where you have a mayor and district attorney who put criminals first: Crime is up, the number of murders is up and drug abuse is up.

I implore the mayor to seek out local and state officials instead of complaining and undermining others. It’s time to focus on the safety within the city and work on real solutions to homelessness and undocumented immigration.

Representative Bob Brooks
54th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rick Leiner
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