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Bill_Peduto

Bill Peduto

William Peduto, Democrat, was elected to Pittsburgh City Council, District 8, in November, 2001, and to a second four-year term in 2005.

In the spring primary of 2005, Peduto ran for two positions. Besides running for re-election for his council seat, Peduto was a candidate for mayor. He finished second in the Democratic primary behind Bob O'Connor and ahead of Michael Lamb and others.

Before City Council

Prior to holding a seat on city council, Peduto served as chief of staff to former City Councilman Dan Cohen. In 1996 Peduto was Cohen's campaign manager in a challenge to former U.S. Representative Bill Coyne in the Democratic primary. Peduto is reported to have urged Cohen to make an issue of Coyne’s record. The Cohen campaign’s subsequent use of negative advertising backfired and contributed to a landslide defeat.

Peduto operated a political consulting business throughout 25 counties of western Pennsylvania. He served as general consultant, campaign manager, finance director and other roles for over one dozen Democrat candidates and elected officials. At 28, he served as western political director for then acting Governor Mark Singel, Democrat. He has worked on Capitol Hill through a deputy press secretary internship and inside the beltway as a campaign analyst with a political research firm. In addition, Peduto has worked as a busboy, road crew laborer, disc-jockey, Deputy Coroner, ski store clerk, sidewalk painter and spent 10 years delivering the Pittsburgh Press.

Committees

On City Council he chairs the Committee on General Services, Technology and the Arts. The Committee is in charge of all contracts and purchases as well as city owned buildings and land. Peduto also oversees the City Information Systems department, the Cable Bureau and the Art Commission on Council.

Community Activities

In addition to his Council duties he serves on several boards which promote economic development and culture throughout the region. As Council’s representative on the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, Peduto plays a vital role in creating a comprehensive priority plan for the region’s economic infrastructure including transportation and land development. On the SPC he is Vice Chair of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Committee. On the Stadium Authority, he oversees the development of the land between Heinz Field and PNC Park. As a member of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, Peduto works with organizations and individual artists to promote culture as a tool for economic growth and the arts as a critical industry for this region. He also serves as a Board Member of Carnegie Museums and Libraries, Pittsburgh Community Design Center and PCTV-21.

Peduto volunteers his time to several worthy causes including the NCJW/Komen Foundation Race for the Cure, Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force AIDS Walk, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, ZOA Anti-Intolerance Program for Public and Parochial Schools, and the Pittsburgh Celebrity Hockey Team.

He has sponsored several worthwhile programs to encourage a New Emerging Pittsburgh, Youth Agenda, Technology and Tolerance. Included in the projects he has sponsored are the UV Loop, the Sprout Fund, FLUX, Cool Space Locator, the Centre-Baum Initiative, Guyasuta Fellowship Program, Pittsburgh Policy Issues OnLine Forum and the Pittsburgh Pride Festival.

Peduto is a supporter of the Fixing Broken Windows approach to crime reduction, and has argued for harsh punishment for graffiti writers. On June 6, 2007 he claimed the Pittsburgh Organizing Group was responsible for a string of vandalism against chain businesses. POG denied the charge saying "there are real people and real causes being hurt by this type of political grandstanding." .

Pittsburgh's Council District 8

District 8 includes East End neighborhoods of Bloomfield, Friendship, Oakland, Point Breeze, Shadyside and Squirrel Hill.

The district includes major regional institutions including Carlow University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Chatham College, the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museums of Natural History and Art, UPMC, and the Hillman Cancer Center.

Agenda

Peduto wants to help guide Pittsburgh’s new economy while preserving the neighborhoods which make up the district.

In order to balance the necessary economic growth of the region with the quality of life in the neighborhoods, Peduto's strategy calls for "Community-Based" development, which merges community plans with economic development initiatives and gives people a voice at the beginning of the process. He supports a more transparent government that utilizes technology to provide more efficient services for less money. He has advanced policies that provide more resources to improve neighborhood corridors through infrastructure upgrades, instead of grants to individual companies. And he has championed greater funding of public transit to build a countywide light rail system that would connect with a regional commuter rail system.

Politics

Peduto initiated his second campaign for Mayor of Pittsburgh against incumbent Luke Ravenstahl for the special election to see who would fulfill the remainder of Bob O'Connor's mayoral term (Mayor O'Connor died in office and Luke Ravenstahl assumed the Mayorship as Council President). However, Peduto withdrew his candidacy after the Democratic Committee endorsed Luke Ravenstahl and polling data indicated that defeating Ravenstahl would be difficult. The editorial board of the Post-Gazette was angered by his decision to withdraw, accusing Peduto of "Cowardice".

William Peduto calls himself a Reform-Democrat who believes that issues should outweigh special interests. The Democratic Leadership Council put Peduto into the “100 to Watch” New Democrats. Peduto has been profiled by the Pittsburgh Business Times as “One to Watch”, selected by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as “Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest” and chosen by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as one of the region's “50 Cultural Forces”.

Personal life

William Peduto is single and resides in the South Point Breeze section of Pittsburgh.

References

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