Bill Peduto Slated to be Next Mayor Pittsburgh

By Kollengode S Venkataraman

With a 4:1 voter advantage for Democrats, Bill Peduto, the Democratic mayoral candidate and a member of Pittsburgh City Council, is expected to win easily in November. Peduto won easily in the Democratic primary in Spring 2013 defeating his main rival Council President Jack Wagner in a 4-way primary. The last time Pittsburgh had a GOP mayor was in the 1930s!

Peduto has name recognition, political savvy and gravitas, a good grasp of the region’s politics and economic challenges, and a stronger war chest than his GOP rival.

Peduto in Group

Bill Peduto with volunteers in the India Day function in August 2013 at the Cathedral of Learning.

Bill Peduto is familiar to Indian-Americans interested in public life at the city and county levels. Several times we have covered in the past his a presence at the podium in the annual India Day melas at the Cathedral of Learning. He knows the Indian-American Diaspora here only too well. In the photo above, Peduto is with volunteers in the India Day in August 2013.

Peduto’s has been a progressive and also fiscally responsible voice in Pittsburgh City Council. He understands Pittsburgh’s many challenges—city finances, urban revitalization, and retaining existing businesses and bringing new businesses into the city. Another challenge is making Pittsburgh attractive for our young men and women raised here, and for young professionals from outside to move here.

One also hopes the future Peduto administration will make it easy for suburbanites to come to the city during weekends and evenings to enliven the city’s night life beyond the South Side. One of the biggest annoyances for suburbanites—the region’s population is over 2 million while the city’s is only 300,000—is the exorbitant city parking fees during evenings and on Saturdays. More people coming into the city will revitalize the city’s ambiance during weekends and evenings and expand the city’s retail and hospitality businesses, and help to bring in more tax revenue.

Peduto is endorsed by the region’s political heavyweights—County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Democratic elected officials and unions. Their goodwill is critical to set the tone of his administration. The influential nonpartisan Common Cause too gave Peduto “The Champion of Good Government” award in 2012.  We wish Bill Peduto well.   ♦

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