Excerpts from the District 7 monthly newsletter

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Here are upcoming events excerpted from the District 7 monthly e-newsletter.

Parking Permit Meeting in Lower Lawrenceville

On September 4th, there will be an informational meeting regarding the Residential Parking Permit Program for a section of Lower Lawrenceville.  The affected area can be found here.  This is the first step in the lengthy resident-driven process.  It will not be determining the final outcome, but is designed to provide information to residents regarding the program.

Voice Your Opinion on the Capital Budget!

The City of Pittsburgh announced two public hearings designed to give residents the opportunity to voice their opinion about the 2015 Capital Budget.   The first hearing will occur at 6:00 pm on September 19th at the Ammon Recreation Center, 2217 Bedford Avenue.  The second hearing is scheduled for 6:00 pm on October 29th at the Morningside Senior Center, 6944 President Way.  City assets such as bridges, roads, parks, and buildings are built and renovated through funding provided by the Capital Budget.  It also supports long-lasting programs to strengthen neighborhoods and improve resident quality of life.  If you would like to give testimony at either of the meetings you can register ahead of time with Jennifer Sample Presutti at 412-255-2640 and jennifersample@pittsburghpa.gov, but registration at the meetings is also acceptable.

News from the Neighborhoods

Pittsburgh Park(ing) Day

Spend a day this fall reimagining urban space in the City of Pittsburgh!  The 7th Annual Pittsburgh Park(ing) Day is happening on September 19th.  Each year individuals, community groups, organizations, and businesses set up displays in designated parking spots to showcase the power of “green” in otherwise “gray” areas.  The goal is to showcase the possibilities for reducing pollution and highlight how land development is impacted by automobile use. Read about last year’s event here. A map of locations will be coming soon and can be accessed here.

LIVE! in Lawrenceville

The annual benefit for Lawrenceville United, Live! In Lawrenceville, is just around the corner!  Enjoy live music, an auction, interactive games, dancing, and food from Butcher on Butler, Dive Bar & Grill, Hambones, and other Lawrenceville businesses.  The event on September 20th is your chance to celebrate and learn about the programs offered by Lawrenceville United.  Purchase your ticket today!

Ground Breaking at Three Crossings Coming Soon

One of the major redevelopment efforts slotted for the Strip District should begin in September.  Three Crossings is designed to include a 299-unit apartment building with 250,000 square feet of office space next to a multimodal garage with 700 parking spaces.  The project is envisioned as helping connect downtown to Lawrenceville.  Read more about it here.

ReLeaf Lawrenceville!

Join Tree Pittsburgh to learn about Pittsburgh’s first neighborhood level urban forest master plan.  On September 17th at St. Augustine’s, 225 37th Street, between 6:30 and 8:00pm the organization will be unveiling the plan and discussing next steps.  Enjoy light refreshments and participate in the effort to re-leafing Lawrenceville!

Polish Hill Market is Back in Business!

Alfred’s Deli & Market equipped with new sign, fresh paint, and polished hardwood floors has re-opened in Polish Hill on Brereton Street.  The redesigned market will carry the basics (milk, butter, eggs, etc.), but also be full of local produce, organic and gluten-free items, Polish favorites, and household items.  The store hopes to continue to carry on the tradition of being a small, local grocery store built to serve the neighborhood and be part of the community.   Read more about it here. 

Did you Know?

Besides holding public hearings regarding the capital budget as mentioned above, the City of Pittsburgh also holds public hearings concerning Community Development Block Grant allotment.  These meetings offer citizens the opportunity to express thoughts and voice opinions to help guide local spending and the implementation of projects.  These meetings are part of the Citizen Participation Plan used by the Department of City Planning to ensure citizens are offered the opportunity to participate in the process.  The CPP can be found here.

Upcoming Festivals and Special Events

Pro Bike Pro Bike Pro Place Conference September 8th-11th

Morningside Mile September 13th

Thrival: Innovation and Music Festival September 13th-14th

Pittsburgh Park(ing) Day September 19th

LIVE! in Lawrenceville September 20th

Friendship House Tour September 28th

Find a complete list of upcoming events on the District 7 calendar.

Follow District 7 Council office on twitter and facebook for the latest news and information.

District 7 Newsletter – January 2014

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Newly-elected District 7 Councilwoman Deb Gross officially takes office

It’s official! District 7 finally has a new City Council representative – Councilwoman Deb Gross. Councilwoman Gross was elected by District 7 voters to fulfill the rest of former-Councilman Patrick Dowd’s term, which will run through 2015. Deb has a long history of community involvement, specifically with regards to her work with local non-profits and the arts.  For Deb’s full biography, take a look at her bio page on the new District 7 website.

We are also proud to announce the new installment of the D7 team, which consists of two familiar faces in newly expanded roles. Take a look at our meet the team page, and be sure to stay in touch!

Deb Gross hits ground running, gives D7 residents a voice in future of Strip District Produce Terminal building

The Produce Terminal is one of the Strip District’s architectural and historic keystones, and is at the center of one of the most integral sites to be developed under the comprehensive Allegheny River Green Boulevard plan. The Green Boulevard plan, perhaps the most comprehensive plan for development in Pittsburgh, will set the tone for Pittsburgh’s future, with its most dramatic impact occurring in District 7.

Since being elected to serve the residents of District 7, Deb has been a vocal advocate for a delay in the sale of the Produce Terminal building, and has been outspoken in her stance that any proposed alterations of the building should occur under the careful oversight of City Council. Stay tuned to the District 7 Facebook and Twitter pages for real-time updates on the fate of the Produce Terminal and how Councilwoman Gross is leading the charge to ensure that this essential piece of the Strip’s past is best utilized in comprehensive developments that will shape the neighborhood’s future.

Do you have a great idea for Deb and the new D7 office? Let us know!

With a new City Council representative and an updated staff, the District 7 office is excited to hear your suggestions about what changes or initiatives you’d like to see in your neighborhood. Hitting the ground running to serve D7 neighbors is Deb’s highest priority during the transition.

Please use the feedback form on the District 7 webpage to let us know what you’d like to see our office do to help your neighborhood. From bike infrastructure to zoning issues to economic development and public safety, Councilwoman Gross is excited to hear what you think!


Polish Hill Community Meeting January 7
There will be a public presentation regarding a proposed residential development in Polish Hill at the January meeting of the Polish Hill Civic Association, which will be held on Tuesday, January 7th in the basement of the West Penn Recreation Center at 6:30 pm.

Highland Park Community Council
Listen to District 7 Councilwoman Deb Gross talk with Highland Park neighbors at the January meeting of the Highland Park Community Council, which will be held on Thursday,  January 16th at  the Union Project at 801 N. Negley Avenue, beginning at 7 pm. Deb will discuss her progress representing District 7 since her swearing-in in early December, as well as talk with Highland Park residents and stakeholders about their ideas and requests for the district.

Learn about the Affordable Care Act at the Lawrenceville Carnegie Library
Would you like to learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how it will affect you? Join your neighbors at the Lawrenceville branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for an ACA information session and enrollment assistance seminar on Saturday, January 18 at 10 am. At the information session, you will be able to learn more about how health insurance works and what programs you and your family may be eligible for.


Did you know that Pittsburgh City Council elects the City Council President immediately following the swearing-in of newly elected and re-elected members? This year’s vote for Council President will occur on January 6th, immediately following the swearing-in ceremony for the new Council.

District 7 Newsletter – November 2013

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Election Day in District 7 — Today!

This year’s Election Day will include the opportunity for District 7 residents to vote for a representative to fill the currently vacant City Council District 7 seat. For information about Election Day, residents are encouraged to take a look at the Allegheny County Elections Division’s webpage, where information about registration, absentee ballots, and clarification regarding voter identification is available.

Need to find your polling place? Visit the Pennsylvania Voter Services website, where registered voters can enter address information to find their designated polling location.

Fall cleanup: how to dispose of leaves and other yard debris

While watching the leaves change is one of our favorite things about the fall months, cleaning up and properly disposing of leaves is an important basic quality of life issues in our neighborhoods during the fall season.

To better serve District 7 constituents, we’ve put together this blurb about special DPW fall yard debris pickup dates, yard debris drop-off center locations and requirements.

Follow this link to access the leaf and yard debris disposal article hosted on the District 7 website. 

Allegheny CleanWays to clear illegal dump site at Butler St. border of Stanton Heights, Morningside

The Office of City Council District 7 is excited to announce that Allegheny CleanWays’ Dumpbusters will be clearing one of the illegal dump sites in the Allegheny River Greenway* which we reported to them this summer.

Dumpbusters’ experienced volunteers are preparing the site for clean-up now and are looking for additional neighborhood volunteers to join them in a major effort on Saturday, November 9th.  This is a steep site, so volunteers should be sure-footed, adventurous and at least 16 years of age (those under 18 must bring the attached waiver signed by a parent.)

The clean up will be held on Saturday, November 9th from 9:30am to 1:00pm.  This includes a training at the start and pizza at the end.

For more information and to register with Allegheny CleanWays, visit this link.

For questions, contact Leah Thill at 412-381-1301 or email leah.thill@alleghenycleanways.org.

*The Allegheny River Greenway is the preserved green space on the edge of Stanton Heights and Morningside near Butler Street.


Community Events

The 9th annual Lawrenceville Artist’s Studio Tour will be held on Saturday, November 2nd from 10 AM until 6 PM. This year’s self-guided tour is the largest ever, and includes 17 studios and 42 artists. For a list of studios and a tour map, take a look at the Lawrenceville Artist’s Studio Tour 2013 Facebook page, or call 412-683-6488.

The Zone 5 Public Safety Council will hold its November meeting on Tuesday, November 12th at 7 PM at the Union Project at 801 N. Negley Avenue. A special guest speaker from the of City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Safety  will be on hand to talk about a plan to increase the number of cameras used to improve public safety in Zone 5.

On the evening of Thursday November 21st State Senator Jim Ferlo, Highmark officials, and West Penn Hospital staff will host a Town Hall Meeting at the Teamsters Temple (4701 Butler Street) from 6-8 PM. During the meeting, Highmark and West Penn officials will report on their progress in promoting health and sustaining vital medical services to insure the success of West Penn Hospital. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Did you know?

Because the November 5th election to fill the vacant District 7 City Council seat is a special election, its winner could be sworn in once the election results are officially certified by the Allegheny County Elections Division. This process generally takes about two weeks after Election Day results are collected.

Forum for District 7 Pittsburgh City Council Candidates on Thursday October 17

This week, the Highland Park Community Council (HPCC) will provide voters with the opportunity to hear from the candidates seeking to fill the District 7 Pittsburgh City Council seat recently vacated by Patrick Dowd.  The HPCC and the League of Women Voters are holding a District 7 Candidates’ Forum on Thursday, October 17, 2013 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Union Project (801 Negley Avenue, Highland Park).  All five candidates on the ballot in the November special election will be participating in the event:

Tony Ceoffe of Lawrenceville

Tom Fallon of Morningside

Deb Gross of Highland Park

David Powell of Morningside

James Wudarczyk of Bloomfield

Carol Emerson, past president of the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh, will serve as the moderator.  HPCC and the League of Women Voters have solicited questions from members of the public prior to the event via social media. Attendees at the event will also be able to submit questions for consideration. Emerson will pose questions to all of the candidates, who will each be given an opportunity to respond. Candidates will also be allowed to offer rebuttals to responses from their opponents.

The event is free and open to the public.

Excerpts from the District 7 Newsletter – October 2013


Happy Halloween from the District 7 office

Get ready for another spooky Halloween season in Pittsburgh! The official trick-or-treat hours in the City of Pittsburgh will be held on Thursday, October 31st from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  Check out the Department of Public Safety on the City’s official Halloween information page .

Planning Commission to review Produce Terminal historic designation nomination

On October 15, 2013, the Pittsburgh Planning Commission will hear and review the Historic Review Commission’s briefing on the Produce Terminal’s nomination to be designated an historic structure by the City of Pittsburgh.

There will also be an opportunity during the meeting for public comment. The Planning Commission meeting will begin at 2 PM on the first floor of the Robin Civic Building located at 200 Ross Street in Downtown Pittsburgh. Take a look at the Planning Commission’s website for more information about the Commission and its responsibilities.

City of Pittsburgh fall seasonal yard debris collection day

Clean up your yard and garden this fall by taking advantage of the Department of Public Works’ Environmental Services Division’s fall 2013 yard debris collection day to be held on Saturday, November 9th.

Please note the following guidelines for debris collection:

Bag Leaves for Collection: Residents must bag leaves in paper bags only and place them out at your normal refuse collection site. Bags should NOT exceed 35 pounds.

Leaves in plastic bags will not be accepted. Paper yard debris bags can be purchased at local hardware or department stores.

Tree Branches and Bushes: Cut, bundle and tie branches and bushes in lengths not exceeding 5 ft. in length. Tree branch diameter should not exceed four (4) inches.

Please note that City crews will NOT collect dirt, rocks, stones or cement. Yard debris left at the curb by contracted lawn care workers or independent contractors will not be collected by city crews.

Yard debris not meeting the collection guidelines will not be collected by city crews.

If you have any questions please contact Environmental Services at (412)-255-2631 or (412)-255-2773.


Council to Go

Join District 7 staff for Council to Go, City Council District 7’s mobile district office, where residents are encouraged to voice their concerns, ideas, and questions related to city government and services.

Polish Hill – Wednesday, October 9th, 7pm-8pm, Polish Hill Civic Association, 3060 Brereton Street

Community Events

There will be a public meeting regarding the liquor license application of a proposed business, Beer on Butler, to be located at 4811 Butler Street in Lawrenceville. The owners of the proposed business will be on hand to speak with the community about any questions or concerns related to the business or its liquor license application on Thursday, October 10th at the Boys and Girls Club (4600 Butler Street) at 6:00 PM.

It’s almost time for the Polish Hill Civic Associations’ fall yard sale, which will be held on Saturday, October 12th from 10:30 AM to 6 PM.

Yard sale donations will be accepted from Monday, October 7th through Friday, October 11th. The PHCA is looking for useful things, odd things, and old things; household items, tools, books, records, toys, art and craft materials, and more. Appliances must work, and furniture must be in good shape. The PHCA cannot accept clothing, shoes, or upholstered furniture.

[PHCA note:  It’s a bake sale too, so we’re also seeking donations of cookies and other tasty items]

For more information, call the PHCA at 412-681-1950, or email phca@phca.org.

Did you know?

The voter registration deadline to vote in the upcoming municipal election (which includes the race to fill the current City Council District 7 vacancy) is Monday, October 7th.

Individuals needing to register to vote may apply in person Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM at the Office of the Registration Commission in Room 609 of the County Office Building located at 542 Forbes Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. The Elections Division will remain open until 5:00 PM on October 7th to accept hand-delivered voter registration forms. For more information  about registering to vote, take a look at the Allegheny County Elections Division’s website.


From the District 7 newsletter for September


City Council returns from summer recess, begins regular meeting schedule

It’s been a relaxing summer break, but Pittsburgh City Council will end its summer recess and resume its regular meeting schedule with back-to-back regular and standing committee meetings on Wednesday, September 4th.  City Council meetings can be watched live on the City Channel or on the Pittsburgh City Clerk’s Legislative Information Center. Subsequent regular meetings of Council will be held on Tuesdays at 10 AM, with standing committee meetings held on Wednesdays at 10 AM.


Council to Go

Join District 7 staff for Council to Go, City Council District 7’s mobile constituent services office, where residents are encouraged to voice their concerns, ideas, and questions related to city government and services.

Bloomfield/Lawrenceville – Thursday, September 5th, 6pm-7pm, Caffe Mona, 4200 Penn Ave
Polish Hill – Wednesday, October 9th, 7pm-8pm, Polish Hill Civic Association, 3060 Brereton Street

Community Events

Talk with neighbors, concerned residents, and Zone 5 public safety officials at the September meeting of the Zone 5 Public Safety Council, to be held on Tuesday, September 10th at 7 PM at the Union Project located at 801 N. Negley Avenue. Public Safety Council meetings are a great opportunity to stay informed on public safety issues in your neighborhood and to talk with the public safety professionals that keep our communities safe.

Lawrenceville United is bringing back their annual fundraiser with a newly revised and revamped event called LIVE! in Lawrenceville. LIVE! in Lawrenceville is the recurring annual fundraiser for Lawrenceville United. Tickets are $25.00 in advance ($30.00 at the door), 2 for $40.00 ($50.00 at the door), and $15.00 for LU’s Senior AdvantAGE members.  Please call LU for tickets by calling (412)-802-7220, or purchase online at www.lunited.org. LIVE! in Lawrenceville will take place on Saturday, September 14th from 7 PM – 11 PM at the Teamsters Temple (4701 Butler Street).

Did you know?

Twice a year, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police sponsors an opportunity for members of the community to become closely acquainted with the roles and responsibilities of the Police Bureau. This program, called the Citizens Police Academy (CPA), brings the police and the community closer together in a setting that offers a sample of police training to each participant. Participants receive three hours of training one evening each week for 15 weeks in many of the varied functions of law enforcement, including the basics of criminal law, search and seizure, patrol tactics, the processing of crime scenes, and the operations of many of the Pittsburgh Police’s specialized enforcement units.

The next session of the CPA will begin on Tuesday, September 3, 2013, at the South Hills Retirement Residence (old South Hills High School), at 125 Ruth Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15211.  The program will be held each Tuesday evening, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for 15 weeks. Click here for a link to the CPA application.

Read the full District 7 September newsletter here.

Selections from the District 7 Newsletter – August 2013

News and Updates

D7 Team to continue Council to Go
The District 7 team is happy to announce that the office will continue hosting Council to Go meetings throughout District 7 to hear the concerns of residents and answer questions relating to city government. Council to Go meetings have proven to be one of the most useful tools in helping to serve the needs of the communities that our office serves, and we are excited to continue hosting the monthly meetings until a new representative is sworn in to fill the District 7 City Council seat. For more information about Council to Go, including dates and locations of upcoming Council to Go meetings in your neighborhood, take a look at the Council to Go page of the District 7 website.

Are you or is someone you know in need of connecting with community, health, or disaster services? The United Way’s 211-line is a free resource and information hub that connects people in need with vital services and support through a free 24/7 confidential phone service and website. 211 provides access to housing, utility issues, food, and more. To learn more about 211, visit the 211 website or contact the United Way.

City Council District 7 special election timeline, documents on D7 website
With the special election to fill Patrick’s seat as the District 7 City Council representative in full swing, our office is committed informing District 7 residents about the special election process. Our team has posted an easily accessible election timeline on our website. Take a look at the documents by following this link.

Upcoming Events and Meetings

Council to Go
Join District 7 staff for Council to Go, City Council District 7’s mobile district office, where residents are encouraged to voice their concerns, ideas, and questions related to city government and services.

Union Project – Thursday, August 1st, 7pm-8pm, 801 N. Negley Avenue
Bloomfield/Lawrenceville – Thursday, September 5th, 6pm-7pm, Caffe Mona, 4200 Penn Ave
Polish Hill – Wednesday, October 9th, 7pm-8pm, Polish Hill Civic Association, 3060 Brereton Street

Did you know?

Did you know that 11% of properties in District 7 are vacant? There are 20,257 total parcels in D7, and 2,248 of them are vacant according to PGHSNAP, a mapping tool created by City Planning.

To see the newsletter, click here.

A letter from District 7 Councilman Patrick Dowd

Dear Neighbors,

A few weeks ago, I announced that I would be leaving Pittsburgh City Council to lead Allies for Children, a start-up nonprofit dedicated to working with partners to build a bold and powerful voice for the children and youth of our region.

This has been a difficult decision to make, because leaving means that I won’t be able to work as closely with all of you. We have worked hard to improve our neighborhoods and our City, stood up for what we believe in, and shared our collective hopes and dreams for our future. I will always value the work that we have done together.

On July 10th, I will submit my letter of resignation to the President of City Council, thereby triggering a series of steps that will lead to a special election to coincide with the general election to be held on November 5th, 2013. A special election held on that date will not cost any additional public money, and will give residents the best opportunity to decide who they would like to represent them for the remainder of the current term.

Luckily, on July 10th, we have a Council-to-Go meeting scheduled in Polish Hill. As my letter to the Council President will indicate, I will resign effective the end of that meeting, a fitting close to my tenure on council. If you can make it, please join us.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you in elected office for nearly ten years. I am proud of all we accomplished together. While I am leaving elected office, I am glad to know that we will still have the opportunity to work together in my new capacity of serving the children and youth of our region.

I can be reached via email at dowdps@gmail.com or by phone at 412-680-8007.

Stay tuned, and please keep in touch.



NOTE:  The Polish Hill Council to Go session will be on Wednesday, July 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the PHCA office, 3060 Brereton Street.

A community meeting this evening, Council to Go on Wednesday

This evening, Tuesday January 8 at 6:30 p.m. is Polish Hill’s monthly community meeting.  Items on the agenda include a visit from Zone 2 traffic officers and updates on what the PHCA will be doing in upcoming months.  The meeting will take place on the lower level of the West Penn Recreation Center, 450 30th Street.  Use the door on the side of the building, facing the driveway.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 9 from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. is Council to Go, with District 7 Councilman Patrick Dowd.  Council to Go takes place every other month and is hosted by the PHCA at our office at 3060 Brereton Street.  All residents are invited to stop by to find out what’s going on in City Council or to relay concerns to our councilman.

And on Thursday, there’s the public meeting in regards to the proposed social club — see the previous blog post for more details.

That’s a lot of public meetings in one week!  But the weather’s easing up — so we hope to see you at one or more of these.  For more information, call the PHCA at 412.681.1950, or email us at phca@phcapgh.org.