The summer is here in the City of Pittsburgh. As the weather increases in temperature so do my efforts to improve and protect the streets of Pittsburgh. We will focus on families and on enriching the lives of our youth this summer, in addition to our continued efforts in renovating and restoring the land and buildings throughout our city.
The Pittsburgh Promise™ is off to a successful first year, with over 950 applications received. The scholarships will go towards the academic year 2008-2009. The City of Pittsburgh and UPMC are collaborating in providing approved applicants with aid to be distributed over four years, and it is with great pride that we recognize their accomplishments and send them off to achieve even more!
As the City prepares and supports students to pursue higher education, we are also committed to providing service-learning, work, and career education programs through the Pittsburgh Summer Youth Employment Program (PSYEP). Last year’s program had 197 students from ages fourteen to eighteen participating in city-wide projects. In celebration of Pittsburgh 250 and in light of the success of PSYEP 2007, this year we have expanded the size of the program to hire 250 students. The students will work on the Department of Public Works projects under the management and supervision of the Student Conservation Association (SCA). This year’s program has a stronger emphasis on education, with additional time spent on conservation service-learning projects. Students will balance their work with training from SCA on career exploration, environmental concerns, and stewardship of public lands throughout the summer.
I am committed to improving the opportunities available for all residents of Pittsburgh, young and old. I recognize that enhancing safety on the streets is imperative to successfully cleaning up the city. That is why I have made a commitment to a safer summer in Pittsburgh through increasing the number of cops on the streets during the summer months. The Beat Cop Program deploys three more beat officers in each City police zone bringing the total number of beat officers to approximately five for each for twenty-two weeks. From May 1 through September 30, the police forces of Pittsburgh are increasing number of beat officers, focusing on ensuring safety of business districts and city parks, and targeting high risk areas for closer surveillance.
The warm summer months are also the perfect time to take advantage of all the renovation efforts that have taken place during the year. Bike lanes and trails have been transformed and expanded and we now have 22 miles of riverfront trails for your biking and walking enjoyment! Through Green Up Pittsburgh projects, the city is moving towards a greener footprint, though our efforts to revitalize the environment around Pittsburgh do not stop at landscaping vacant properties. In a huge victory for the city and for you, we have received a $1.35 million dollar grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the construction of recreational docks at the planned South Side ShoreRiverfront Park at South Side Works. We endeavor to strengthen our city’s ties to the water as well as enhance opportunities for the economy to grow through an additional point of entry into South Side Works.
In addition to our newly renovated riverfronts, trails, and parks, it is residents like you that are at the heart of Pittsburgh, making each summer better and better. We are providing the services and opportunities for a safe, fun, and educational summer to you, but it is through your support and engagement that we are successful. I encourage you to take advantage of all of these programs and enjoy the summer to the fullest.
For More Information on Initiatives Discussed in This Newsletter, log on to pghgov.com, or call 412-255-2566.