State Senator Jay Costa is the Democratic Leader Representing the 43rd District in Pennsylvania. It is the district that includes downtown Pittsburgh. He is a superb community leader for everything that Pittsburgh needs…he even held a telephone community meeting tonight (Here is the link to monitor for future meetings! It was while I was at work unfortunately so I couldn’t attend…I miss SO much due to my work schedule!).
He recently posted an extremely true and great article on his Twitter account:
and I responded:
I was able to have a conversation with a rep from his office about my concerns about downtown Pittsburgh. It was a frank conversation about the fact that…as many downtown Pittsburgh resident friends of mine have said…downtown retail is BROKEN. Downtown has one of the highest amounts of residents of any nearby neighborhood (12,604 according to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership for the area encompassing the Golden Triangle and parts of the North Side, uptown and the Strip District) but has trouble supporting a modern way for residents to get necessities like groceries. A friend of mine that is trying to put a traditional grocery store in the Golden Triangle recently got told by a downtown Pittsburgh civic organization to not even try.
We have chosen to move to a larger apartment in Uptown so we could be closer to our car. It’s the only way we will be able to get what we need to support our (hopefully) growing family. We tried to live in Pittsburgh without a car…but once you decide to have a child it’s impossible.
I appreciate Senator Costa taking the time to document my concerns and hopefully he will use them to continue to improve the state of residential infrastructure in downtown. I hope you will support him in all his efforts moving forward.
PS. I have been learning a lot over the last few months about the politics that control downtown. I – along with a lot of people that pay attention – have the opinion that downtown politics are a fractured, disorganized mess that hasn’t caught up with the current positive climate of growth. It’s also a shame that the city’s fortunes have changed so dramatically over such a short period of time…from virtual bankruptcy to a sought after hub of the modern urbanism movement. That drastic change has the city reaping the benefits of an updated and growing tax base…without putting much real thought into varying the retail side of the tax windfall.