The vote is precious. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society, and we must use it. – John Robert Lewis

Echoing a national conversation, the Allegheny West Civic Council Executive Committee has been discussing how we can best accomplish a safe and fair election this fall. The AWCC By-Laws calls for an annual meeting of the Council to be held in November. Typically the election of officers and committee chairs takes place at the annual meeting. Because there is a provision in the By-Laws to allow nominations from the floor, which, if occurs, alters the ballot immediately prior to voting, the Executive Committee recommends an in-person vote take place. We are working on securing a location that will allow members to gather and social distance. We will also require everyone who attends to wear a mask.

There are a lot of details to be worked out and we want to be very transparent about the thinking and direction we’re headed. This is uncharted territory for AWCC; your input is welcome and appreciated. If you have suggestions, concerns or questions please contact me at or contact any of the current Board members (email addresses can be found on the AWCC website, We’ll communicate the current status of the November elections at the next AWCC informational Zoom meeting on August 11th and provide updates up until the election.

There is another full agenda for the August 11th Informational Meeting. In addition to an update on the AWCC November Election we’ll have our usual guests—Leah Friedman, Mayor’s Office, Councilman Bobby Wilson, Thomas Graham, Rep. Jake Wheatley Jr,’s Office, Erin Tobin, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy—plus updates on Western Avenue Neighborhood Improvement District (WANID) and Norfolk Southern Merchant Street Bridge Project.

Hope to see you on the 11th. In the meantime, stay safe, wear a mask!

It would be hard to miss all the fuss over the retirement of local celebrity and neighbor, Brian O’Neill, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. For the past 32 years Brian told stories of Pittsburgh, and Allegheny West made an appearance in quite a few of his columns. His observations were clear-eyed and honest, sometimes causing unwelcome introspection, more often a feeling of pride in the city and neighborhood we call home. Whenever Allegheny West or a resident of Allegheny West was referenced in one of Brian’s columns, it made me feel like an insider, “Hey, I know that guy” or “I know that walk to PNC Park”.

Way back at the turn of the century, I was living in Not-Allegheny West, feeling unconnected to my neighborhood. I started looking for a new place to live that would feel more like a community and, ideally, be within walking distance of the Pirates’ new ball yard. I read a Brian O’Neill column that included a description of his little neighborhood and I was hooked. I will be forever thankful to Brian for pointing the way to Allegheny West. As Robert Frost would say, that has made all the difference. I think I speak for all of us in saying to Brian: thanks for casting such a nice light on our neighborhood and all the best in your well-earned retirement. Sláinte.

Ann Giligan
President, AWCC