Hopefully people won’t start hiding from me again. Aside from the fact that we’re still looking for houses for the Christmas Tour (and I swear someone did actually run from me once…you know who you are!), I have another petition for folks to sign. Martha is heading up a grant application through the Buhl Foundation/Sprout Fund One Northside Community grants. At the July Membership meeting we voted to work with an urban planner to build out a plan that we can use to apply from additional funds from lots of different sources. This is different from a 5 year plan or some other medium or long term vision. We want to identify shorter term projects (a year or two) that would significantly improve things in the neighborhood. And then we’re going to figure out how much it actually costs (that’s what makes it different from the usual 5 year plans) In order to make sure it is your life that is significantly improved we need folks to show up at a planning meeting or two (oh yeah, petition, you have to sign the petition so we can get the initial funding). Emailing Martha or cornering me at the Labor Day picnic (after I corner you with the petition) with your great idea isn’t going to cut it for this since we’re going to also need to establish priorities which we have to do in groups. (Because if you let me pick the priorities you’ll probably end up with gas street lights and duck ponds all over the neighborhood – and there will be no parking anywhere because I don’t drive…) So please come to the initial planning meeting, which will be run by someone really good at running these types of things. so I promise it will be productive (and apparently really big maps are involved). If you can’t make this meeting, depending on what some of the initial pain points are we’ll have some more opportunities to get feedback. We’d especially like to make sure that we get input from neighbors such as business owners and employees or renters and landlords who typically haven’t been as active in the membership meetings. I would be interested in suggestions from folks on how to reach out to those people – please invite them personally if you see them. Come for the pizza stay for the neighborhood improvements. And PLEASE contact Trish or Gloria (tours@alleghenywest.org) if you’re interested in having your house on the tour.

And congratulations to Babb Inc. who was named one of Pittsburgh’s Coolest Offices by the Pittsburgh Business Times. Michael and I got to hang out in their really neat garage space and have pizza with them after their service day on July 15. (See the Above and Beyond article for more information.).

See you all Monday at the Labor Day Picnic,

Catherine Serventi
President, AWCC