So what are you doing on Tuesday night?

There’s a meeting on the Second Tuesday of each month—7:30 P.M. —in the social hall of Calvary Church, corner of Allegheny and Beech Avenues. Your neighbors show up, and they decide the fate of your community. Really.

If there’s something that you like about Allegheny West, or that attracted you to be here in the first place, chances are highly likely that these people and their predecessors have literally called it into being. Really.

And if there’s something that you hate here, or that drives you right up the wall, chances are highly likely that these people and their predecessors have been working their butts off to do something about it. Really.

None of these folks is collecting a paycheck for any of this. Many of them put in dozens of hours a week—week after week, and year after year. Lots of them have been doing this for ten, twenty, thirty, forty years. Really. For more than half a century, your Allegheny West neighbors have been gathering to assure that our community is a place that we are all glad to call home — whether for ourselves, our family, or our business.

The community in which you reside or work wasn’t always a place that you — or those around you — would have chosen. Many hundreds of hard-working individuals across all these years have carefully crafted this neighborhood — very frequently against astonishing odds and obstacles. The results of their hard work have brought you here.

The people of Allegheny West first met to create a community organization on May 24, 1962. As the Allegheny West Civic Council celebrates its 55th birthday this year, my monthly messages in The Gazette will provide an overview of what we’ve done across all that time. As nearly all of us are more recent arrivals, it’s a good time to assure that we all have a clear understanding of just how much we’ve accomplished. It also helps — when we’re struggling with an insurmountable task, contemplating a new initiative, or dreading an unavoidable conflict — to collectively recall that this is the process that has produced Allegheny West . . . determination and hard work.

Quite simply, this neighborhood wouldn’t exist without the struggles that the Allegheny West Civic Council and its members have overcome since 1962. It actually wouldn’t physically even be here. All of this land would be an industrial park, a highway interchange and a college campus. Right where you live or work today. Really.

Over the coming months here in The Gazette, you’ll be learning about all of that. I hope that it helps you to appreciate your neighborhood—and your neighbors, past and present—in a new way. And I hope even more that it inspires you to join us in continuing to protect and grow this remarkable legacy. You will be part of an astonishing and proud story, made possible by extraordinary women and men across 55 years. And there’s still lots more work to do. I hope that you will consider actively joining us and participating in this effort. A good place to begin is at the Calvary Church on the second Tuesday of each month, 7:30 pm. Hope to see you there!

John DeSantis
President, AWCC