Update: On September
4, 2014 a letter was delivered to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, the
University of Pittsburgh's new head, requesting a meeting. Chancellor
Gallagher did not respond. (See link 67)
On September 22, 2014 a second letter was delivered
to Chancellor Gallagher. He did not respond. (See
On October 10, 2014 at a community event, the
chancellor was asked why he had not responded to the aforementioned
two letters. He replied that he never received the letters. On October
14, 2014 copies of the same two letters were delivered to his office.
At that time the secretary said the original letters were given to
Chief of Staff Reynolds Clark, who failed to forward them to the
Chancellor Gallagher responded in a letter
dated October 15, and a meeting was held on October 28 with Chief
of Staff Reynolds Clark, Vice Chancellor Paul Supowitz, and Assistant
Vice Chancellor John Wilds.
On December 2, 2014 a letter was delivered
to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. (See
On June 16, 2015 oral and written testimonies were given
to the City Planning Commission. (See Link 71)
On June 30, 2015 a letter was delivered to
Chancellor Patrick Gallagher pertaining to the student housing project
at 3407 Forbes Avenue. (Link 72)
On July 7, 2015 public comments were spoken
at the Pittsburgh City Council meeting. (Link 73)
On August 3, 2015 public
comments were spoken at the Pittsburgh City Council meeting.
To obtain an expeditious insight into the issues
that have impacted the community of Oakland by the University of
Pittsburgh's presence, please peruse the first four links and the
last seven links of this website.
Founder, SOUL (South Oakland Urban Litter)
Pittsburgh City Council
August 3, 2015
Oakland's three councilmen wrote letters of support for a Texas development company seeking a variance to construct a building at 3407 Forbes Avenue. The fundamental purpose of this project is to provide student housing for the University of Pittsburgh. One month ago I wrote a letter to each councilman seeking explanations of their support. There has been no response. The executive director of the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation did not respond to similar requests.
I opposed the variance at the Zoning Board of Adjustment for many reasons, but primarily because of its potentially devastating impact on the residential community and small businesses in Oakland. Unfortunately, the variance was granted.
A new paradigm has emerged with a lawsuit filed to appeal the ruling. This legal action could potentially be the prelude to a class action lawsuit to protect the heritage of Oakland's residential community and stop the university's ongoing expansion.
We all know the value a university brings to a city, but there must be a balance between the needs of the university and the needs of its host community. This council and others have placed the glory and economic benefits the university brings to this city far above the dignity of residents who are severely impacted by the university's uncontrolled growth.
Our grassroots movement began eight years ago. During that time this council has never taken an action to protect the community from the university's expansion. Years ago I asked a councilman, "Why doesn't the University of Pittsburgh do more for the community of Oakland?" His said, "You cannot force people to care." That is precisely why a community looks to the moral integrity of its elected leaders. Their job is to enact laws and protect the community from those who do not care enough.
At a recent community meeting, a longtime resident stated, "Oakland's being destroyed by too many students." This kind of sentiment, felt by Oakland residents, has been ignored by this council and others for far too long.
Changes are coming. Where will the next paradigm shift emerge? From this council enacting laws placing a moratorium on further student expansion in Oakland? From the men and women of the local and national media who will adhere to the ideals and principles of their profession? Or will it come from the leaders of the university itself who will understand that the residents of Oakland have suffered enough from the university's never-ending expansion?
Pitthetic: noun – a university, organization, government
entity, or individual that negatively impacts a community by action
or inaction; adjective – pathetic as a direct result of
a university, organization, government entity, or individual's negative