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Mayor of Pittsburgh holds town hall with students

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Mayor Bill Peduto is the first guest speaker in the leadership series hosted by the education department.

Mayor Bill Peduto is the first guest speaker in the leadership series hosted by the education department.

Photo by Nikole Kost

Photo by Nikole Kost

Mayor Bill Peduto is the first guest speaker in the leadership series hosted by the education department.

Written By Nikole Kost, Photo Editor

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The Department of Education hosted Mayor Bill Peduto as a guest speaker on Oct. 3 in Lawrence Hall’s Ballroom.

“We would like our students who are studying leadership to have the ability to talk to him in a setting where they can ask him questions about how he’s proceeding,” Dr. Eric Stennett, Director of the Ed.D in Leadership and Administration program, said.

The series of guest speakers centers around leadership and is meant to have students learn from other leader’s experiences.

Peduto is the first of the program’s series of guest speakers.

“We feel like he exhibits leadership characteristics and qualities that are indicative of outstanding leaders,” Stennett said. “We feel like the things he’s doing in the city right now are progressive, especially his work with resilience and he’s actually gaining national attention with some of his ideas.”

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement stating: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

On June 1, 2017, Peduto tweeted, “As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future.”

Peduto was recognized across the nation for his decision.

“My job is to give people a direction and push them further than what they feel comfortable with,” Peduto said.

Major topics discussed were the history of Pittsburgh, ending hunger and homelessness, poverty, economics, diversity issues and dealing with direct conflict.

“It has been 23 years of working in city government, nearly 30 years of working in politics and government in Western Pennsylvania, sleeping on couches to run political campaigns, living in places like Farrell, PA and outside of Erie and Millcreek and Somerset and Dubois and working very very hard for the opportunity to get here,” Peduto said. “To have this job and to have ideas and then wanting to be around after the job is done and never having to say, ‘I wish I would have.’”

Point Park’s President Paul Hennigan has known Peduto for 23 years.

“I was the Chief Financial Officer for Mayor Tom Murphy for the first six years of Tom Murphy’s administration,” Hennigan said. “Bill was a staff person to Councilman Dan Cohen…, he has an incredible vision for the city and he’s really good about talking about his vision.”

Peduto was elected as the mayor of Pittsburgh on Nov. 5, 2013 and began his four year term in Jan. 2014. He is the 60th mayor of Pittsburgh.

“I would rather be voted out of office than to compromise on the things I really believe in,” Peduto said.

The event ended with a standing ovation.

Future speakers in the series will include sports leaders, CEOs, nonprofit and education leaders.

“I just can’t let the cat out of the bag quite yet,” Stennett said.

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