Ed Gainey elected as new mayor of Pittsburgh

Written By Caitlyn Scott , Co-News Editor

Former State Representative Ed Gainey was sworn in virtually as the City of Pittsburgh’s 61st mayor on Jan. 3, 2022.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Kim Berkeley Clark led the oath of office Monday afternoon, making Gainey the city’s first Black mayor. The ceremony was significant for Clark, as she is the first African American to hold her current office.

“I am so thrilled. I am so overwhelmed by the magnitude of what is happening here in the City of Pittsburgh today; the hope that it is bringing for many people who look like me. I am thrilled and I am very proud, and honored to be a part of this day,” Clark said according to NextPittsburgh.

Gainey started off his speech by firstly thanking Pittsburgh residents who supported him since the beginning of his campaign announcement.

“I understand that your trust and your confidence is not permanent, but something that must be earned and protected every single day,” Gainey said.

Along with thanking his supporters, Gainey addressed how his administration will strive to create a city ‘for all,’ adding that his administration will be “progressive, principled, and always on the side of the people” when it comes to making decisions to benefit those who reside within the city of Pittsburgh.

“My promise to you is that we will work to make Pittsburgh [into] the Pittsburgh you voted for — a city where economic opportunity is abundant for everybody, a city where affordability isn’t a luxury, a city that is prepared to lead into the future,” Gainey said.

Gainey, who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, started his career in politics by working in city government. He led multiple locally-focused projects as the city’s community development specialist. With this, he was soon elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2012 and represented the 24th Legislative District.

Back in October of 2021, during his mayoral general election campaign, Gainey said that he made the decision to run for mayor after seeing the widespread surge in social activism in the wake of the death of George Floyd, according to the Tribune Review.

“I was thinking this is the greatest time to build a bridge between yesterday and today, the greatest time to talk about why we need to be diverse, why we need to keep our real estate affordable and why we need to be safe,” Gainey said to the Trib in October of 2021.

Now being Pittsburgh’s mayor, Gainey laid out how he and his administration will move forward with plans of making investments in public transportation, housing, infrastructure and education for the next generations of Pittsburgh residents.

“While Pittsburgh is a leader in many areas including health care, technology and our university system — under my administration, we will work to ensure that Pittsburgh is also a leader in community and police relations, economic inclusion, affordability, transportation access, and that we partner with our schools to create a world-class education system that benefits everyone,” Gainey said.

Although no public in-person ceremony was held during the inauguration due to COVID-19 surges within Alleghany County, Gainey was joined by former mayors Bill Peduto, Luke Ravenstahl, Tom Murphy and other local Pittsburgh officials in-person. Additionally, residents were able to watch all inaugural activities virtually.

After the inauguration, Gainey held a brief press conference explaining his next steps and his excitement of leading Pittsburgh into the future:

“I’m excited, I see the challenge, and I think this comes with anyone who becomes mayor,” he said. “Right now, we are excited to have this opportunity to lead this city.”

Although Gainey is excited to take on the challenges of Pittsburgh, he has yet to announce the official members of his administration, he did confirm Jake Pawlak and State Representative Jake Wheatley to be part of his team. Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich will not serve within Gainey’s administration, while Police Chief Scott Schubert is still currently active.