Greetings from Council District 3! I hope everyone had a wonderful summer and has transitioned back to work and school smoothly. With school back in session, I know issues of quality of life and interaction between students and residents are first and foremost in all of our minds. We have been hard at work on issues affecting the Oakland neighborhood’s quality of life and I would like to share them with you.
Most excitingly, I have been working with City Council members, the Mayor’s Office and the Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) to create a responsible nightlife plan for the City of Pittsburgh’s vibrant evening economy. RHI principles have worked wonders for several cities in the US, including most recently in Milwaukee, WI, where the city saw a dramatic decrease in criminal activity in their nightlife zones after implementing best practices from the institute. I am grateful to representatives from Oakland from both resident and student populations who have been participating in this smart and strategic solution to issues with our City’s nightlife.
We have also been successful in passing the front porch furniture ordinance, which has empowered the City’s Bureau of Building Inspection to cite homes and rental properties which have sofas or other interior furniture placed in an exterior location. This ordinance has gone a great way to remove unsightly furniture from many porches in Oakland.
I am also in the early stages of researching the creation of a social host ordinance for Pittsburgh that would have great relevance for Oakland’s student population. This ordinance would place legal liability for accidents or crimes stemming from over-consumption of alcohol at social parties on the hosts of the parties themselves. My hope is that this legislation could help curtail illegal activity at college parties and serve as a reminder to students that they are members of a community that is affected by their activity.
As I continue to share representation of Oakland with District 6 and District 8, I am proud of our efforts to protect lifelong residents as well as students with common sense policy and legislation, and it is my goal to continue to honor the tradition of the hard-working and lifetime residents of this unique part of Pittsburgh through our work.
Please feel free to contact my office at any time with questions or concerns regarding Oakland, District 3 or the City of Pittsburgh.
Bruce A. Kraus