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Infrastructure

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says Trump’s tax cuts and proposals will increase economic inequality in region

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 4:44 PM

Bill Peduto (center) at March 21 round table discussing tax cuts - CP PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • CP photo by Ryan Deto
  • Bill Peduto (center) at March 21 round table discussing tax cuts
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has never been a fan of President Donald Trump. In June 2017, when Trump announced the U.S. would be leaving the Paris Climate Accords by saying, “I was elected by voters of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Peduto clapped back. “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,” he tweeted in response to Trump’s announcement.

And now, additional Trump-backed plans and announcements have raised Peduto's ire. On March 21, as part of a nationwide tour, the progressive coalition Not One Penny visited Pittsburgh to discuss the effects the recently passed tax-cut bill will have on Pittsburgh. Peduto took issue with that bill, but also with Trump’s budget proposal.

Trump’s proposed budget would make significant cuts to Community Development Block Grant funds (which help low-income neighborhoods build new development projects). Trump also has proposed cuts to funds associated with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation. Peduto said Pittsburgh and small rural towns in Southwestern Pennsylvania are reliant on these funds and that economic inequality could be exacerbated without their continuation.

“Look at the cities and places where disparities are increasing,” said Peduto. “These funds are necessary.”

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Daniel Smith Jr., an openly gay candidate, is running against homophobic Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Daniel Smith Jr. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CANDIDATE
  • Photo courtesy of the candidate
  • Daniel Smith Jr.
Daniel Smith Jr. is a Butler County native and longtime resident, who grew up in Zelienople and now lives in Adams Township with his husband, Don. He has been paying close attention to his state representative, Daryl Metcalfe (R-Cranberry), for years. Smith has grown frustrated as Metcalfe has continually focused on bombastic and divisive issues, such as opposing same-sex marriage and attacking immigrants’ rights. Over the years, Smith felt that with every controversial Metcalfe issue that made headlines, Pennsylvania’s 12th House District suffered from being cast in a negative light.

Then a video was released in December 2017 of Metcalfe freaking out when his colleague, state Rep.Matt Bradford (D-Montgomery), touched him on the elbow during a committee meeting on land use. Metcalfe exclaimed, “I am heterosexual. I love my wife, I don’t like men, as you might. Stop touching me all the time.” The video went viral and was mocked on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night with Stephen Colbert.

“The moment he had at the committee meeting, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” says Smith. “Yes, what [Metcalfe] said pissed me off. But I saw the rest of the representatives in the meeting shake their heads. And I was thinking, ‘How does a district keep voting for this person?’ Then I thought, I needed to do something.”

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