Today, it's Marita Garrett, mayor of Wilkinsburg.
What is your day-to-day routine like now?
I start my morning off around 8 a.m., but now there is more time for a good breakfast! I adopted my third furbaby, Shai, a few weeks ago, so housetraining a new puppy is keeping my hands full!
I keep a schedule allotting certain times to check emails, check in with borough officials, post on social media, and utilizing this slower pace to catch up on a lot of things, while preparing for when things open. Additionally, rerouting some of Civically’s programs to effectively serve the community’s needs during these times.
Staying on top of COVID-19 and state updates can be a lot, so I balance it with many walks, naps, and watching reruns of Cold Case.
What is your contact with your constituents like these days?
It is all online — that is the only way right now. I post frequently on my mayoral [Facebook] page to keep our community members updated. I did a live chat with our public library last week to provide answers and updates on the outbreak’s impact on Wilkinsburg. There will be more videos/chats coming.
What is your favorite food to eat at the moment?
Ah, it changes daily, but I would say egg/turkey bacon breakfast sandwiches right now. I am getting used to cooking a full breakfast in the morning. Oh, my mom’s potato soup chowder.
What piece of art/film/comic/book/TV/music is bringing you comfort/inspiration at this time?
Seeing artists showcase their talents on social media live platforms. It’s a great way to be alone together while enjoying the arts! Like many, I got sucked into Tiger King and Ozark, but now I look forward to watching FX’s Mrs. America series.
What’s an object in your house that has particular significance to you these days?
My family photo albums. It is something I always cherish, yet this stillness has made me appreciate them and the memories made even more.
What’s something people can do to support the citizens and business of Wilkinsburg at this time?
Volunteer with local organizations that are providing direct services to residents, support businesses that are closed by ordering online and/or purchasing gift cards to use later. We still have many restaurants open for takeout and delivery — please support. We have a long road ahead of us, but we can do it together.
Also, wear a mask when making those essential trips!
What’s an organization you’d recommend giving to or supporting at this time?
Free Store Wilkinsburg. We have reopened with extra safety precautions and shopping days to still support our community members, while practicing social distancing. We have partnered with local mask makers to distribute free, reusable masks. Also, we are moving forward with our free food distribution on Fri., April 24 from 2-4 p.m. Groceries will be boxed up for pickup and curbside delivery.
Volunteers and donations are greatly appreciated!