[HOME]

  1. Introduction
  2. Open Letter to the Board of Trustees
  3. University's Response to Open Letter
  4. Response to University
  5. YouTube Documentary
  6. Preuniversity Settlers
  7. Oakland Bill of Rights
  8. Declaration of Freedom
  9. Problems
  10. Solutions
  11. Actions
  12. UPMC
  13. PITT
    SempleFest
  14. Jul. '09
  15. Aug. '09
  16. Sept. '09
  17. Oct. '09
  18. Origin of SOUL
  19. WPXI - Group talks trash
  20. National Disgrace
  21. Gratitude
  22. Support Letters
  23. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  24. Pittsburgh City Paper
  25. Media - Broken Trust?
  26. Feb. '10
  27. Jun. '10
  28. Done Deal?
  29. Mayor's Reply
  30. Pitt Fireworks
  31. Pitt Fireworks
  32. Pitt Fireworks
  33. Aug. '10
  34. Sep. '10
  35. Letter to Legislators
  36. Letter to Chancellor
  37. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  38. A Call for Compassion
  39. WPXI Coverage
  40. Human Dignity
  41. Letter to the Editor
  42. SempleFest
  43. Request for Apology
  44. The Shame of a University
  45. Firebombs Must End
  46. Call To Action
  47. Fireworks Press Release
  48. Shadow on the Lawn
  49. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Article
  50. Right-to-Know Law Testimony
  51. University Impact Aid Law
  52. Proposal University Impact Aid Law
  53. Nordenberg Must Resign
  54. Allegheny County Council Testimony
  55. Time for New Leadership Message
  56. Time for New Leadership Testimony
  57. Class-Action Lawsuit?
  58. Nordenberg Must Resign Paid Message
  59. Time for A New Beginning
  60. Letter to the Editor
  61. Letter to the Editor
  62. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  63. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article
  64. A New Paradigm
  65. In Memoriam: Robert "Bob" Casciato
  66. Symbol of Domination
  67. Revised University Impact Aid Proposal
  68. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  69. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  70. Community Objectives
  71. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  72. City Planning Commission Testimonies
  73. Letter to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher
  74. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  75. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  76. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  77. End The Shame
  78. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  79. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  80. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
 
Enough Is Enough! Trashed street photo.

[HOME]

  1. Introduction
  2. Open Letter to the Board of Trustees
  3. University's Response to Open Letter
  4. Response to University
  5. YouTube Documentary
  6. Preuniversity Settlers
  7. Oakland Bill of Rights
  8. Declaration of Freedom
  9. Problems
  10. Solutions
  11. Actions
  12. UPMC
  13. PITT
    SempleFest
  14. Jul. '09
  15. Aug. '09
  16. Sept. '09
  17. Oct. '09
  18. Origin of SOUL
  19. WPXI - Group talks trash
  20. National Disgrace
  21. Gratitude
  22. Support Letters
  23. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  24. Pittsburgh City Paper
  25. Media - Broken Trust?
  26. Feb. '10
  27. Jun. '10
  28. Done Deal?
  29. Mayor's Reply
  30. Pitt Fireworks
  31. Pitt Fireworks
  32. Pitt Fireworks
  33. Aug. '10
  34. Sep. '10
  35. Letter to Legislators
  36. Letter to Chancellor
  37. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  38. A Call for Compassion
  39. WPXI Coverage
  40. Human Dignity
  41. Letter to the Editor
  42. SempleFest
  43. Request for Apology
  44. The Shame of a University
  45. Firebombs Must End
  46. Call To Action
  47. Fireworks Press Release
  48. Shadow on the Lawn
  49. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Article
  50. Right-to-Know Law Testimony
  51. University Impact Aid Law
  52. Proposal University Impact Aid Law
  53. Nordenberg Must Resign
  54. Allegheny County Council Testimony
  55. Time for New Leadership Message
  56. Time for New Leadership Testimony
  57. Class-Action Lawsuit?
  58. Nordenberg Must Resign Paid Message
  59. Time for A New Beginning
  60. Letter to the Editor
  61. Letter to the Editor
  62. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  63. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article
  64. A New Paradigm
  65. In Memoriam: Robert "Bob" Casciato
  66. Symbol of Domination
  67. Revised University Impact Aid Proposal
  68. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  69. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  70. Community Objectives
  71. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  72. City Planning Commission Testimonies
  73. Letter to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher
  74. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  75. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  76. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  77. End The Shame
  78. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  79. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  80. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher

A Done Deal?

Hand delivered
June 7, 2010

The Honorable Luke Ravenstahl
Mayor of Pittsburgh
City County Building, Room 512
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

RE: A Done Deal?

Dear Mayor Ravenstahl,

Is it a done deal that the University of Pittsburgh will receive permission for its dormitory expansion plan on Oakland Avenue in South Oakland?

Pitt purchased the property for this expansion from UPMC for nearly $1.4 million and has already torn down the Children’s Hospital house on the site - before final approvals have been granted.

The first hearings concerning this expansion, which is a part of Pitt’s Master Plan, began with hearings on February 2 and February 16 with the Pittsburgh Planning Commission.

I gave testimony at the February 2 hearing emphasizing the absolute necessity for an honest, comprehensive Impact Statement. No individual knows for certain the negative consequences of this expansion without an in-depth assessment.

Past history, though, has shown Pitt’s expansion has resulted in greater drinking, parking, and litter problems. With the present attitude of Pitt administrators, who say that expansion in South Oakland will never end, there will be an unfortunate continuation of more long-time residents leaving this community.

Following the public testimony at that hearing, there was a discussion by members of the Commission. One member mentioned that he was a resident of North Oakland, and went on to say that residents there had asked Pitt administrators to house more students in South Oakland because of numerous problems caused by students in the North Oakland neighborhood. The Commission unanimously granted Pitt what it wanted. Incredibly, no transcript was made of the February 2 hearing.

The Planning Commission also unanimously voted to grant Pitt its agenda at the February 16 meeting. What is also disconcerting and deplorable is that four months after these hearings, the minutes of both hearings have yet to be approved, and therefore they are not available for anyone to review.

However, that inaction by the Planning Commission did not stop the Pittsburgh City Council from commencing public hearings of this matter (Bills 210 & 211) on May 6. I had asked the offices of two council members to inform me when the hearing would take place but no notification was given to me and, therefore, I was not present. Only four council members attended this hearing and not a single question was asked the Pitt representative concerning what impact this expansion would have on our community. Also, on the morning of May 6, the Chancellor of Pitt met with the Council President. Details of that meeting are not known. In contrast, to the best of my knowledge, the Chancellor has never met with any member of our community to discuss our problems in his nearly 14-year tenure.

The meeting of the Standing Committee on May 12 lasted 57 seconds with no discussion of the impending bills, and the bills received an affirmative recommendation. On May 20, the City Council unanimously gave approval for Pitt to continue with its expansion plans. Did the Council act in the best interest of the community which is its primary responsibility?

The next hearings for public testimony on Pitt’s expansion plans are June 17 at the Zoning Board of Adjustment followed by one more hearing at the Planning Commission. Some people in South Oakland don’t testify because they are elderly, some are caretakers for the elderly; and some fear retaliation from Pitt and UPMC. The vast majority though feel this issue is a done deal and Pitt will be given approval for its expansion.

I don’t plan to testify in person at the upcoming hearings because I choose not to be part of a process that I now feel lacks total integrity.

Our grassroots movement fully expects you to sign the bills passed by the City Council on May 20. In our attempts to create a healthier environment in South Oakland for the past three years, you did not respond to five letters I wrote asking for your support. Unfortunately, you and far too many other politicians forget that you are public servants.

It is also deplorable that we never received a response from the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Pitt when we asked him this very pertinent and important question: What are the benefits to the elderly, long-time residents of South Oakland by having a 200-bed expansion of student housing on Oakland Avenue?

The community of South Oakland was in existence long before there was a University of Pittsburgh or a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Unfortunately, Pitt and UPMC administrators, as well as some in the political arena forget that truth, and they shamefully believe our community is an “area of opportunity” for callous exploitation. Tragically, it is the long-time residents of South Oakland who will bear the burden of that shame.

You cannot force people to care, and that is why women, Blacks, Jews, and Gays have sought the legislative and judicial systems of our government to end the injustices against themselves. We find it to be lamentable that some people who have experienced the pain of betrayal become a betrayer themselves to others seeking to end injustice.

Everyone in our grassroots movement who stayed the course made incredible personal accomplishments by taking a strong stand for human dignity. .We dreamed the impossible dream and pursued it in a courageous and honorable way. Every one of them is a winner. It is so, and so it is.

Sincerely,

Carlino Giampolo

Cc: Chancellor Mark Nordenberg, UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff
Cc: Concerned individuals

 

 

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