[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

South Oakland Update
September 2010

The following letter was sent to Pittsburgh City Councilman Daniel Lavelle on September 8, 2010.

Thank you for responding to my email concerning a recent alcohol-related problem in our community that I reported to Vice Chancellor Dr. John Wilds. We deeply appreciate your offer to follow up with the appropriate entities at the University of Pittsburgh and the city.

As you know, on the morning after a nighttime drinking binge by students, there were approximately 20 beer cans and drinking cups discarded on the property of two homes, as well as the sidewalk and street in front of the homes. These drinking and littering problems have occurred thousands of times during the 14-year leadership of Chancellor Mark Nordenberg, and the burdens of his inaction have been placed upon our community.

You have a copy of the email that Vice Chancellor John Wilds sent three days later which included the line: “Although this is not University property, our Chief of Police dispatched a police officer to speak to the tenants.” A University building is across the street from these homes and a Pitt parking lot is at the bottom of the street. If this is not sufficient for the Pitt Police to claim our community as its jurisdiction, then it is unlikely that they will think seriously of protecting our community from the reckless and careless actions of the students.

The Vice Chancellor’s office does not have the manpower to handle the multitude of problems in our community. In a previous incident, a long-time resident stopped drunken students from cutting down a tree at 2:00 am. The Vice Chancellor brought a volunteer student with him to a community meeting in hopes of handling this issue, but the resident decided not to press further for fear of retaliation by the drunken students.

Allow me to expound on the littering problem that is plaguing our community. I will briefly summarize the position of Chancellor Mark Nordenberg as told continuously to me by his staff since our grassroots movement started 3 ½ years ago. Although I would have preferred to hear this information from him and not from his staff, the Chancellor does not communicate directly with our community.

1) The Chancellor believes that litter on private property is the responsibility of the landlord, and that the matter should be reported to the proper city authorities. This burden of reporting violations is mostly borne by long-time residents.

2) He believes that the litter found on the sidewalk is the responsibility of the community, and that long-time residents should be assessed a fee to start a Neighborhood Improvement District, which will serve to keep the sidewalks clean.

3) He believes that the litter along the curb in the street is the responsibility of the city, and that the fault is on them for not keeping the streets clean.

The University has vast financial resources to resolve these problems for our community, but it has refused to give us that support. It is pitiful that Pitt gives our community a pittance of its vast financial resources. Our grassroots movement has presented Chancellor Mark Nordenberg with two solutions for these problems, and he has rejected both of them. However, the Chancellor underestimates the depth of caring we have for our community and the desire we have to see these solutions implemented.

Here are the solutions presented by our grassroots movement to the Chancellor:

1) The litter and the trash on private property can be ended with daily enforcement of the environmental laws. We believe the University can easily provide the funding for a city environmental enforcement officer to make certain the laws are upheld daily by landlords. However, the Chancellor refuses to provide that funding. The University used to pay for ½ the salary of a Building Inspection Officer, but he or she had no authority to enforce the litter and trash laws.

2) The litter on the sidewalk can be ended with The SOUL Program of which the Chancellor is fully aware. The SOUL Program can be implemented for only $4 (Four Dollars) of a student’s tuition fee. The Chancellor has told us repeatedly the University will not provide our community funding for the program.

3) The litter along the curb will be picked up by the youths employed in The SOUL Program, thus relieving the city of that problem.

Anyone who holds human dignity above expansion can see that those solutions, if implemented, are win-win situations for everyone. The Chancellor doesn’t see it that way. It does not help that the University faculty has not come out in public support for these solutions. To my incredulity, one faculty member had the gall to tell me that the money that the University would give to those programs would mean less money for faculty salary raises. However, because of new leadership in the faculty’s community relations committee, I sense a new attitude developing at the faculty level.

We firmly believe that there must be a new consciousness at the administration level of this University. Their beliefs and feelings towards our community must change. When University administrators refuse to make the changes that would alleviate the needless suffering of our community, we have no choice but to seek a change in leadership.

The story of former University of Pennsylvania Chancellor Judith Rodin (now president of the Rockefeller Foundation) is an example of how the consciousness of a Chancellor did change. In 1996, Chancellor Rodin had an epiphany when a tragic death occurred near the campus. Much to her credit, her epiphany resulted in personal changes which in turn produced a remarkable transformation for the community that was impacted by the University’s presence. Spurred on by her change in attitude and leadership, the University launched a meaningful campaign to clean up litter and graffiti, and vowed that the University would never again seize local residential property for its own expansion.

As you can most certainly infer, our grassroots movement is not willing to wait for a tragic death in our community to occur before there is a change of consciousness at the University of Pittsburgh. On August 24, I visited the offices of 18 state legislators and provided them with a packet of information concerning the numerous problems in our community. We understand that some legislators will blindly defend the University regardless of how it treats our community. One legislator I met who claims to represent our community but who has never responded to any correspondence given to him by us, said that the University does a lot for our community and mentioned that Pitt built the Schenley Plaza. When I returned to Pittsburgh I visited the plaza and read the plaques there that showed that nearly 120 organizations contributed to the building of that plaza. Pitt rightfully maintains that plaza, but not because it is the sole contributor. They are charged with the responsibility of maintaining the plaza because it is across the street from the Chancellor’s office and 90% of people who use the plaza are students, faculty or others affiliated with the University.

Thankfully, this legislator's viewpoint is an exception. I found many people at the Capitol now have a greater understanding and compassion for the people of our community. When individuals of your sentiment and office, as well as the state legislators, the members of the Pitt faculty, and the media, have the courage to put their understanding and compassion into action, how can the University administration not change?

Carlino Giampolo

 

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