Monday, October 26, 2009

Support Braddock Projects On Pittsburgh Match Day, October 28th

As you may know, I personally feel the city of Pittsburgh and the country in general is in for a world of hurt. City budgets, state budgets and federal budgets will be cut -- one way or the other if we are to survive. The failure to make rational choices in the past will force us to make harder choices in the future. That's what debt on this scale means!

Anyway, on the 28th,Your donation to any area non-profit from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm EST will be matched 50 cents on the dollar by the Pittsburgh Foundation. It's a small chance to knit together the support networks of what used to be called "civil society", which the wikipedia defines as.

"Civil society is composed of the totality of voluntary civic and social organizations and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society as opposed to the force-backed structures of a state (regardless of that state's political system) and commercial institutions of the market."

Personally, I will try to support the little, historic but very troubled community of Braddock.

"Ninety percent of a community gone.
Buildings crumbling into the streets.
More youth living in poverty than anywhere else in Allegheny County outside Pittsburgh.

These issues are faced by Braddock, Pennsylvania. Decades of prosperity in this steelmaking town were followed by decades of slow decay after the American steel industry collapsed in the 1980s."

That's a bummer but it's not the "need" that has me stoked, but a mayor and a small community of engaged people doing some of the most exiting and innnovative things in the region, some of which you may have heard about on this blog.

"But in the midst of decay, a movement to renew is taking shape. Braddock Redux, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, is gathering the ideas, the people, and the resources that will spark life back into this once thriving town. Fetterman's pioneering work offers a vision for postindustrial America, and has garnered accolades in the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, and on the Colbert Report.

With a focus on projects that fuse youth, the arts, the environment, and building preservation, Braddock Redux has begun to revitalize its community by:

• Facilitating the construction of GrowPittsburgh's largest urban demonstration farm, staffed in part by local at-risk youth
• Securing support and funding for the Mon Valley's first green roof
• Providing partnership development for the Braddock Youth Project, Allegheny County's largest youth employment and training program
• Preserving and renovating a former school into an art gallery and performance space
• Building a mosaic park on a vacant lot
• Planting an urban orchard
• Providing space and funding for Braddock's only community center

But there is more work to do. Most pressingly, Braddock's community center lacks heat and cannot operate during the winter. Braddock Redux is raising money to install a climate-friendly geothermal heating system. The low operating cost of this system will allow hundreds of at-risk youth to use the community center when the temperature drops.

Your donation to Braddock Redux on October 28th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm EST will be matched 50 cents on the dollar by the Pittsburgh Foundation, up to $2,500 per donation. Please visit to register now and learn more about Braddock Redux, and on October 28th to make a donation. Matching funds are limited, and typically are exhausted within two hours on the day of the event."

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