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Rudiak Running for Pittsburgh Council Re-election

Pittsburgh Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, whose area includes Brookline and Beechview, is running for re-election.

When Natalia Rudiak first ran for Pittsburgh City Council four years ago, she had three main goals: make the business districts better, protect the neighborhoods from crime and neglect, and restore the public’s trust in elected officials.

Rudiak—who last week announced she plans to run for re-election for the District 4 council seat—said those priorities haven’t changed, and now she’s focused on even more.

“I represent a number of communities, each with unique business districts,” Rudiak said. “Each neighborhood has its own formula, and we want to make sure residents have information about what’s happening in their back yards.”

District 4 includes all of Brookline and Beechview, as well as Carrick, Overbrook and Bon Air.

In Brookline, Rudiak said the Boulevard Reconstruction Project will be an especially important focus during the next several months. Detailed information about the project and how it will affect residents will be posted on the District 4 website as it becomes available, she said.

“I want to work with the Chamber of Commerce to figure out how to market the business district to broader its audience,” she said. “Once the reconstruction is finished, we need to figure out how to get people up to the district and market the businesses and housing there.”

In Beechview, she said, it’s time to market the community’s growing business district, which has added several new businesses in the past few years, including The Crested Duck and the IGA Market on Broadway.

Rudiak said she wants to market the area and encourage real estate professionals and property developers to come in and improve existing buildings.

But there also are broader themes Rudiak said she plans to focus on in the next four years.

Public transit and care for the area’s senior citizens are especially important, and often intertwined, she said. 

“We have an aging community and they want to stay in these neighborhoods, and that even includes my own parents,” Rudiak said. “But there’s a lack of housing that allows them to do that.”

Rudiak said she already is working with developers on plans to build two new senior high-rise apartment buildings, one in Carrick and one in Overbrook on Route 51. The developments would create local jobs, first through construction, then though staff positions, and will provide a much-needed amenity close to public transit, she said.

Of course, state funding to both transit and human services is lacking.

“These cuts are real,” she said. “The state has cut human services funding, which trickles down to the local senior centers that are providing needs and meals, sometimes the only meal some of these people get. Now the burden is on local government to keep these things afloat.”

Rudiak said she is in constant contact with local state representatives, as well as Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and the Port Authority of Allegheny County board about these and other issues. Her goal, she said, is to help keep open lines of communication between residents and the officials who can help them.

“I can talk to my state rep, but if 200 people talk to their reps, it’s that much more effective,” she said. “My goal is to help community groups collaborate and keep it up. I’m proud of the work we’ve been able to do in the district and I hope for the chance to continue it over the next few years.” 

For current information about District 4 initiatives, see the District 4 website, or follow Natalia Rudiak on Twitter at @nataliarudiak

For campaign information, see Natalia Rudiak’s campaign page.

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Robert February 26, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Don't pay any attention to all those bogus billboard signs which are worded to make you think Natalia is raising your taxes. It couldn't be any farther from the truth. It is simply a tax on billboard advertising that is currently run by someone from out of state. Why shouldn't they pay taxes? Better them than us....they make the profits. Should they not help pay for fixing the roads so people in cars that see thier ads can drive on? Pretty sweet they want to advertise and not pay taxes......besides the fact that those ugly billboards ruin the beauty of ANY city.
Jason Vey February 27, 2013 at 05:46 PM
I was just going to say exactly what Robert said--Natalya is NOT raising taxes; it's a smear campaign being waged by Lamar, who are greedy beyond conscience and have what should be an illegal monopoly on billboard advertizing in Pittsburgh. Natalya has been a fantastic advocate for the people of her area and nothing short of spectacular at calling out the bigwigs on their corrupt practices. She's got my vote, for sure, and I'm not a Democrat.
Erin Faulk February 27, 2013 at 05:51 PM
You both are correct in that the billboards are quite misleading—it is not a tax on residents, as you've said. Here is a Nov. 13 article we ran about the issue: http://patch.com/A-z2VL and here is one from Dec. 18, after the billboard tax was approved by Pittsburgh City Council: http://patch.com/A-0yw4

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