[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
  81. March from P.H. to The Run
  82. Decimation of an Urban Community
  83. Public Comments
  84. 18 Questions
  85. Dishonest Public Position
  86. Belief Precedes Experience
  87. City Council Public Comments
  88. A Sacred Place
  89. Investigations Needed by Oakland Residential Community
  90. Letter to Council President
  91. March from P.H. to The Run
  92. Lack of Integrity
  93. SOUL Program Implementation
 
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
  81. March from P.H. to The Run
  82. Decimation of an Urban Community
  83. Public Comments
  84. 18 Questions
  85. Dishonest Public Position
  86. Belief Precedes Experience
  87. City Council Public Comments
  88. A Sacred Place
  89. Investigations Needed by Oakland Residential Community
  90. Letter to Council President
  91. March from P.H. to The Run
  92. Lack of Integrity
  93. SOUL Program Implementation

Investigations Needed by
Oakland Residential Community

March 10, 2019

Oakland is at a crucial, pivotal point in its history. Actions taken by University of Pittsburgh administrators, Mayor William Peduto and city council members, foundation owners of Hazelwood Green, developers, and others threaten the very existence of Panther Hollow. The greater neighborhood of Oakland is in danger of losing its identity as a residential neighborhood.

There are some universities in America that can establish themselves in an urban community and blend in, respect the dignity of that community, and bring joy to its residents by enhancing their quality of life. Then, there is the University of Pittsburgh, coming as a guest of the community but, through unconscionable domination, greed, and a quest for glory, destroys the community’s business and residential districts.

The university’s never-ending expansion has caused many residents to lose hope that anything can be done to prevent further destruction to their beloved home. Even those who live outside of Oakland and want to see it protected also have no hope that anything can be done. That is an immense tragedy! An investigation is needed to restore hope.

Communities simply do not get destroyed on as massive a scale as that which has happened to Oakland unless egregious wrongdoings are at work. Those wrongdoings have been masked, denied, and ignored by those entrusted to protect Oakland’s community, and especially to protect the elderly longtime residents who have suffered the most. An investigation is needed to shine light on these wrongdoings.

The executive and legislative branches of city government breached their fiduciary duty to protect our community. The local media betrayed the trust of the community by choosing silence, and protected the university by never attempting to conduct an in-depth investigation of the university’s expansion and its devastating impact on Oakland’s residents. The community now looks to the judicial branches of government to do what is right, namely the offices of State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, District Attorney Stephen Zappala, and U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania Scott Brady. An investigation is needed to break the silence of those aware of wrongdoings.

In 1963, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Edward Litchfield wanted to destroy Panther Hollow by building a 21st Century Research Park there. He failed. Today, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher and his supporters seek to replace that destructive plan with another one: an “Innovation District” in the community’s business district.

The idea to develop an innovation district was done in secret, and supported by a Brookings Institution study that was paid for by Heinz Endowments and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation. In the Acknowledgements of that study, no residents’ names are listed. It was conducted as if Oakland residents don’t exist or matter. Several questions about the study need to be answered: Did Heinz Endowments Executive Director Grant Oliphant initiate the action to have Brookings Institution conduct the study? Who first decided that Oakland needs an innovation district at all? When and where were the first meetings? What were Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, Mayor William Peduto, and Allegheny County Executive Director Rich Fitzgerald’s involvement? Why was Oakland’s residential community ignored? Why did the other foundation owners of Hazelwood Green – Richard King Mellon Foundation and Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation – decide not to pay for the study? Why did the Henry L. Hillman Foundation get involved and pay for the study? Why did Brookings Institution President John R. Allen choose silence when he received three different letters asking him to investigate the study? Was the study paid for in part by Heinz Endowments in order to facilitate finding technology tenants for the Hazelwood Green site?

Was the study done also to justify a roadway from the Hazelwood Green site to the innovation district in Oakland? Did the foundation owners, mayor, city council, and Allegheny County executives know that the residential neighborhoods between Hazelwood Green and the innovation district in Oakland, namely Four Mile Run and Panther Hollow, would eventually be destroyed, and then replaced with office buildings, high-rise apartments, researchers and students, and other support groups for these two technology centers? An investigation is needed to fully explore the Brookings Institution study.

Walnut Capital Principal and President Brad Reidbord mentioned at a recent community meeting that the company’s plan to build a 180-foot office tower in Oakland is not for the residential community, but rather to support the innovation district. When did Walnut Capital executives first learn of the Brookings Institution study? When did they first meet with University of Pittsburgh administrators about the innovation district? An investigation is needed to look at all of the development projects in Oakland, including student housing in the past 12 years, and the relationship of developers with Pitt’s business administrators and city government officials.

On July 31, 2015 the Urban Redevelopment Authority applied to the state Department of Community and Economic Development for a $3 million dollar grant to build a roadway from what is now called Hazelwood Green, through Four Mile Run and Panther Hollow, to Pitt and CMU. The application was denied. What were the honest reasons for the denial? Was it just because of an incomplete application, or was the application fraudulent? The application was submitted in secret, yet this violation of Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law saw no consequences. The application mentions the amount of $200,000 in federal funds, but how can the federal government approve moneys for a roadway when no community meetings were held? An investigation is needed to look in-depth at the city’s grant application.

Both the mayor and city council have a fiduciary duty to protect the Oakland community.  That fiduciary duty has been breached. William Peduto has been a politician for 17 years, 12 as a councilman and 5 as mayor. During his entire tenure, he never introduced legislation to protect the community from the uncontrolled, destructive expansion of the University of Pittsburgh, knowing full well that the university’s expansion has decimated and continues to decimate Oakland. He supported every expansion plan of the university.

Pittsburgh City Council President Bruce Kraus took office in 2008. He was once asked: Why doesn’t the University of Pittsburgh do more for the community? He replied: “You cannot force people to care.” That is true, but it is also true that it is the fiduciary duty of city council to protect communities from people who don’t care. City council has the power to write laws to protect our community from the uncontrolled expansion of the University of Pittsburgh, but it never even attempted to exercise that power. An investigation is needed to explore the fulfillment of fiduciary duty of the mayor and city council to Oakland.

The University of Pittsburgh is finalizing its massive Institutional Master Plan that will further decimate our community today and have dire consequences for generations to come. The community has asked administrators for an in-depth Impact Study, as comprehensive as the Brookings Institution study, as to how that plan will affect the community. The administrators have ignored the request. An investigation is needed to determine why our community is not being provided an honest, in-depth Impact Study.

The mayor and city council have also done nothing to support such a much-needed study. City council has the funds for such a study. They have allocated $10 million dollars this year and another $10 million dollars next year in the capital budget, for the above-mentioned roadway. The capital budget is a living, breathing document in which monies can be reallocated. The funds exist to pay for this absolutely necessary Impact Study on the effects of Pitt’s Institutional Master Plan on our community. Are university administrators, Mayor William Peduto, and city council members fearful of such an honest study? An investigation is needed to determine why city council is not supporting an Impact Study.

Instead of supporting an Impact Study, the mayor and city council is attempting to divert attention away from Pitt’s massive Institutional Master Plan and its effects on our community by initiating a 10-year Oakland neighborhood plan. Such a plan is not needed now when our community is facing imminent danger of survival as a residential community. An investigation is needed as to why the council supports a future 10-year neighborhood plan rather than an important, urgently needed Impact Study now.

Oakland was a vibrant, eclectic residential neighborhood long before there was a University of Pittsburgh. It was the largest and most diversified neighborhood in the city of Pittsburgh. There are individuals both inside and outside the university that care very little about Oakland’s heritage, tradition, and the legacy that our ancestors gave to us. For them, economic gain trumps human dignity. However, the legacy of our ancestors and our right to determine our own future are sacred to us. The unconscionable domination of the University of Pittsburgh and their supporters over the Oakland community must end. An investigation is needed to protect and preserve Oakland’s residential community for generations to come.

Carlino Giampolo
March 10, 2019

Members of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees impact the lives of Oakland residents everyday with their decisions. We have asked university administrators to forward the above document to them. The administrators have thus far refused.

 

OaklandDignity.com
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