Tonight I went to the Mayoral debate, unfortunately I played the part of spectator throughout the large majority of it. I wasn't originally invited to be there but after doing all right on Tuesday and apparently with a large number of people calling to complain about my exclusion I was given 3 minutes to speak. This was at the end of the debate.
First and foremost, my speaking ability seems to have finally founds it's sea legs as I was more fluid and concise than I was on Tuesday. I spent the much of the 3 minutes allotted me discussing the need for Pittsburgh to draw in more businesses and promote better jobs. Even if people do have jobs, often times they are underemployed, not making as much as their $40,000 diploma would lead them to believe. On top of that I discussed how Pittsburgh needs to be more welcoming to a diverse population. In other cities, Pittsburgh is often viewed as an old white town. I think it is very important to foster the diversity we have with more cultural events and understanding. I believe that if we all take steps to come together that Pittsburgh will flourish. And it will not become, "us and them" but rather just us...we are all Pittsburgher's after all.
My biggest reaction was when I made the simile that Pittsburgh is like a bare room that's needs to be painted and the choice of candidates from the "old" parties were like choosing between eggshell white and mother of pearl white.
I would have liked to have had more time to discuss more topics because I feel I offer a different perspective that people can relate to. If you would like to help me participate in more debates, by all means, contact those hosting the upcoming debates and lend your voice in saying that I have a right to speak my mind.
After my little speech I stuck around to meet and greet with the people assembled and it was very reassuring. One gentlemen came up to me and said "you are going to be something" while another person said "stick with it, you're going to make things happen". I bring this up only because when you feel like the last Spartan at Thermopylae, it's always nice to hear that you are not fighting in vain.
I spoke with one nice woman, a business owner for the past 20 plus years who wanted to discuss children and after school programs with me. I had touched on this before in this blog but I told her that the after school programs are vital to the health of this city. Kids with too much time on their hands and no direction will occupy themselves and oft times it is to dangerous ends wrought with trouble. Of course one may ask how would I pay for such programs? To that I reply that perhaps our non-profit friends who make a non-profit of $500 million dollars a year and their friends would like to share such wealth for the benefit of Pittsburgh's youth. I'm sure such caring non-profits would see the wisdom in such charity.