I've posted a podcast of Mayor Ravenstahl's news conference, including his apology to UPMC and his Q&A with reporters following his opening statement. You listen in here at this link.
Here are some breakout quotes:
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl:
• "I do also want to basically apologize to UPMC for the way they were treated yesterday in City Council. I think it's unfortunate... that somebody is willing to give 100 Million dollars to a program that they believe in and to be treated the way that they were in front of City Council yesterday is, i think is... is a shame. And it takes away from the big picture here and what we're all trying to do."
• "Believe me, I would have loved to have announced this in my election campaign, but I didn't, 'cause it's bigger than me, bigger than council. This is the future of the city. It has nothing to do with me, or my political agenda, ...it shouldn't have anything to do with council's political agenda."
• "The two biggest questions I got asked when I was running for office was, non-profits don't give enough, and you failed on the Pittsburgh Promise. And guess what, I had the answer to those questions in those debates, but I kept my mouth shut. Because I didn't want to jeopardize this program, just like council did yesterday with their actions."
• "UPMC is very upset right now, and i don't blame them."
• "There are wounds to heal, and I'm in the process of trying to heal them right now."
• "I'm willing to have a discussion with anybody about those concerns, but to publicly humiliate an organization that's going to give 100 Million dollars? They could have walked away right now and said we're done."
• "The program is bigger than process. The program is bigger than communication. The program is about the future of so many people's lives, generations to come. It's not about me. It's not about them. It's about the future for the city."
• "You know, sometimes Pittsburgh just has to get out of its own way. And we have to get out of our own way here We've been given a gift of 100- Million dollars. Literally said 'here", to fund education, to fund a rebirth and revitalization of this city. And we're going to pick it apart? Humiliate them? Embarrass them?"
• "The same people that said this would never happen. Now it's happened. Now they're figuring out a way to derail it again. And, boy, that's not why i got in this business."
Thursday, December 20, 2007