SSSNA General Meeting Agenda / Minutes – Oct. 8, 2019

SSSNA Annual Meeting Agenda & Minutes
Oct. 8, 2019

By-Laws Change (see below: “By-laws changes and new policy addition)

Membership votes to adopt proposed changes to SSSNA by-laws – updated by-laws are on the SSSNA website (southsideslopes.org). Vote to change the by-laws to comply with criteria for becoming a Registered Community Organization (RCO) with the City of Pittsburgh. Becoming an RCO will give SSSNA formal status providing benefits including notification of public hearings, guaranteed meetings with developers/applicants, placement on official brochures, and more. The by-law changes are:

  • Establishing 10-year term limits for members;
  • Moving the annual meeting from October to March; and
  • Adopting a non-discrimination policy.

The vote was unanimous to accept the changes.

StepTrek 2019 Update

StepTrek Chair Brian Oswald reported on the Oct. 5 StepTrek event. There were 120 walk-up purchases for a total of 450 participants. The event generated a $10,000 net revenue for the SSSNA. In 2020, the StepTrek will celebrate its 20th year. Rev. Donald Ware said the renovated church at St. Paul of the Cross Monastery will be open for the 2020 event.

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Parks Plan

Heather Sage, director of community projects at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC), reported on the early 2019 Listening Tour by PPC where feedback about parks was gathered at community meetings and events throughout the city. Phase II began in July 2019 and the PPC and the city are now in the process of sharing a parks investment strategy driven by data and community input collected during the first phase.

She said 3,400 people completed surveys on priorities, with 95 percent saying they would support more resources for the park system. The top priorities were maintenance, rehabilitation such as new roofs, capital investment and programming. Sage said a question was added to the Nov. 2019 ballot related to park funding asking voters if they support the creation of a dedicated Pittsburgh Parks Fund for parks improvement. Voting “yes” will provide additional resources for all city parks. The funding would come from an additional 0.5 mill levy ($50 on each $100,000 of assessed real estate value). If passed, the parks would receive about $10 million more dollars per year.

Recycling Changes in Pittsburgh

Teresa Bradley from the City’s recycling team will provide up-to-date information about what can and cannot be recycled curbside and other changes and tips. She recommended that city residents should use a blue bin not exceeding 35 gallons. Recyclables should be placed in a durable, watertight container with a close-fitting lid. Using blue bags is causing issues at the recycling facility. Bradley said to lightly rinse plastic bottles, jugs and jars that are three gallons or less and can be collected in one bin for curbside pickup. Cardboard should be flattened and bundled into a box.

For what to do with hard-to-recycle items like TVs, computers, paints, chemicals and other fluids, visit: ecsr.net/Pittsburgh-recycling. A drop-off location for hard-to-recycle items like electronics and household hazardous waste including light bulbs, batteries, oil-based paint, propane tanks, etc. has been opened in the Strip District at 3001 Railroad St. Fees may apply.

For yard debris and tires, there are six drop-off locations, including Construction Junction at 214 Lexington Ave., and McKinley Park on Bausman St. in Beltzhoover.

18th Street Pedestrian Safety Plan – Amanda Purcell, a traffic engineer from the city’s Dept. of Mobility and Infrastructure presented information about the South Side Signals initiative to improve pedestrian safety on 18th Street intersections.

The upcoming largely federally-funded 18th St. pedestrian safety project involves 18th St. and: Brownsville Rd., Bausman St., Amanda St., Hays Ave., Arlington Ave., Pius St., Mission St., Josephine St., Jane St., and Sarah St.

The same upgrades will occur at S. 18th at Pius and Mission except there will also be five ADA ramps. The work will occur in the daytime. At S. 18th and Josephine, S. 18th and Jane, and S. 18th and Sarah, there will be new traffic signals. There will also be gloss black signal poles and audible countdown pedestrian signals, and new pavement, signing and pavement markings, and lighting.

Attendees expressed concerns about crossing walk signals on 18th Street at Pius/Mission Sts., a Dept. of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) official will walk the crossing walks during rush hour to determine the best course of action before final plans are adopted.

Construction is slated to start in Spring 2021.

BY-LAWS CHANGES AND NEW POLICY ADDITION

The Board of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association is proposing the following by-law changes and policy addition for a vote before you, our membership.

  • Instituting term limits of 10 years for board members going forward.
  • Changing the month of our public Annual Meeting from October to March.
  • Adding a non-discrimination policy.

These changes are being proposed in order to register as a Registered Community Organization with the city and to improve the quality of the Board.

 

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Get your tickets! StepTrek 2019 is October 5

We’ll be trekking in the Slopes again on Saturday, October 5, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check-in is at 21st & Josephine Streets on the South Side. BUY TICKETS

Interested in volunteering at StepTrek? Sign-up here.

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Proposed 2019 By-Laws Changes

The Board of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association is proposing the following by-law changes and policy addition for a vote before the membership at our Annual elections meeting on Tuesday October 8, 2019. You can see a copy of the current by-laws here. To summarize, we are instituting term limits for board members and changing the month of our public Annual Meeting. These changes are being proposed in order to register as a Registered Community Organization with the city and to improve the quality of the Board. 

By-Laws Change – Article VI, Section 4

Change from: 

“Term of Office: The terms of office for Board members will be two (2) years. However, five members of the initial Board of Directors shall serve a term until the next annual meeting, at which time they will stand for election to a full two-year term. There will be no limitation to the number of terms a Board member may serve.”  

To: 

“Term of Office: The terms of office for Board members will be two (2) years. However, five members of the initial Board of Directors shall serve a term until the next annual meeting, at which time they will stand for election to a full two-year term. Effective for Board members whose terms begin in 2019 and thereafter, Board members may not serve more than five consecutive terms.  After being off the Board for at least one (1) year, the Board member shall be eligible to serve on the Board again.” 

By-Laws Change – Article V, Section 1

Change from: 

“Annual Meeting: The annual meeting will be held during the month of October at a location and time to be announced to the membership one month in advance for the purpose of electing directors and for the transaction of such business as may come before the meeting.”

To:

“Annual Meeting: The annual meeting will be held during the month of March at a location and time to be announced to the membership one month in advance for the purpose of electing directors and for the transaction of such business as may come before the meeting.”

NEW POLICY

Non-Discrimination Policy 

The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association shall not discriminate against any person on the basis of age, sex, race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity, disability, or political or religious opinion or affiliation in any of its policies, procedures or practices.

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2019 Public Meeting Schedule

Every year, the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association holds six public meetings open to the community (two of which are parties!).

  • Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center *
  • Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center *
  • Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center *
  • Tuesday, July 9, 2019 Picnic at Bandi Schaum Community Garden
  • Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center *
  • Tuesday, December 10, 2019 Holiday Party (location TBD)

All meetings start @ 6:30 p.m.

* St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center is located at 148 Monastery St. (parking available)

All South Side Slopes residents are invited to attend. Join us to meet new people or reconnect with long-time neighbors, learn what is happening and planned for the community, and share your ideas, concerns and love for the Slopes.

In order to be a voting member of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association, you must attend at least 2 meetings and/or events per year.

 

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StepTrek 2018

StepTrek is Saturday October 6, 2018! 

Buy Tickets! – https://www.showclix.com/event/steptrek

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Looking back: The origins of the SSSNA

Submitted by Beverly Bagosi Boggio, founding board member 1998-2008, past president and past StepTrek chair

bev bagosi boggio

On Memorial Day weekend 1998, there was a fire in a home on Holt Street that destroyed three homes in the time that it took the Fire Department to arrive and stage their equipment. Due to the unique topography of the South Side Slopes, narrow hilly streets and tight corners, the fire won. Because of this, a group of active Slopes neighbors were galvanized. Throughout the summer, several meetings were held and by October 1998 a Board of Directors was chosen and the South Side Slopes Association was born. The initial slogan was “SOS/Save Our Slopes”. Thanks to the partnership with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire, the Firefighter’s Union and several Fire engine manufacturers, within a year, the City had the plans to order 4 smaller pumper trucks with a tighter turning radius and narrow wheel span to safely travel all of the hilly City neighborhoods, not just the Slopes. This was ambitious and the Board was focused. Keep in mind that the internet of 1998 was not what it is today. We got our first “AOL” email address in 2002, followed by our first website, later that year.

In those early days, the SSSNA Board was tenacious and committed – a spirit that carries on in today’s Board. The projects were large and the budget was shoestring. Each month, the Board members addressing and mailing the newsletter would bring stamps, as there was no funding. The first grant was $250 from the City and we felt like millionaires. In the beginning, we partnered with the former South Side Local Development Company/SSLDC under their 501(c)3 nonprofit umbrella. That is how we were able to obtain grants to improve the Slopes. We were also able to survey housing stock and catalog our steps and their condition. We received 501(c)3 designation in 2005. We continued our partnership until the SSLDC completed their mission in 2012. We received an Elm Street designation for five years to feather into the Main Street designation that SSLDC had from the State. (Learn about Elm Street and Main Street designations here: https://padowntown.org/programs/elm-street-program)

SSSNA also became a member organization of the South Side Planning Forum. We gave input for the South Side Works development and participated in the new land use designations of MAP Pittsburgh. We attended City zoning hearings and invited developers with plans to build/restore in the Slopes, to share their plans and get our input from the community at our meetings. We began long‐standing relationships with City, County and State agencies and officials, as well as the Pittsburgh police. Many of the City partnerships and projects involved public safety. In 2002, we worked to get two pedestrian footbridges over the railroad tracks at 10th and 15th Streets replaced with Core ten steel, adding safety lighting three years later. We also had safety lighting installed under the railroad underpasses on 18th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 26th and 27th Streets.

Another big focus was, and still is, beautification. We began gateway garden developmental by partnering with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC). We built gardens along Josephine Street at Greeley and Barry Streets in 2000. More gardens followed along 18th Street, then Brosville and continue to be created throughout the Slopes. There were thousands of cleanups over the years that continue today. Thousands of discarded tires have been removed, as well as tons of trash and recyclables.

What was our most successful, hair‐brained idea? StepTrek. While other neighborhoods had home tours, we knew that the Slopes was unique and should be showcased differently. Author Bob Regan and photographer Tim Fabian were collaborating on a book (The Steps of Pittsburgh: Portrait of a City)  about the public stairways throughout the City – which would create some buzz about the steps. Slopes residents Ed Jacob and Mike Milberger brought an idea to the board that the City steps should be celebrated. The fledgling board decided to give it a try, and StepTrek was a go. In 2000, we held the first StepTrek. Hundreds of people paid money to walk miles of steps – for a good cause. We got the City to repair steps and clean up the routes each year prior to the event. We changed the routes every year to keep up maintenance on all of our stairways. Now in its 18th year, StepTrek has enabled thousands of people to experience the amazing views that we get to see every day.

It has been an amazing journey. It is hard to imagine 20 years ago how much would be accomplished. The loss of homes to the fire in 1998 was terrible, but from that tragedy came a community focused on safety, advocacy and continuous improvement. Since 1998, the SSSNA board has had dozens of amazing neighbors who have served and added to the energy and progress of this community. Thank you to all who served, partnered, volunteered, cleaned, photographed, documented, shared, trekked and donated. The success of SSSNA and the neighborhood is because of you! Cheers to the next 20 years!

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Save the Dates 2018

Here are the (actual) dates for the 2018 South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association General Meetings and Parties!

  • Tuesday, January 9 at 7 p.m. – General Meeting at Henry Kaufmann House*
  • Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. – General Meeting at Henry Kaufmann House* CANCELLED (Please stop by the South Side Park Master Plan Meeting on March 15 between 5 and 8 p.m. at Arlington Rec Center at 2201 Salisbury St, 15210)
  • Tuesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. – General Meeting at Henry Kaufmann House*
  • Tuesday, July 10 at 7 p.m. – Summer Picnic at Bandi Schaum Community Garden
  • Saturday October 6 at 11 a.m.- StepTrek
  • Tuesday, October 9 at 6:30 p.m. – General Meeting at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat House (148 Monastery Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15203)
  • Tuesday, December 11 at 7 p.m. – Holiday Party (UUBU6 at 6:30 p.m. )

* Henry Kaufmann House is located at 2201 Salisbury St, Pittsburgh PA  15210

All South Side Slopes residents are invited to attend. Join us to meet new people or reconnect with long-time neighbors, learn what’s happening and what is planned for the community, and share your ideas, concerns and love for the Slopes.

In order to be a voting member of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association, you must attend at least 2 meetings and/or events per year.

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2017 Board Elections

Jamie Balser & Elizabeth Heidenreich

Jamie Balser & Elizabeth Heidenreich

Welcome to Jamie Balser to the Board of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association. Jamie has been a vocal and active participant in the Friends of South Side Park and many many volunteer days for South Side Park and other Slopes events.

Dawn Lorincy, Denise Filip, Dawn Lorincy, Brian Oswald, and Cara Jette were re-elected for additional 2-year terms as well.

Thank you to Elizabeth Heidenreich for her year of service on the Board!

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Small Business Resource Fair

Interested in starting or growing a small business? Stop by the South Side Market House on Wednesday September 6 from 4:30pm to 7pm!

small business resource fair flyer

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StepTrek 2017

pittsburgh-steptrek

In its 17th year, the Pittsburgh StepTrek will begin Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 at 11AM at South Side Park (Josephine & 21st Streets) on the South Side. The event has lasted this long due to the backing of individuals with a curiosity as to what lies at the top or bottom of the numerous public stairs in the neighborhood.

BUY TICKETS AND T-SHIRTS 

The routes will take a tour of the hillsides and spectacular views that distinguish Pittsburgh. The family-friendly event combines photography, historic narrative and a sense of a neighborhood dependent upon steps. The Trek itself is self-guided. Each pre-registered trekker receives a map and a course narrative. The course narrative points out the landmarks and gives a history of the stairs and buildings, counts the steps and also provides instruction as to the route. Arrows along the course provide direction as well.

StepTrek is what the trekker makes it. Participants may choose to use this noncompetitive event as a test of fitness or a leisurely stroll. The benefits of a stirring walk through the Slopes have earned this event the heart-healthy rating of the American Heart Association. Special pricing makes the walk an attractive way to experience the city on an autumn afternoon.

Proceeds from the StepTrek benefit the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA), an all volunteer organization committed to improving this unique neighborhood and providing a unified voice for slopes residents. Primary areas of focus are public safety, neighborhood development and beautification.

This event also helps to benefit The Brashear Association’s Food Pantry. Please remember to bring a canned food item to help stock the Brashear Association Food Pantry. Top items needed include: Peanut Butter & Jelly, Spaghetti Sauce, Tuna, Cereal, Baby Food

Interested in volunteering for StepTrek? Volunteers get a free t-shirt and can participate in the event before or after their shift. Sign up here:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090c44a4ac2da6fa7-steptrek1

 

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