Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a lot of angry criticism on the street about the city's handling of the snowstorm. The overwhelming snow crippled the city, led to hundreds of school and business closings and, most tragically, contributed to the death of one of our fellow citizens in Hazelwood.
There is no doubt that mistakes were made and reforms need to be implemented. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Public Safety Director Mike Huss were among the first to admit this, and we need to give them credit for pledging to work hard to correct it.
For the city's sake, it is my hope that we will take our anger and criticism and convert it into energy to support our city's leadership and help them accomplish their goals. Criticism alone will never help solve the city's problems, but the power of regular citizens stepping up to volunteer just might.
As Theodore Roosevelt famously opined over a century ago, it's not the critic who counts, but the man in the arena who is actually out there fighting to make a difference. More recently, John F. Kennedy inspired Americans to reflect not upon what government can do for us but what each of us can do for our country.
As the snow thaws and we look ahead, ask yourself what you can do for Pittsburgh. Think about calling the mayor's office or your member of City Council to ask what you can do to help. I tried it last week. You might be surprised at the response, and in the end, Pittsburgh will be better off.
The writer, executive director of RenewPittsburgh Inc., ran for mayor against Mr. Ravenstahl in the last general election.