There is strength in numbers. That's why City Councilman Bill Peduto's decision to reach out to mayors and council members in Pennsylvania's 53 other cities last week made sense.
He knows Pittsburgh's problems well, given his years on council and as its finance chairman, and he spelled them out in a letter to 120 municipal officials. His descriptions of aging infrastructure, increasing legacy costs, a dwindling tax base and other problems no doubt sounded familiar to anyone working in any city government.
But Mr. Peduto didn't write to them because misery loves company. He recognizes that, when it comes to getting attention from lawmakers in Harrisburg, more is better than less, and proposed legislation that's backed by leaders and constituents from dozens of cities has a better chance than a plea made on behalf of an individual town.
Timing is important.
This year, Pennsylvanians will elect a new governor, all 203 members of the state House and half of the members of the Senate. Mr. Peduto would like to see an urban agenda on the table for candidates to discuss and the three big items he'd put on it are tax reform, pension reform and health-care reform.
With campaigns well under way, that may be too optimistic a timetable. Nonetheless, it is in Pittsburgh's best interest to recognize that, on many issues, it may have more in common with Erie and Meadville than it does with Franklin Park or Murrysville.
At the same time, though, it's just as important for city leaders to improve cooperation with Allegheny County, its suburbs, universities, tax-exempt organizations and the corporate community.
If enough leaders join their voices, it will be hard for Harrisburg to ignore them.