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How Will Mayor Ed Gainey Lead Pittsburgh?

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - For Ed Gainey, Pittsburgh is a tale of two cities: the one that has risen from industrial decline to becoming a high tech Mecca and the other which hasn't found a place for minorities and low-income residents. On Monday, he vowed to lead both.

"Success does and will continue to live and thrive here in our city of Pittsburgh, but not at the expense of those who have been left behind for far too long," he said.

Growing up in East Liberty, he saw his neighborhood's deterioration and its rebirth with tony stores and shiny luxury apartments but says gentrification has displaced thousands. One cornerstone of his new administration will be affordable housing and inclusionary zoning, requiring developers to build it.

"My promise is to make a Pittsburgh that you voted for, a city with economic opportunities for everybody, a city where affordability is not a luxury," said Gainey.

To help foot the bill of his agenda, he's also looking at the economic engines of Pittsburgh's new economy — the hospitals and universities — asking them to chip in payments to the city in lieu of taxes.

"We want them to pay their fair share. We will take the action that is necessary. If that means taking them to court, we'll take them to court,'" he said during the campaign.

And he's focused on changing the culture of the Pittsburgh Police Bureau — more cops walking beats, social workers to handle situations involving drug addicts and homeless people and a stop to what he calls the over-policing of Black neighborhoods.

He says he's made no decision on the fate of the officers in the fatal tasing incident in Bloomfield in October but calls it an example of what must change.

"We don't need that in our law enforcement, period. We don't need that in our police department," Gainey said.

Gainey says he wants to represent all Pittsburghers, not just those who voted for him.

"We have work to do Pittsburgh. But this is with immense optimism that I stand here -- optimism that we together can meet the challenges we face, to overcome what divides and makes this a city for all," he said.

And that will be his challenge, being an inclusive leader for all, but focusing especially on those who have been left out.

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