Hear Pittsburgh’s Democratic mayoral candidates talk about their plans for Pittsburgh

Council member Darlene Harris, Mayor Bill Peduto and Rev. John Welch talked transportation, homelessness, drinking water and more at our Tuesday forum with 90.5 WESA.

The Incline's reporter/curator Sarah Anne Hughes and 90.5 WESA reporter Mark Nootbaar ask questions during a live mayoral forum Tuesday.

The Incline's reporter/curator Sarah Anne Hughes and 90.5 WESA reporter Mark Nootbaar ask questions during a live mayoral forum Tuesday.

Jasmine Goldband / The Incline

One week ahead of the primary election, The Incline and 90.5 WESA held a mayoral forum and hosted all three Democratic candidates: Council member Darlene Harris, Mayor Bill Peduto and Rev. John Welch.

Hear the entire conversation here, or drop in below on the questions you care most about.

Opening statements

Economic growth

  • Many Pittsburghers, including our readers and listeners, are concerned about growing inequality in the city. As mayor, how would you spur economic growth without leaving the working class behind? What is your vision for the future of Pittsburgh?

Affordable housing

  • What should the mayor’s office do to ensure there is the right mix of subsidized, affordable and market-rate housing in Pittsburgh?

New Pittsburgh economy

  • All three of you on the campaign trail have been talking about jobs, which is an important part of any campaign, what type of role should the city play in developing new Pittsburgh economy of technology, education and healthcare?


  • Homelessness is an ongoing problem in Pittsburgh, underscored by revived attention to tent city encampments. What can the city do to help move the homeless population into permanent housing?

Transportation and infrastructure

  • When was the last time you took a PAT bus and where were you going?
  • How can the city make sure that public transportation serves all communities? Where will the funding come from?
  • Do you think bike infrastructure is a meaningful way to make streets safer for existing residents and to attract new residents?
  • Pittsburgh’s roads and bridges are badly in need of investment. If the federal government dropped an additional $75 million dollars in your lap for transportation infrastructure, (which happens to be the amount in this year’s budget allocated to paving) how would you spend it?

Drinking water

  • As mayor how would you ensure that Pittsburghers feel safe about their drinking water?

Role models

  • Which former mayor of Pittsburgh do you most admire?

Public safety

  • How would you as mayor balance the concerns of the community — especially people of color — with concerns from the police union?
  • In January, Pittsburgh police shot and killed a man in his Larimer home while responding to a burglary call. Pittsburgh officials have not released the names of the officers involved or disclosed if there’s body camera footage. What is the mayor’s role in ensuring police transparency while balancing privacy concerns?

Immigration policy

  • There is an ongoing debate over immigration policy in the United States. How should Pittsburgh, as a city, be weighing in on that debate?
  • Is the phrase “sanctuary city,” which isn’t legally defined, something that you find comfort in or discomfort in?

Best ideas

  • You have spent a lot of time in forums like this one in the last few weeks listening to each other’s ideas. If elected, what is one idea you could steal from each of the candidates?

Closing statements

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