Mayor's office fails to provide information on board appointees despite City law

Pittsburgh’s mayor’s office has been required since 2006 to produce an annual report showing at least the gender, age and ZIP code of members appointed to city boards, authorities and commissions.
Six reports should be part of the public record, but none exist.
Each report would have been the responsibility of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who took office eight months after the passage of the Fair Representation law. The law outlines efforts toward diversity and transparency in board appointments.
The theory was that by holding officials accountable for appointments and giving the public a way to easily apply for vacancies, appointees would reflect the city’s diversity.
The 2006 city law followed a Heinz School of Public Policy study that found 34 percent of the 129 city appointees were women while 51 percent of the city’s working-age population were women.
Councilman Bill Peduto, the District 8 Democrat who introduced the ordinance, was concerned that the diversity reports do not exist.
“These are public boards making decisions using public dollars, and that information should be available at your fingertips,” said Mr. Peduto, who is expected to run for mayor next year.
Mr. Ravenstahl, a former councilman, was a co-sponsor of the ordinance. However, his administration has failed to produce a single report to city council about the makeup of boards.
“I don’t think because there has been no formal submission to city council that it is in any way hampering our ability to have diversity or transparency,” said Mr. Ravenstahl, a Democrat. “The information is available, and people can get it.”
It took 2 1/2 months before the mayor’s office provided any information to PublicSource.
The Right-to-Know officer told PublicSource: “No such records exist.”
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