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Onorato & Ravenstahl Launch G-20 Website, Invite Community to ‘Welcome the World’ Brainstorming Sessions

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

From the offices of County Executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today launched the Pittsburgh G-20 Partnership website, www.pittsburghg20.org, and announced a series of community brainstorming sessions in preparation for the upcoming G-20 summit on Sept. 24 and 25. The summit, to be hosted by President Barack Obama and held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown, will bring together the leaders of the world’s top 20 economies and high ranking international financial officials to address the current world economic crisis.

“President Obama has chosen Pittsburgh to host the upcoming G-20 summit because of our region’s leadership in creating next-generation jobs and promoting green technology,” said Onorato. “This international event will not only showcase our economic transformation on the world stage, but it will also provide an additional economic boon for the region. We’re inviting the community to help us brainstorm ways to welcome the world to Pittsburgh and to make the summit a success.”

The Mayor and County Executive are working together to prepare the region to host thousands of visitors from around the country and around the world.

“We have a long and successful history of public-private partnerships in Pittsburgh, and we’re building another one to get ready for the G-20,” said Ravenstahl. “We’re calling on Pittsburgh-area businesses, foundations, health care, cultural, educational and hospitality organizations to contribute their resources to help us show the best our ‘most livable city’ has to offer. Pittsburghers are also invited to volunteer to help us to keep our community safe and clean for our guests and residents.”

The schedule for the Welcome the World brainstorming sessions is as follows:

• Fri., June 19, 12:00-130 p.m., Point Park University, Lawrence Hall, Ballroom
• Tues., June 23, 12:00-130 p.m., Robert Morris University, Sewall Center, International Suite
• Tues., June 23, 5:30-7:00 p.m., University of Pittsburgh, Alumni Hall, Connolly Ballroom

Those who cannot attend the sessions in person may share their best ideas and sign up to volunteer at the Pittsburgh G-20 Partnership web site at www.pittsburghg20.org.

The results of these brainstorming sessions and website comments, along with the many e-mails and calls offering ideas and assistance that have already been received, will be part of the Pittsburgh G-20 Partnership planning process going forward. By the end of the month, the County Executive and Mayor will announce the next steps for the broad partnership of public, private, non-profit and community resources that will be needed to make the summit a success.

The Mayor and County Executive have already convened their own key staff and reached out to other governmental agencies to begin working on the public works and public safety issues that are critical to a successful summit meeting. The Allegheny Conference on Community Development, VisitPittsburgh and the Sports & Exhibition Authority have also been providing support and assistance in initial planning and preparation for the event.

“As Pittsburghers, we’re known for our willingness to go the extra mile to make people feel welcome,” added Onorato. “This September, we will welcome the world, and we hope we can count on everyone’s help to get us ready for this tremendous opportunity.”

“Let’s offer our well-known hospitality to the thousands of national and international visitors, including media, dignitaries and others, many of whom will be experiencing Pittsburgh for the first time,” said Ravenstahl.

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