PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Mayor-elect Ed Gainey’s positive COVID test forced a key news conference to go online Monday afternoon.
Gainey said he learned Saturday that he had been exposed so he wanted to get tested, adding that he doesn’t have any symptoms.READ MORE: With 67 Steelers' Sacks, Bordas & Bordas Donates $33,500 To Ronald McDonald House
The news did not stop the new mayor from focusing on his transition plans.
Last month, Gainey announced his top transition officials. On Monday, he named the leaders and members of four policy teams he wants to review and recommend policies for the city of Pittsburgh.
“This is a robust group of people who have come together of community leaders who will help us build the city that we want to see, to make this a city for all, to make sure we are the safest, most affordable, and diverse city in America,” Gainey said.
Transition chair Angel Gober and co-chair Silas Russell said eight team leaders would co-chair four committees: Bob Damewood and Monica Ruiz for the Equitable Development Committee; Regina Holley and Darrin Kelly for the Education & Workforce Development Committee; Jamil Bey and Christine Mondor for the Infrastructure & Environment Committee; and Kathi Elliott and Wasi Mohamed for the Community Health & Safety Committee.
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Gainey said he wants committee reports on his 100th day in office in mid-April.READ MORE: Lawrenceville Community Groups Hosts Virtual Meeting On Proposed Amazon Facility
“I want something that we can actually build on, something that we can grow on,” he said. “That’s what I want, something that can be executed on. Just don’t want policies and plans. I want something that can be done.”
In response to a question from KDKA about policy reports that go nowhere, Gainey said this would be different; he wants actionable plans.
“I don’t want a plan that says we can do a million things because that never gets done,” he said. “I want plans that say, ‘Here’s how we’re building.'”
Five of the eight team leaders are people of color, and those who spoke hinted at a new direction under the Gainey administration.
“This is such an amazing time in Pittsburgh, like a renaissance,” said Kathi Elliott, co-chair of the Community Health & Safety Committee. “I’ve publicly admitted in the past that I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the city, but I am so excited and hopeful about what is about to happen.”
Added Monica Ruiz, co-chair of the Equitable Development Committee: “Our population is steadily declining, and the only population that is growing is the immigrant population. So if we don’t get in front of some of these things now and have equitable development for everyone, then we are not doing justice to our communities.”MORE NEWS: 3 Injured After Shooting In Parking Lot Of Clearview Mall
On Jan. 3, Gainey takes over from Bill Peduto and makes his own history as the city’s first African-American mayor.