Destination Erie to Host Lecture by Mayor John Fetterman

Reinventing American Cities: Some Case Studies Talk Scheduled for August 15

As the fourth guest speaker in a series of educational public lectures hosted by Destination Erie: A Regional Vision, Mayor John Fetterman of the town of Braddock, Pennsylvania will present “Reinventing American Cities: Some Case Studies.” Fetterman’s talk is expected to energize and inform stakeholders and citizens of  the cities, towns and boroughs throughout Erie County to look for ways to reinvent and reinvest our region.

Founded around the site of Andrew Carnegie’s first steel mill, the town of Braddock’s fortunes declined in lockstep with the American steel industry. As the town’s population fell from a peak of more than 20,000 to just 2,300, its buildings, infrastructure and economy unraveled. With 90% of everything lost -population, buildings, homes, businesses- the
challenges seemed almost insurmountable. The Mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania will discuss the town’s history, as well as why redevelopment worked on August 15 at the Jefferson Educational Society.

Fetterman, a Harvard graduate with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy, moved to Braddock, Pennsylvania in 2001 to work with AmeriCorps. Four years later he became the town’s mayor – winning the election by a single vote – and has been at the forefront of a massive effort to revitalize the once prosperous town ever since.

John Fetterman was attracted to Braddock, PA by the town’s tragic arc of history and malignant beauty.

In 2009, Fetterman won a second term by nearly a 3-1 margin. As of this writing, Braddock is in its 40th consecutive month without a homicide. A relentless advocate for reimagining and redesigning Braddock, Mayor Fetterman’s focus on creating safer a safer, most just Braddock, youth-oriented programs, attracting artists and other ‘creatives’ to his community and to pursuing green urban renewal and economic development have been recognized in The New York Times, The Atlantic and The Guardian, and on CNBC, CNN, CBS News, The Colbert Report and Real Time with Bill Maher.

Learn More about Mayor Fetterman and the town of Braddock:

Complete event details are below:

Date: August 15, 2013
Time: 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Location: Jefferson Educational Society | 3207 State Street Erie, PA 16508

Destination Erie: A Regional Vision is working together with citizens throughout Erie County to build a more sustainable region by creating a plan to meet the economic, social and environmental challenges of the 21st Century.

Questions regarding Destination Erie: A Regional Vision or the public lecture series can be forwarded by email to or by phone at 814-451-7471.


In December 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Regional Administrator Jane C. W. Vincent announced the County of Erie as one of the recipients of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, totaling over $97 million.

Twenty seven communities and organizations received Community Challenge grants and the County is one of 29 regional areas that received a Regional Planning grant. The $1.8 million dollar grant is being used to develop the Destination Erie: Regional Plan for Sustainable Development. The goal of the Sustainable Communities grants is to help communities and
regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.

The Destination Erie Consortium has been created and is a partnership of local governments, regional planning agencies, and nonprofit/private sector organizations all committed to planning for a more prosperous and sustainable future for the Erie Region through the development and IMPLEMENTATION of a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development (RPSD).

As part of the Destination Erie Consortium, six working groups that are open to all Consortium members have been developed. These working groups provide an opportunity for people to get more involved in a particular element of the plan or process. Working group meetings will be structured around the major decision points in the planning process, including community forums and strategy and action plan development. The working groups are organized around
the themes of the HUD regional planning grants. In addition, they will address related topics required by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Code for comprehensive plans.




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