6. Demographics: The Pittsburgh media will search for good news in Pittsburgh’s modest but growing Latino and Indian and South Asian communities. More often than not, they will miss the story. New grocery stores are interesting and colorful and fun for shopping; new professionals migrating to Pittsburgh have a greater bearing on the region’s prosperity. 2010 will be Pittsburgh’s year of the woman (women?) in leadership, across politics, business, and the nonprofit sector.
Diversity initiatives, whether business-based on community-based, received some modest attention in 2010; the ACCD went to Puerto Rico; the Mayor went to China. Pittsburgh's Hispanic Chamber of Commerce continued to plug away, but it started from a near-zero baseline. Did I mention all of the Asian restaurants? Some of the best news came toward the end of the year: the hiring of a leader for Vibrant Pittsburgh, which will try to broaden the population of Pittsburgh professionals. The August Wilson Center for African American Culture opened its new building in late 2009, but 2010 was the Center's first "real" year, and the building seemed to give Pittsburgh's somewhat disjointed African-American community a helpful -- and beautiful -- focal point.
What about the women? I'm still waiting here; much too much of Pittsburgh remains in the hands of the usual (male) suspects. But several leading Pittsburgh women took on new or renewed roles in 2010: Dr. Patricia Beeson was appointed Provost at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Linda Lane was named Superintendnet of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Eve Picker launched CityLab, a "do-tank" (rather than a "think-tank") for experiments on and with the urban fabric of the city. Natalia Rudiak brought additional energy -- and youth -- to Pittsburgh City Council. I still suspect that there are many impressive women leading transformation around the Pittsburgh region (the Executive Women's Council plugs away; the ACCD's "Athena Awards" lists a roster of women in leadership roles); word of their work and their impact hasn't yet reached the Post-Gazette or Pittsblog's South Hills bureau or both.
I'll count this entry "Zero for Zero": no measurable predictions; no meaningful data. Here's hoping that 2011 brings more news.
Tomorrow: Law and order.