This Monday, Mayor Bill Peduto visited Obama to expound on moving forward in life and answer questions from students. He opened with a note on his appreciation of Obama’s recognition of its regional identity before moving onto the meat of his speech: his own story of achieving success. As he shared his life story and memories of frequent failure and disappointment, making sacrifices and learning from poor choices, he always returned to a message of “keep moving forward.” Whether the obstacle in front of him was the loss of a loved one or electoral failure, he consistently reminded the students in attendance of the importance of bouncing back from a loss, an idea that he credited for his success today and position as Mayor.
From there he opened himself up to a plethora of questions. Eager hands flew in the air almost immediately, each student vying for the chance to pick Bill Peduto’s brain. Inquiries ranged from the advantages and damages of gentrification to the mayor’s wished-for legacy to the potential impact of a teacher’s strike. In many of his responses, the mayor stressed the importance of local government in getting things done in politics and being responsive to the needs of citizens, especially in the context of the opioid epidemic and the city’s infrastructure, a message that seemed to resonate with students. In the end, the presentation ended in the same manner it began: with thunderous applause.
If you’d like to hear some audio from Mayor Peduto’s talk, click here.
We’d like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Peduto for taking the time out his busy schedule to see us. We’re confident that his sentiments served as an invaluable experience for all of those in attendance.