Pop!Tech ’09: Mayor Fetterman
Braddock, Pennsylvania, once a booming steel town, has been deteriorating for decades. In the 1950s it had a population of around 20,000. By 2000, the population had dwindled to 2,912 and the situation hasn't gotten any better. Until recently. John Fetterman, Braddock's young mayor, a tattooed behemoth of a man (he has Braddock's zipcode inked on his left arm), is trying to turn the city around.
Fetterman has been cultivating local creativity, supporting urban farming, and lured in at least one successful clean energy business.
He's at the forefront of America's battle to breathe new life into our crumbling Rust Belt cities and it's going to be hard. But people like Fetterman, who are inspired to lead in these struggling cities, are doing it for the love of the community, not for their own political ambitions. For Fetterman, bringing Braddock back to life is a labor of love, not a stepping stone to the Senate. That makes him an example for politicians everywhere.
GOOD profiled him a while ago (and he just made the cover of The Atlantic) but his work merits another mention. Also be sure to check out Braddock's website, which reflects the gritty reality of the city and his hopes for its future.