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'One Pittsburgh' Looking for New Members

A Regent Square man is helping a local movement for change.

John Pilecki of Regent Square is looking for neighbors who would like to become new members of One Pittsburgh, a group determined to fight for the middle class.

“It is organized and run by a group of faith-based organizations, the SEIU union and a group of volunteers who promote the interests of the 99 percent and are working toward wage equality, fair pay and stopping the destruction of education and public transit,” Pilecki said.

The group participates in local protests, most recently in the event in which Gov. Tom Corbett was being honored by the Pittsburgh Opera for his support of the arts, which many people dismissed because of recent state cuts. The group also is gathering signatures on a petition to get the state minimum wage raised to $10. Currently, the rate stands at a little over $7.

Pilecki wanted to get involved with One Pittsburgh after moving to the neighborhood in 2008, which also is the year he retired as a teacher.

“About a year and a half ago, a canvasser from One Pittsburgh came to the house and it sounded like something I wanted to get involved in,” he said. “I have some extra time now that I am retired.”

While he’s never been a huge activist, he has always been aware of political issues and also participated in the anti-war movement while in college. Pilecki now looks forward to getting more people from the East End involved in One Pittsburgh. In addition to local issues, One Pittsburgh members also recently traveled to Wisconsin to knock on doors during the recall election for Gov. Scott Walker.

“While we may be outspent, activism should be able to overcome that,” Pilecki said. “Now more than ever it’s important to stand up for your beliefs and be as active as our schedules allow us.”

Whether it’s driving people to the polls, writing articles for newsletters or helping with voter registration drives, Pilecki said everyone has a different skill to bring to the organization.

To get involved, email johnpilecki@gmail.com or visit onepittsburgh.org.

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