806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Letter from the President – September 2020

We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.
Thomas Jefferson

And now for something completely different…elections! The consensus of opinion expressed at the August General Membership meeting is that AWCC should not conduct our election during an in-person meeting this year due to risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The revised election plan, which will be discussed at the September meeting and finalized by the October meeting for a November 10th election is as follows: 

  • AWCC Members will vote during a window of time on the evening of November 10, 2020.  Much thanks to Ed Menzer, owner of the Parador Inn on Western Avenue, who generously offered the use of his wheelchair accessible ballroom space as our polling place.  
  • The polling place will open prior to the vote so that any late nominations (“from the floor”) can be submitted. Members who come to vote will see a ballot with the Nomination Committee slate, as well as from the floor nominations that can be written in if desired.
  • Sergeant-at-Arms Sara Sweeney is responsible for the orderly operation of the election process.  Sara will serve as Chief Judge of Election, and, along with two appointed Assistant Judges of Election (TBD) will collect, count, recount, and certify the election. The results will be announced via a Zoom meeting after the polls close on November 10th.   
  • Also on November 10th, per the by-laws, we should select the members of the 2021 Nominating Committee. The first job of the Nominating Committee is nominating the Neighbor of the Year in April.  The Executive Committee recommendation is to delay the selection of the Nominating Committee until February or March. 

The Nominating Committee is hard at work preparing the slate for the November 10th election.  If you are interested in serving on the 2021 AWCC Executive Committee, please contact Tim Zinn, Nominating Committee Chair, me or any of the current Board members. To be eligible to vote in the AWCC election on November 10th, you must pay your membership dues by October 10th. (More information.)

For extra fun, we’re going to conclude the September 8th Informational Meeting with the First Ever AWCC Trivia Contest.  It’s open to everyone and there will be prizes! Think you know a lot about Allegheny West?  Think again. Side-betting and trash-talking are encouraged. Hope to see you on the 8th.

Ann Gilligan
President, AWCC

AWCC Informational Meeting – September 8, 2020

Via Zoom (details)
Tuesday, September 8th at 7:30 pm

  • 7:30 – Gather, Say Hello, Make Trivia Contest Side Bets
  • 7:35 – Update: City of Pittsburgh, Mayor’s Office (Leah Friedman)
  • 7:45 – Update: Councilman Wilson’s Office (Councilman Wilson)
  • 7:55 – Update: Representative Wheatley’s Office (Maddie Fox)
  • 8:00 – Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (Erin Tobin)
  • 8:10 – AWCC Election Update
  • 8:25 – Treasurer’s Report
  • 8:30 – Committee Reports (Ways & Means, Housing & Planning)
  • 8:35 – First-ever AWCC Trivia Contest
  • 8:45 – Award Prizes and Conclusion

Membership Dues & Elections

According to the AWCC By-Laws members receive voting privileges thirty days after payment of dues. Elections will take place during the November 12th membership meeting so if you’re thinking about becoming a member, now is a great time to do that. Contact Cathy ( if you’d like to pay electronically or send a check made out to Allegheny West Civic Council to:

Allegheny West Civic Council
ATTN: Membership
806 Western Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Membership Dues

Annual Dues $5.00 and Lifetime Dues $50.00

AWCC Informational Meeting – August 11, 2020

Via Zoom (details)
Tuesday, August 11th at 7:30 pm

  • 7:30 – Gather, Say Hello, Compare Zoom Backgrounds
  • 7:35 – Update: City of Pittsburgh, Mayor’s Office (Leah Friedman)
  • 7:45 – Update: Councilman Wilson’s Office (Councilman Wilson)
  • 7:55 – Update: Representative Wheatley’s Office (Thomas Graham)
  • 8:05 – Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (Erin Tobin)
  • 8:15 – AWCC Election
  • 8:25 – Norfolk Southern Merchant Street Bridge Project
  • 8:35 – WANID
  • 8:45 – Conclusion

AWCC Informational Meeting – July 14, 2020

Via Zoom (details)
Tuesday, July 14th at 7:30 pm

  • 7:30 – Gather, Say Hello, Talk about Weather (It’s hot!)
  • 7:35 – Update: City of Pittsburgh, Mayor’s Office
  • 7:45 – AWCC 2020 Budget/COVID-19 Impact (Cathy Serventi)
  • 8:00 – Allegheny Commons Park Update: Playground Equipment (Tom Barbush)
  • 8:15 – Norfolk Southern Update: Bridge Demolition (John DeSantis)
  • 8:30 – Conclusion

AWCC Informational Meeting – June 9, 2020

Via Zoom (details below)
Tuesday, June 9th at 7:30 pm

  • 7:30 – Gather, Test Audio, Learn to Use Mute
  • 7:35 – Brighton Road Redesign Plans – Sean Stephens (City of Pittsburgh, Department of Mobility and Infrastructure)
  • 7:55 – Leah Friedman (City of Pittsburgh)
  • 8:10 – Erin Tobin (Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy)
  • 8:15 – AWCC 2020 Budget – Cathy Serventi
  • 8:25 – Norfolk Southern Update – John DeSantis
  • 8:30 – Allegheny West Parklet Sign Design Changes – Diane Caruso
  • 8:35 – Allegheny West 2020 Neighbor of the Year Award – Tim Zinn
  • 8:40 – Conclusion

Please use this link to join the meeting:

If you are calling in on a phone for audio only the teleconference numbers are below:

Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

Meeting ID: 896 3259 3158
Participant ID: #

Letter from the President – May 2020

“You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the following upcoming AWCC events have been cancelled:

  • May 12th General Membership Meeting
  • 2020 Memorial Day Picnic
  • 2020 Wine and Garden Tour
  • 2020 Alleys, Axles and Ales
  • 2020 Wine Spectacular Dinner

Like most everything else, AWCC business has ground to a halt. The Executive Committee is meeting on the last Tuesday of each month via Zoom. We are prepared to address any neighborhood issues or questions that might normally be discussed at a General Membership meeting. If there is an AWCC topic that you think needs to be addressed while membership meetings are suspended, please reach out to me or anyone on the Executive Committee.

As of this writing there has been no AWCC business requiring a vote of the Executive Committee, aside from approval of Committee recommendations to cancel upcoming events. We discussed and agreed that we will wait to see where things stand for the Fourth of July Block Party, and perhaps come up with a creative way to have a safe neighborhood celebration. 

As you might imagine, the AWCC By-Laws do not provide guidance on how to conduct meetings during a pandemic. If the PA Department of Health continues to mandate a stay at home order or limit gatherings to a maximum of 10 people in June, we will look into alternate ways to meet and, at a minimum, provide updates on some of the on-going membership meeting topics such as WANID and Norfolk Southern Railroad project.

Lastly, a reminder to everyone about the AWCC  “Zoom Room”: It’s available for anyone to use, for gatherings large and small. Please take advantage of this to keep in virtual touch with one another. If you have an idea for a Zoom event send an email to

Stay safe everyone!

Ann Gilligan
President, AWCC

Letter from the President – April 2020

“We’ll meet again
Don’t know where, don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away

From the song, “We’ll Meet Again”, written by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles

At the March 10th General Membership meeting the membership voted to give the AWCC President authority to suspend future meetings in the event of medical emergencies related to the COVID-19 outbreak. I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that tonight’s scheduled General Membership meeting is cancelled. The May 12th meeting is tentative and will proceed based on Local, State and CDC guidance.

Also at the March 10th meeting, the Executive Committee was given the authority to conduct the business of the organization during a suspension of meetings. As of April 13th there has been no AWCC business requiring a vote of the Executive Committee.

The cancellation of regular AWCC meetings is a small example of the historically significant time we’re experiencing. I haven’t heard of anyone in Allegheny West who has been hospitalized due to the coronavirus, and for that I’m thankful and hopeful. Some of our neighbors and neighborhood businesses are facing significant financial hardships. Other neighbors are working the frontlines in healthcare. All of us are experiencing disruptions to our normal lives, along with the anxiety and stress that brings.

Amidst the darkness brought about by the pandemic are some uplifting things happening in Allegheny West. Hopefully these will brighten your day and perhaps provide inspiration to add to this list:

  • The AWCC Website team – notably Nick Smerker – quickly implemented changes to our website to add helpful COVID-19 information and links to resources – see the great work at
  • Neighbors answered the call to place teddy bears in windows for neighborhood children (well, really for all of us) to find on bear-hunting outings.
  • Neighbors are participating in Tuesday evening “Illumination Ovation” with people across the city by stepping outside to honor front-line workers for their amazing efforts by lighting porch lights and applauding.
  • Neighbors are checking in on other neighbors, offering to pick up grocery and pharmacy supplies or just to say hello.
  • Neighbors are getting take-out food and beverages from local businesses, supporting them while normal operations are suspended.
  • Neighbors are sewing and donating face masks.

Finally, I want to remind everyone that AWCC has a “Zoom Room” – with big thanks to Cathy Serventi for setting it up and providing technical support. The AWCC Zoom Room is available for anyone to use, for gatherings large and small. Please take advantage of this to keep in virtual touch with one another. If you have an idea for a Zoom event, send an email to

Stay safe everyone!

Ann Gilligan
President, AWCC

AWCC Membership Meeting – March 10, 2020

Calvary United Methodist Church, 971 Beech Avenue
Tuesday, March 10th at 7:30 pm

  • 7:30 – Guests
    • Officer Burford, Pittsburgh Police
    • Molly Onufer, Mayor’s Office
    • Councilman Wilson’s Office
    • Senator Wheatley’s Office
    • Erin Tobin, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
  • 7:50 – February Membership Meeting Minutes
  • 8:00 – Committee Reports
    • Ways & Means
    • Housing & Planning
    • Friends of Allegheny West
    • Membership
    • Property
    • By-Laws
  • 8:30 – Treasurer’s Report
  • 8:40 – Old Business
    • Anti-littering Crusade (Tom Barbush)
  • 8:45 – New Business
    • PPC Letter of Support for Restoration of the Hartzell Monument
    • Andrew Reichert, Birgo: requesting letter of support to develop behind Stables Building
  • 9:00 – Meeting Conclusion