On Monday, representatives from the North Side Leadership Conference, Northside United, and the Charm Bracelet project will meet informally with Stadium Authority chair Debbie Lestition and others to discuss ways that development between the stadiums might benefit all three parties, and open broad new possibilities across the North Side.
Relations between the well-established NSLC and the fledgling Northside United got off to an acrimonious start six months ago, when some members of the latter accused the former of cutting a presumptuous CBA with casino developer Don Barden.
Since that time, Northside United has toned down its rhetoric considerably -- contending on numerous occasions that the two community groups are not in opposition, and that NSLC acted in the best interests of its membership at the time.
Likewise, the NSLC has always maintained that other neighborhood organizations are encouraged to be active, to represent for themselves, and to pursue their own objectives as they see fit.
NSLC executive director Mark Fatla in particular is to be praised for burying the hatchet to some extent, and for approaching these talks with an open mind. So too is the rest of the leadership of both groups. Furthermore, both deserve accolades for agreeing to include the Charm Bracelet project, a club among family-friendly institutions on the North Side that may have a lot to offer.
Finally, the city's Stadium Authority is to be lauded for doing its level best to pro-actively explore Win-Win-Win-Win-Win (Do we have that right? Yes!) scenarios for community-friendly and developer-friendly development.
There are no guarantees for what may come out of this meeting -- nobody has made any commitments going in -- but the very fact that Pittsburgh is starting to operate in this fashion ("Let's just see what we can do!") gives the Comet reason to celebrate this weekend.