Monday, June 16, 2008

The Preamble to the H.R.C.

In order to achieve increased independence for city government, and more power over local matters, the people of Pittsburgh adopt this home rule charter as an instrument of progress and hope.

It has been created in a long labor, open to all citizens and participated in by many.

The purpose of this charter is a responsible city. A responsible city is one which seeks to ensure that all of its citizens' needs are met, whether from public or private, city, county, state or national sources.

A responsible city is one which expects aggressive action from its officials toward the achievement of dignified housing, useful employment, pure air and water, efficient transportation excellent education, health, safety, recreation and culture, and the other conditions conducive to human growth.

It is one which provides equal protection of the law for all citizens, with no one denied the enjoyment of civil, economic or political rights, or discriminated against in the exercise thereof because of race, color, creed, national origin, age, handicap or sex.

It is one where all citizens have reasonable access to records and officials and where police power is under civil direction at all times.

It is one where citizens generously accept service in government, participate thoughtfully in public decisions, support public employees in the performance of lawful duties, avoid frivolous use of their rights and supply their government with sufficient resources to meet its responsibilities.

The achievement of the purpose of this home rule charter depends upon the constant interest and concern of citizens.

According to the forward, "The Pittsburgh Home Rule Charter was approved by the voters on November 5, 1974."


1. "The achievement of the purpose of this Home Rule Charter depends upon the constant interest and concern of citizens." We are fortunate that the technology is finally catching up to the need!

2. The need for achieving "dignified housing" is the first specific imperative laid out in the Charter, and it demands "aggressive" action.

3. This can fairly be classified as a liberal charter, what with all that clatter about the government being there to provide for "conditions conducive to human growth."

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