Updated: Jan 3
The Homepage is pleased to bring you complete coverage of Councilperson Barb Warwick's swearing in, including the full text of her remarks, the introduction of her staff and a photo gallery from the day.
Barb Warwick sworn in as District 5 council member
By Juliet Martinez
District 5 has a council member again. On December 12, Pittsburgh’s City Council chamber filled with neighbors, supporters and elected officials to cheer for the swearing-in of council’s newest member, Barbara Greenwood Warwick.
After taking the oath of office surrounded by her husband and four children, Councilperson Warwick thanked Corey O’Connor, who held the seat for 12 years before becoming the Allegheny County Controller in July.
She thanked elected officials, activists and neighborhood leaders who sat down with her during the six-year fight to stop the Mon-Oakland Connector project.
Ms. Warwick listed more current community needs, including a supermarket in Hazelwood, a playground at Greenfield School and a rec center in the 31st ward.
“We need traffic calming, accessible sidewalks and better public transit so people can get to work and school, and wherever they need to be safely and quickly without getting in a car,” she added.
The self-described “woman from The Run” went on to talk about the need for affordable housing and family-sustaining jobs for people no matter their education level, as well as the need to develop Hazelwood Green in a way that benefits the whole community.
Ms. Warwick said since winning the special election on November 8, she has been meeting with the Gainey administration, staff, the budget team and others.
She touted accomplishments from her short time as the council-member elect, including distributing more than $40,000 in Community First grants and securing a commitment from Department of Mobility and Infrastructure director Kim Lucas for traffic calming on upper Hazelwood Avenue.
Ms. Warwick promised to serve all of District 5, which she described as a microcosm of the city.
“We’ve got some of the wealthiest and most powerful people, all the way to some of the poorest and most vulnerable. And we’ve got everyone in between,” she said. “And I am here to represent all of you.”
The other council members praised Councilperson Warwick for getting right to work.
“For anyone here in chambers, or supporters who don’t already know, your Councilperson-elect has been sitting in chambers with us every single session,” Councilperson Deb Gross said. “I think she has better attendance than anyone else.”
Council president Theresa Kail-Smith celebrated having four women council members again.
“The last time we had four women on Council was back when Councilperson Rudiak was here,” she said. “And we caused a little bit of shakeups around here. And I will just say, we're looking forward to shaking things up with you too.”
Natalia Rudiak represented District 4 from 2010 to 2017.
Councilperson Warwick launched her campaign for the District 5 seat in late May of last year, before Controller O'Connor vacated it. But in late June he was sworn in as Allegheny County Controller.
County Democratic committee members chose now-Councilperson Warwick as the nominee in a September 15 vote.
The special election took place on the same day as the general election. Ms. Warwick won with 74.29% of the vote.
Juliet Martinez is the managing editor of The Homepage.
“I am here to represent all of you.” Councilperson Barb Warwick's full remarks after taking the oath of office on December 12
Hey everyone. Before I start, is County Controller Corey O’Connor here? Hi. Stand up, Corey. Can everybody please give Corey a round of applause? Thank you. So he served in this office for 12 years and we all owe him a debt of gratitude. So thank you, Corey.
So let me start. I just want to say thank you.
Thank you to everyone here, for taking the time out on a busy Monday to come and celebrate this day and this office. Thank you to my family, and to my friends and my neighbors, and to everyone up here who came to speak on my behalf.
Thank you to every activist, neighborhood leader, committee member and elected official who sat down to talk with this woman from The Run about how her community spent six years fighting the Mon-Oakland Connector. And how it was about more than just a shuttle road through a public park. How it was about people and communities coming together, building coalitions and demanding a say in how government resources – our money – is spent. Because we know what’s best for our communities. And we know that building the Pittsburgh of the future doesn’t mean anything if it ignores the voices and the needs of the people living in Pittsburgh today.
So, here we are. We stopped a shuttle road and then we won a seat on City Council. But what happens now?
There’s still so much to do. We’ve got a grocery store to build in Hazelwood. We’ve got a playground to build at Greenfield School. We need a rec center for our kids and seniors in the 31st Ward. And we need traffic calming and accessible sidewalks, and better public transit, so people can get to work and school and wherever they need to be, safely and quickly without getting in a car. We need to clear out vacant lots and build affordable housing.
That’s right! And yes, we do need to build the Hazelwood Green. But we need to do it in a way that includes the surrounding communities, and insures well-paid, family-sustaining jobs for every worker in every building, whether they have a college degree or not.
I have to be honest with you all. I woke up on November 9 feeling very nervous. Like, oof, man. Are we going to be able to do this? Am I going to be able to deliver on all this “for the people, by the people” governance model that we’ve been talking about for so long?
Well, on that same day, on November 9, I had my first meeting right here in this building. It was a meeting with Deputy Director Pollack and Director Ranallo of Community Engagement. It was a meeting about traffic calming, of course. And it went really well.
And after that meeting, I stopped in to say hello to Council President Smith and Reverend Burgess. I met Madame Clerk for the first time and her staff, and the council budget team. And so many others. And you know what? They’ve been so amazing, so helpful and kind every step of the way. Councilmembers Gross, Coghill, Strassburger, Wilson, Lavelle, and your staff. You’ve been wonderful.
DOMI [Department of Mobility and Infrastructure], DPW [Department of Public Works], they’ve been so helpful that, in fact, even before I entered my office, we all were able to distribute more than $40,000 in Community First grants across District 5. We got a commitment from [DOMI] Director Lucas for traffic calming on upper Hazelwood Avenue. And [DPW] Director Hornstein sat down with us and figured out how to pay for renovations to the Burgwin Rec Center in Glen Hazel.
So, as someone who is brand new to city government, I have to say I am really impressed by the hard work and dedication of every single person that I’ve met here so far. So to all of you out there serving the people of Pittsburgh, I want to thank you, too. And I want to say what an incredible honor it is to have been chosen to serve with you.
I know everyone is probably looking at their watches. You’ve got meetings to get back to. Work to do. So I’m going to wrap it up, but you see, the thing about District 5 is it’s really unique. It’s a microcosm of the city as a whole. We’ve got it all. We’ve got some of the wealthiest and most powerful people, all the way to some of the poorest and most vulnerable. And we’ve got everyone in between. We’ve got every race, religion, orientation. Young people, families with kids, retirees. We’ve got progressives, Blue Dogs and Republicans. We’ve got environmentalists and developers. We’ve got people who just arrived and people whose families have been in their communities for generations. And I am here to represent all of you.
As we embark on this new chapter, for Greenfield, Hazelwood, Glen Hazel, Squirrel Hill, Swisshelm Park, Regent Square, Lincoln Place, Hays and New Homestead, that's right, 31st Ward, I’ve got you. I’ve got you.
As we embark on this new chapter, I want you to know that my door is always open. You have my ear. And while I can’t promise that we’ll always agree or that we’ll get everything all at once, what I can promise is that you will always know exactly where I stand and that my staff and I will be proactive and persistent. And we will listen and push and follow up and follow up and follow up again and again until every community has what it needs to thrive.
So let’s get to work!
City council: Meet your new District 5 team
From the office of District 5 Councilperson Barb Warwick
Hello District 5 neighbors!
Thank you for reading the first of our monthly community updates in The Homepage! Barb is so honored and excited to be representing you all on City Council through 2023. Please be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter at
https://wkf.ms/3j89oUu or using the QR code at the end of this article.
Meet the team
As we kick off the new year and get our feet wet, the District 5 Council team will start out small, but mighty!
We hope to meet you and get to know you all at community meetings and other events around the district. If there's an event happening in your community that you would like Barb or someone from her team to attend, please let us know! You can reach our office at (412) 255-8965 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barb is a local community organizer and working mom living in Four Mile Run with her husband and four young kids. She has lived in The Run since 2014. After winning the special election to fill the remaining year on Corey O’Connor’s term, she was sworn in as the District 5 City Councilmember on Dec. 12.
You can reach Barb by email at email@example.com or by phone at (412) 368-2068.
Laura worked as the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator at Just Harvest before joining Barb’s staff. She grew up in Harmony, PA and studied journalism at Point Park University. She will be working full-time as a legislative aide for the District 5 office. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brooke is a law student at the University of Pittsburgh and will graduate with a Certificate in Energy and Environmental Law. Brooke spends time volunteering for reproductive justice organizations, enjoying Nine Mile Run with her dogs and leading pro-bono projects on campus. Brooke will be working part-time as a legislative aide for the District 5 office. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Addy is a Greenfield resident with a background in design strategy, community building, and technology. She wants residents to feel they have access to the government they elect, and enjoys helping demystify the processes and codes in place for everyone. Addy will be working part-time as an aide for the District 5 office. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November and December updates
Lots has been happening since Barb became the councilmember-elect. In addition to moving into the new office at 414 Grant Street and getting to know their new colleagues on council, at the mayor’s office and across the city, the team has been busy working on:
Distributing more than $40,000 in Community First grants to small nonprofits across the district, with a focus on organizations serving youth and neighbors in need
Working with Public Works to secure funding to renovate the Burgwin Rec Center
Talking with Citiparks about options for offering satellite services for kids and seniors in the 31st Ward
Securing a commitment from the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure to implement simple traffic calming measures at the top of Hazelwood Avenue in 2023 and to begin work on a traffic calming plan along the entire corridor
As we move into 2023, remember that the City Council District 5 Office is here to represent YOU. So, if you ever have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Here’s to a happy, healthy, and productive New Year!
Barb Warwick and your District 5 City Council team
Image gallery: Barb Warwick's swearing-in, December 12
All photos by Heather Mull
Correction: The January print issue of The Homepage erroneously states that Councilperson Warwick's middle name is Greenfield. It is Greenwood. A previous version of this page also contained this error.