Democrat Barb Warwick was sworn in as the newest member of Pittsburgh City Council on Monday, bringing the nine-member council to full complement just in time for the start of 2023.
Shortly after Magisterial District Judge James Hanley administered the oath of office, Warwick addressed her new colleagues for the first time, promising to have an open-door policy now that she is a member of City Council.
“As we embark on this new chapter, I want you to know that my door is always open – you have my ear,” Warwick said. “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.”
Warwick said she plans to hit the ground running – and said there is no shortage of issues she wants City Council to address. She said the city’s Hazelwood neighborhood is in need of a grocery store, the city’s 31st Ward needs a recreation center and the Greenfield Elementary School could use a new playground.
The city could also benefit from traffic calming and making sidewalks and public transit more accessible, Warwick said.
She was quickly welcomed by her new colleagues, including members of Pittsburgh City Council and Mayor Ed Gainey.
Council Member Deb Gross said Warwick is a “great leader” and joked that while Warwick is a new addition to City Council, she’s no stranger, either, as she has been a recent attendee of meetings. Gross said Warwick “has been sitting in chambers with us every single session. I think she has better attendance than any single one of us already.”“You’ve elected a great leader and we look forward to working with her,” Gross added.
Council Member Erika Strassburger added that Warwick’s swearing in makes her the fourth member on City Council. “It's nice to have four women on Council again,” she said, adding: “I think that no one has any doubt in their mind that you are a persistent advocate for your community.”
Warwick represents City Council District 5, a seat that was most recently held by Corey O’Connor, who resigned in July to become Allegheny County Controller, per WTAE.
Warwick won her election for City Council in November, earning 11,930 votes en route to defeating Republican Eugene Bokor, who finished the race with 3,066 votes, according to Allegheny County’s election results.