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Like so many of us who grew up here, I am proud to call myself your very biggest fan. Your heart is the people like me who love you so very much and who make you such a special place for so many of us.
My story is a lot like so many of ours. I was born in Greenfield and raised by a single mom. I began my schooling at Yeshiva after my mom begged my way in. Her hope was that I wouldn’t have to do what she was doing: working two jobs while raising kids and attending night school. After Yeshiva, I entered the Pittsburgh Public school system; first at Minadeo, then Sterrett, and finally graduating from Allderdice. And in another familiar Pittsburgh twist, I met my best friend - now husband - Josh during those years in our public schools. Years later, my kids walked those same halls at Minadeo and Allderdice and I became one of “those parents.” I was so involved in Minadeo that I helped to plan, build, and fund a playground there. This work led to a deeper connection in the district and I joined executive committees focusing on visioning and strategy and budgeting.
While I left my formal Jewish education behind, I could never leave the community behind and spent my formative years at the Jewish Community Center; first in Oakland at the Irene Kaufman Center and then later in the newer buildings. My summers were spent at J&R Day Camp and the Emma Kauffman overnight camp, where, like so many of us, I went from camper to counselor. I’m proud that my kids followed in my footsteps here too, at J&R and EKC, both as campers and as counselors - and as members of a community that cares so deeply about each other and about doing what is right and that has wrapped us all in so much love. After receiving my Bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, I came back home to get my Master’s degree in Social Work and Public Policy which led to a Fellowship with the Coro Center which landed me a job working in economic development in Mayor Tom Murphy’s office. Finally I was able to help the community which had given me so much, and I was energized by the opportunity to reach friends, neighbors, and family in every one of Pittsburgh’s ninety neighborhoods. Pittsburgh prides itself on being a City of Helpers (so says Mr. Rogers) and I’m no different. After leaving Mayor Murphy’s staff, I worked in a number of our nonprofits and served on several of their boards and was bold on their behalves. From making fundraising requests to asking hard questions to get projects done, I have always worked hard to make sure that the organizations I’ve worked for were doing their best for our City. In recent years, I’ve found myself back in municipal government working in the County Controller’s office, first in community engagement where the highlight of my time was working closely with Controller Chelsa Wagner to plan and execute a series of forums on community healthcare to allow our community members to share their stories and connect to resources during the UPMC/Highmark conflict. The stories we gathered directly enabled Attorney General Josh Shapiro to build his case to settle the dispute and maintain healthcare access for thousands of residents. I later turned my attention inward, to the Controller’s office’s greatest asset: its people. They do really incredible things like pay 7,000 people biweekly, operate a business management platform for the County, perform objective professional audits, pay bills, review contracts and so much more. I reorganized the office to make their jobs easier; to make work flow more smoothly; and to ensure that every staff person was in a position to perform their best and to be successful. I became Deputy Controller and then served as Acting Controller when Chelsa Wagner was elected to the Court of Common Pleas. That is a lot about me. But you already know me the way I already know you. I’m a yinzer who believes in doing what is right and always asking questions and always looking out for people. Because one thing we know here in Pittsburgh is that if we don’t care for each other, who else will? I believe that I am the absolute best person to be the next City of Pittsburgh Controller. I have the experience, the grit, the heart, and the commitment to our people and our City, and I just want to keep doing what I’ve been doing for years: looking out for our community. With all my love, Tracy
Tracy in 4 Words
From beginning her career in Mayor Tom Murphy’s administration, to serving as Deputy County Controller, to now Acting County Controller, Tracy not only knows what it takes to fight for us, she has the experience and track record to prove it.
Tracy knows the very first responsibility of the City Controller is to be a watchdog for us and our tax dollars. That means being unwavering, standing strong in the face of power to investigate and root out fraud and abuse in order to protect the taxpayer.
Tracy will carry out the duties of City Controller the way she does everything, by putting people and community first. Running the office with the integrity she always has, to be a truly independent watchdog in politics, only following the money – our money – not the status quo.
Tracy believes good governance is active governance. That means she will bring the innovative vision and energy needed to seek out constituents, and enhance communication, information, and visibility of the office.