Pictured: Inaugural Congess, June 19, 2009
The second most fragmented metropolitan area in the United States, Allegheny County is home to 130 unique municipalities.
CONNECT emerged as a response to the absence of a formal structure for dialogue among the communities that comprise the economic and political powerhouse of Southwestern Pennsylvania. In 2009, Dr. David Miller, Director of the Center for Metropolitan Studies at the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, gathered together representatives of the City of Pittsburgh and municipalities surrounding the City to determine if there was an appetite and a willingness to come together to discuss common cross boundary issues.
He and other municipal leaders knew that there are certain things that do not obey political boundaries or human-made borders. Thus, there was a significant need for communication and collaboration across these borders.
The first CONNECT Congress was held in 2009, and resulted in the passing of organizational resolutions and a resounding agreement that the need for an organization that would address the needs of the urban core was necessary. CONNECT has been working to address these common policy challenges ever since.
A Brief Policy Timeline of CONNECT 2009-2019
2009: Founded with first slate of Officers & established at GSPIA Center for Metropolitan Studies
2010: Bylaws developed and adopted; Partnership with 3 Rivers Wet Weather begins
2011: EMS funding crisis evaluated by CONNECT & City Controller
2012: Sun Shot DOE Grant with PennFuture developing model zoning for rooftop solar
2013: CONNECT Community Paramedic Program work begins
2014: Sewer Regionalization Implementation Committee (SRIC) convenes
2015: Two Utility Summits to begin infrastructure coordination work; Second Executive Director transition
2016: Health Working Group convenes to work on opioid/heroin epidemic
2017: Transit-Oriented Development Zoning Project begins
2018: Funded partnership with County Health Department on opioid/heroin response
2019: Third Executive Director transition; Working Group Activation