On Sept. 25 Mayor John Fetterman of Braddock, Pa., gave a presentation about his town to an eager auditorium full of Juniata students and Huntingdon residents. Braddock is a desperate town that suffered a crippling blow when its steel plant shut down, reducing over time the number of residents from around 20,000 to below 3,000. Fetterman has been working to restore the town ever since he was elected in 2005. Students offer their take on the mayor’s work.
Caleb Ayres, ’16 Tyrone, Pa.:
I learned that there are some genuine politicians out there. He had a very altruistic outlook on what he wants to do with his town, he seems like a really cool guy.
David Wouch, ’16 Plano, Texas.:
When you want to make a difference in a place like that, you have to be sincere.
Doug Pierce, ’16 Newtown, Conn..:
He was trying to get the message across that with enough care and selflessness, one can take the bad aspects of a community and improve them. Politicians should put the people that they govern before themselves.
Dan Phillips, ’15 Allentown, Pa.:
Mayor John Fetterman, I could tell, was a very intelligent man. He knew you have to spend money to earn something back from the community. His community is unique, and he knows that and plays off that. The town is a prime example of how engaging youth can get them out of trouble, investing in public services, such as police, can help so much, and giving people opportunities to advance themselves will better the community in a whole.
Christian Getz, ’16 Tyrone, Pa.:
Don’t take what you have for granted because some people live in terrible conditions. You might think you have it bad living in a dorm, but some people out there would kill to have it.
-Josh Maier ’16, Juniata Online Journalist