Bob O’Connor is anti anti-Pittsburgh cabbies.

I love this city. It is true. Yes, it has rained nonstop for about 48 hours. I haven’t seen the sun except in magazine pictures. The police are suing, the bridges are falling, and the pigeons are pissy as usual. But I still love the city.

Bobby O’Connor does too and wants to make sure everyone else does. He’s being sworn in today at noon on the steps of the City Council Building.

So what do you think his first order of business should be? Toss a few back with Lukey boy, the 25-year-old City Council Prez and talk budget? Sit the police down and discuss the lawsuit? Talk to the Penguins to ensure they stay in town?

No, Bobby says one of the first things he’s going to do is this:

For example, O’Connor said, one of his first acts after taking office will be to meet with the city’s cab drivers “and make sure they’re all positive and pro-Pittsburgh” when bringing guests into town.

Whew! That is important stuff. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten into a cab and heard a gruff voice say, “The hell is a pretty thing like you doing in this God-forsaken, shitty, rat hole of a city?”

Are visitors from out of town getting into cabs at the airports and then being taken on negative and anti-Pittsburgh tours of the Hill, Fifth/Forbes, and the prison?

Is he serious? Make sure the cabbies are positive and pro-Pittsburgh?!?!

I just … [shrug].

It goes on:

“This is a real celebration of the city of Pittsburgh,” said Anna Dobkins, O’Connor’s inaugural coordinator. “I was on the campaign with Bob, and the point that really resonated with me when Bob was speaking in public was that we need to feel good about ourselves in Pittsburgh.”

Yes, feeling good about ourselves is totally going to take care of this city’s financial issues. I mean, if we’re all drunk and high on ecstasy all the time and feelin’ good about ourselves, who gives a crap about being taxed to poverty? We FEEL GOOD!

We’re good enough. We’re smart enough. And gosh darn it … people like us!

Now THERE’s a title for the song for the City of Pittsburgh in 2008.


  1. foresight20T20
    January 3, 2006 2:49 pm

    Perception is a city’s best friend or worst enemy. When out of towners are presented a negative image of Pittsburgh from the moment they step in their cabs at the airport until their ride home that message will resonate and they will end up believing it as fact. I don’t think that ignoring our problems and just thinking happy thoughts will solve anything, but I do think forward thinking and positive action will. Negativity is the ultimate deterrent to creative thinking and positive momentum. I think O’Connor’s primary point is that if we don’t believe in ourselves and present Pittsburgh in a positive light then we will only serve to undermine this city becoming a better place to live and conduct business. I like your Blog’s content, come check me out at

  2. Anonymous
    January 4, 2006 8:40 am

    If you were to go by the image that cabbies in any city give off of that city you are unlikely to have a good perception of any city. I have been to many cities where I have had great cabbies who have offered great information about the city. I have also had experiences with cabbies who were rude, crude and disgusting. Just because I had those experiences in a car on my way to my destination does not mean that I am never going to go to that city again or that I am going to run from the city for fear that something bad may happen to me due to a car ride to my hotel. I just think O’Connor has bigger things to worry about as people are people and even if you meet with the cab drivers you can not be certain that they will always be full of sunshine and happiness. They are human for goodness sakes!!