G20: Taking the People’s Pulse

It’s called “Man on the Street”. That’s the technical term in the TV biz for on-camera reaction from everyday people to a topic. I decided with G20 getting near, I thought I would ask my own men ( and women ) on the street for their thoughts on this events which will no doubt affect everyone who lives or works in this city.

I turned to Facebook Nation.

I think most people know by now I have a Facebook page. Some may think its goofy and others might see it as self-serving. From time to time, I think it’s the perfect place get a feel for the conversation concerning any topic. Nothing scientific, but it’s always interesting.

I like to share some them with you … without telling you exactly who said what. You have to become my Facebook friend to do that  and I can tell you its a grueling process.

Let’s begin with some local folks who clearly are focusing on the headaches that will come with meeting of the powerful leaders of the world:

Renee: “Too much of an inconvenience.”

 Denise:  “I have a daughter who works in town and they have to go in and I am a little nervous for her …”

Laurie: “My husband works downtown and I am concerned about the safety of the people who have to be there.”

Sarah: “Very happy I don’t have to go to Pittsburgh on business!”
 
Of course, some feel the traffic restriction are only the beginning. In fact, they are starting to feel the fatigue from all things G20.
 
Ryan: “I’m sorry to feel this way but I’m going to be very glad when this is over, I’ve been tired of hearing about this, from the funding  for the conference to the protesters petitioning for demonstration space, to the transportation plans and restrictions, JUST TIRED OF IT!!!”
 
However, there are those for whom the positives outweigh the prospect and the triumph of the moment is greater than the trouble we might see.
 
Heather: “I think it is a complete honor that it is being held in Pittsburgh.”
 
Amy:  “We are a city struggling to meet the budget without having the extra financial stresses.”
 
Jill:“Like anything of this magnitude, there are positive and negative aspects. I hope we Pittsburghers will deal with them graciously.”
 
Gina: “I think it’s a tremendous economic boost for the city…and it will give us great publicity.”
 
 A lot of people comments to me on Facebook that they did not understand why there were so many protestors were coming or what exactly they were protesting. However, I think the following comment best sums up the feeling of many who call this region home. It can be summed up in two words: cautious optimism.
 
Melanie: “At first I thought it would be a positive. (exposing Pittsburgh to the world) Then when you hear about all the protesting and businesses having to close, I am apprehensive. We shall see. This is definitely history in the making.”
 
As for me, I agree it will be history in the making. Pittsburgh may never host an event of  such international importance. Then again, if all goes well and the world is impressed with what they see, maybe the G20 is only the beginning on what western Pennsylvania is capable of doing.
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