Mayor of Braddock, PA
John Fetterman graduated from Harvard University in 1999 with a Master of Public Policy degree. He moved to Braddock in 2001 to work for AmeriCorps, helping local youth who had left school earn their GED. After living in Braddock for four years, attracted by what he called the town’s “malignant beauty”, Fetterman ran for mayor in 2005. Following his election, Fetterman initiated youth and art programs, created a community center, and has initiated development of the town’s condemned buildings and struggling economy. Fetterman has attracted many young artists to the town through cheap rent and starting various art exhibitions. The town’s “renaissance” has attracted individuals from cities such as Chicago and Portland, Oregon, drawn by the potential for development and growth. Other programs he has spearheaded include a two-acre organic urban farm, run by teenagers of the Braddock Youth Project. Fetterman has also been involved in the Environmental Defense Fund’s advocacy for carbon caps and green technology and believes that development of green energy industries can revitalize the region’s economy.