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How to Bring Back the Rust Belt, One Town at a Time

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Alexis Madrigal over at the Atlantic shows us how the Mayor of Braddock, PA, who is "6'8" and built like an MMA fighter" has a "shaved head and a long, grey-flecked goatee" along with "forearms...emblazoned with tattoos" is turning around this once-blighted town.

It's not just his appearance that's getting him noticed. It's:

"...Fetterman's record of success in revitalizing Braddock, Pennsylvania, the site of Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill, and one of the many towns suffering from the collapse of the American steel industry. Since the 70s, the town had lost 85 percent of its residents. Homicides and other violent crimes became regular events. 

During the Harvard Kennedy School of Government graduate's five years as the town's mayor, homicides and police calls have fallen. New businesses are arriving. Braddock Farms is growing produce on abandoned lots. Levi's likes the town so much, the company featured it in its advertisements and will donate $1 million over the next two years to community projects. As for Fetterman, he's not the kind of politician seeking higher office. One of his tattoos is the number 15104, Braddock's zip code."

John Fetterman, Mayor of Braddock Pennsylvania from Alexis Madrigal on Vimeo.

Now take a look at this comment posted by a reader calling him/herself "Angst":

"Why in hell is this Mayor flying off to Aspen to Schmooze with The Beautiful People while his city is so distressed? Did he use his own money?"

And Mayor Fetterman's response:

"hi, angst! i was invited to attend the ideas festival in aspen. and yes, i paid my own airfare! 'why in the hell' did i go? well, angst it's because braddock has a lot of needs and there are a lot of compassionate, committed and connected people at the festival. one look at me, and you'll clearly see i am *not* one of the "beautiful people". no "schmoozing" , just dialogues with people about the plight of my community, and those of the rust belt as well. so, until the sarcastic and angry troll community starts a foundation to help my town, i am resigned to accepting the kind and generous invitations of wonderful organization like the aspen institute."


Fetterman: 1

Angst: 0
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.