HIT: Since the greed-is-good days of the mid-1980s, many companies have held to the idea that what matters most is maximizing shareholder value – that holders of stock in a company should be satisfied first and foremost, and all other concerns are secondary. However, the Business Roundtable, which is hardly a coterie of die-hard Marxists, updated its mission statement this week to suggest that it’s not just shareholders that matter in how corporations carry out their business. Employees, suppliers, communities and the environment also matter, according to the Business Roundtable, which includes some of the country’s premier CEOs. The statement reads, in part, “Americans deserve an economy that allows each person to succeed through hard work and creativity and to lead a life of meaning and dignity.” While the Business Roundtable’s musings will not make income inequality go away or reverse climate change, they are a step in the right direction. Now, it’s up to the CEOs of the Business Roundtable to put their rhetoric into action.
HIT: We were glad to see that the county commissioners and District Attorney Gene Vittone came to a quick agreement on security measures at the Caldwell Building, the site across the street from the county courthouse where the DA’s offices will be moving. Vittone had sought an injunction to block the move because of security concerns, but the commissioners agreed to provide security at the Caldwell site “the same or greater than that already existing” at the courthouse. That’s excellent news for the DA and his staff, but to accomplish this – mainly to provide staffing at the front door of the Caldwell Building – the plan calls for closing the front entrance of the courthouse, leaving the West Cherry Avenue entrance as the only point of ingress. Will that cause delays in people getting into the courthouse? That remains to be seen, but the first order of business had to be protecting the DA and his staff.
HIT: There’s more to public education than reading, writing and arithmetic, and the folks running Washington School District clearly understand that. There’s a new initiative in place this school year to support students emotionally and socially. Superintendent James Konrad said the district wants to teach students in all grades about responsible decision-making and building positive relationships. “We want to make sure we’re taking time to listen to the students and hear what challenges they’re facing in and outside of school.” The superintendent also hopes to reduce bullying through efforts to help students relate to each other and teaching them how to resolve conflicts. This initiative should make Washington schools better places to learn.
HIT: June 27, 2020, will be a landmark day in the City of Washington and in Washington County. On that Saturday, the city will have its first Pride Festival. Sponsored by the Washington County Gay Straight Alliance, it will happen at the Community Pavilion on South Main Street. The announcement Wednesday on the steps of the Washington County Courthouse boasted an array of local elected officials and an appearance by Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who performed the first same-sex wedding in Allegheny County when he was the mayor of Braddock. We liked the sentiments expressed by Washington County Commissioner Harlan Shober: “If you look around at what’s happening in our nation, there’s little respect and dignity going on in many places, and I think we need to understand that love overcomes hate. Here in Washington County, it’s a start. We’re going to have love in Washington County and no hate.”