Pittsburgh mayor says Mac Miller wanted to invest in city youth programs
Blue Slide Park’s signature in-ground slide will have a fresh coat of blue epoxy in honor of Mac Miller, the Pittsburgh-born rapper who died Friday at his home in Los Angeles, Mayor Bill Peduto said Monday.
Peduto, who knew Miller personally, said he wants city workers to have the slide painted in time for Miller’s Tuesday night vigil, which is expected to draw thousands to the Squirrel Hill playground in Frick Park. Miller played in the park as a child and titled his 2011 album “Blue Slide Park.”
“We can’t put it down during the rain,” Peduto said of the epoxy. “Hopefully, there’s a little bit of a break tomorrow and we’ll have crews out there to be able to do it. If we’re not because of the weather, we’ll still get it done sometime this week.”
The mayor said Miller wanted to invest in Pittsburgh and talked with him “extensively” about proposals for after-school programs at city recreation centers and creating parks featuring blue slides.
Blue slides, Peduto said, would indicate to the public that the park and surrounding neighborhood was a safe zone for children and families. He said Miller also wanted to help finance “rec to tech” programs at recreation centers, featuring classes for kids to learn computer coding and other high-tech skills.
“In his memory, we’re going to continue to work on those types of programs and hopefully get other local artists to be a part of it,” Peduto said.
Miller, born Malcolm J. McCormick, grew up in Pittsburgh’s Point Breeze neighborhood. He attended Allderdice High School. Peduto, who lives in Point Breeze, said Miller’s parents are neighbors.
“A lot of people got to know this guy, not just as a star, but on his way up as a really good person,” Peduto said. “(Allegheny County Executive) Rich Fitzgerald was his baseball coach. His connections go all throughout this city.
“He had a very, very compassionate heart when it came to what he wanted to invest back into Pittsburgh.”
Peduto offered condolences to Miller’s family and friends, some of whom have suggested they rename Blue Slide Park after the rapper. A Pittsburgh ordinance requires a wait of three years after someone dies and approval of City Council before a city facility can be renamed in their honor, Peduto said.
He said he’s willing to discuss renaming the park, but said Miller’s family and friends should first have time to mourn.
“I would not oppose it, let me put it to you that way, but I do believe it should come from the community itself,” the mayor said.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter @bobbauder.