John Fetterman was attracted to Braddock, PA, by the town's tragic arc of history and malignant beauty. Founded around the site of Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill, Braddock's fortunes declined in lockstep with the American steel industry. As the town's population fell from a peak of more than 20,000 to just 2,300, its buildings, infrastructure, and economy unraveled. With 90 percent of everything lost – population, buildings, homes, and businesses – the challenges seemed insurmountable. John, an AmeriCorps alumnus and Harvard graduate with a Master's Degree in Public Policy, moved to Braddock in 2001.
Four years later John became the town's mayor – winning the election by a single vote – and has been at the forefront of a massive effort to revitalize the once prosperous town ever since. In 2018, after several successful terms as mayor, Fetterman was elected Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. A relentless advocate for reimagining and redesigning Braddock, Lt. Gov. Fetterman's focus on creating a safer, most-just Braddock, youth-oriented programs, attracting artists and other “creatives" to his community and to pursuing green urban renewal and economic development have been recognized in The New York Times, The Atlantic and The Guardian, and on CNBC, CNN, CBS News, “The Colbert Report” and “Real Time with Bill Maher.” In 2012, John was honored as a Champion of Change during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House.