Advisory Council

Richard Butler

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director for Employ Inc.

Board Member, August Wilson House

Richard is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director for Employ Inc. and the owner of Coachrtb Coaching and Leadership Group. He is also an adjunct professor for Robert Morris University where he has taught Leadership, Organizational Ethics, Argument and Research Understanding and Managing Diversity in the Workplace, Applied Organizational Leadership Skills.

Richard is the former Inclusion Manager for USRowing and presently is the Co-Chair of USRowing’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEI). He also served on the USRowing Diversity Taskforce and the United States Olympic and Para Diversity Committee, DEI Advisor for USA Ultimate Frisbee, Former City of Pittsburgh Housing Authority and Shade Tree Commissioner, and past advisor for the City of Pittsburgh Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

He holds a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.

 

Katie Cruger, PhD

Master Gardener

Dr. Katie Cruger retired from Chatham University as Associate Professor of Communication and Program Director of the MA Communication and MA Professional Writing programs in 2021. She now runs Green Hazel, a micro-nursery in the Greenfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh specializing in pollinator-friendly native perennial wild flower seedlings. Katie is thrilled to provide guidance about plant species and design for forthcoming pollinator gardens sponsored by HAP as well as at local elementary schools. 

She holds an M.A. in Communication and a Ph.D. In Rhetoric and Environmental Communication from University of Colorado at Boulder.

 

Marita Garrett

Founder & President, CIVICALLY, INC

Marita Garrett is the Founder & President of CIVICALLY, INC, a social enterprise that focuses on community development by promoting civic and social literacy to instill self-reliance. In addition to Free Store Wilkinsburg and Community Conversations, she has established Fresh Market and initiatives for health education, urban farming, and others.

In 2017, after being elected Mayor of Wilkinsburg, she worked to pass several animal protection laws, including laws to protect dogs left in extreme temperatures. Currently, she serves on the advisory boards for Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Allegheny Regional Asset District, and Phipps Conservatory, among others.

Ms. Garrett has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, where she now serves as an adjunct professor; and a Master’s in Psychology from Chatham University, where she also received an Honorary Doctorate for Public Service

Bruce Kraus

Pittsburgh City Councilman, Retired

Bruce Kraus, a distinguished former Pittsburgh City Councilman and Council President, boasts an illustrious career marked by an unwavering dedication to animal welfare and progressive legislation. Serving on the council from 2008 to 2023, Kraus left an indelible mark through his collaboration with Humane Action Pittsburgh, pioneering crucial laws safeguarding animals’ rights. His remarkable achievements include spearheading Pennsylvania’s inaugural retail sales ban on dogs, cats, and rabbits not sourced from rescues and enacting a bullhook prohibition that effectively barred circuses from performing in the city. Kraus’s advocacy extended beyond traditional pets to encompass avian and reptilian protection, as evidenced by his pivotal roles in passing laws safeguarding birds and reptiles. Notably, he authored groundbreaking legislation banning the cruel production and serving of foie gras within Pittsburgh, a testament to his unwavering commitment to ethical practices. Furthermore, Kraus’s tenure was characterized by progressive social reform, as evidenced by his pivotal role in establishing the city’s first domestic partnership registry and championing legislation that explicitly protected gender identity and expression in housing, employment, and public accommodation—a testament to his enduring legacy as a champion of equity and justice.

Christine Luffey

Police Officer, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

Officer Christine Luffey has worked as a Pittsburgh Police Officer since 1993. Prior to Christine joining the police force, crimes against animals were almost never enforced. She has made countless arrests of people neglecting, hurting, killing, and torturing innocent animals. Many of her cases were in the news and brought much needed attention to the crimes of animal neglect and abuse. In 1997, Christine began to sponsor fundraisers to help animals in the city of Pittsburgh through the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. She started Biscuits Bingo in 1998 and it has been an annual event that helps many organizations and groups to help animals in Pittsburgh. Christine has loved and fought for animals all of her life and will continue to do so for the rest of her life. If Christine had only one wish in life to come true it would be that animal neglect and abuse did not exist.

John Weinstein Advisory Council

John Weinstein

Former Allegheny County Treasurer

Treasurer Weinstein has served as the elected Allegheny County Treasurer since 1999 and has been re-elected countywide to four (4) consecutive terms. He has become a leader in green initiatives, implementing e-tax billing for Real Estate. He established e-pay, Real Estate, Alcohol and Rental Vehicle Taxes, as well as e-pay for Dog Licenses in Allegheny County. Treasurer Weinstein is committed to helping transform Allegheny County into a truly “Green” government.

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