What started as a small group of like-minded individuals looking to improve their neighborhood officially became the Shadyside Action Coalition in 1973. The group works diligently to make sure the community's best interests are being met by preserving historic landmarks and locally owned businesses while integrating diverse cultures and the rapidly growing East End into their own landscape. This non-profit organization is kept afloat by its volunteer members that are comprised of families, students, renters, homeowners, retirees, and newcomers alike. Because of Shadyside's many historical buildings and homes, the coalition focuses on preservation and responsible development while continuing to address the concerns of community members on a daily basis.
MacGinty has seen the Coalition’s efficacy firsthand, when she and her sister took issue with a project being developed. “Because we didn't know what to do, we reached out to the Shadyside Action Coalition for advice,” she says. “It was their advice and direction that helped us to stop the project from happening. We joined the organization, became dues-paying members and became much more involved, because we thought there were probably a lot of people in the neighborhood that didn't know where to turn in similar situations.”
The coalition also allows members to conduct fundraising activities for a variety of causes including the "Giving Back to Our Community" initiative. Funds raised through this initiative have helped children attend summer camp at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (which is just a few blocks from the Coalition itself), supported the installation of neighborhood bike racks, and contributed to the local Winchester Thurston School's scholarship aid program.
One of the most popular fundraisers is The Shadyside House Tour, which takes place annually. Each year, a handful of homes are selected to be showcased in this self-guided tour. The ticket sales for this event go back into the Shadyside community and can be purchased at MacGinty’s locally owned shop Eureka! Chocolates and Gifts on Copeland Avenue, which speaks to the group’s stance at the crossroads of the neighborhood’s best interests.