Letter to the Editor | Pittsburgh Post Gazette | January 23, 2020 | Read the article

As we begin the New Year, Pittsburgh prepares to break ground on new developments. Almost every week, there’s news about the city’s resurgence, including the Jan. 12 article “West End May See 1st Big Construction in Many Decades” and the Jan. 3 article “A Growing Appetite: Ramen Bar Owner Plans Apartment, Restaurant Development in Oakland.”

You can’t drive down certain streets without navigating around neon orange construction cones. But is all this development equitable? Is everyone, including people of color, low-wealth residents and immigrants, benefiting from the region’s economic growth?

All-in Pittsburgh drafted a road map to drive policies and systems and create communities that are healthy, safe and opportunity-rich. Communities that connect residents to jobs and services. Communities that reflect residents’ cultures and allow long-term and new neighbors to thrive. Together, with more than 30 organizations, All-in Pittsburgh works to close gaps in wages, employment and poverty.

We’ve successfully advocated for the restoration of $2.5 million to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s budget. We joined others across the state to advocate for a law that ended the mandatory suspension of driver’s licenses for low-level, non-driving offenses. Through our partners, we awarded $330,000 in grants to protect tenants and launch small businesses. Additionally, our coalition introduced new policy priorities and best practices, setting a firm foundation for equitable development.

With the Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition, All-In Pittsburgh championed legislation requiring City departments to include equity measurements with budget requests. Despite the wins, including new leaders who will refocus economic growth, we have a long way to go as we embark on a new decade. Learn more by visiting AllinPgh.org.

Presley L. Gillespie
Neighborhood Allies
The writer is a member of All-In Pittsburgh.