Pittsburgh mayoral candidates address concerns of black community
Each of the four Democratic candidates for Pittsburgh mayor told a mostly black audience on Saturday that concerns of the black community would be heard if he were elected mayor.
Nearly 125 people attended the forum in Pittsburgh Public School's Obama Academy in East Liberty.
The forum let the candidates know the black community is an important constituency that has been taken for granted, said audience member, Johnnie Monroe, 71, of Stanton Heights.
“I think in this election, the message is that has to change,” he said.
Last week, a new group called the Pittsburgh Black Political Convention announced that it will be conduct a political convention on April 20, in which black voters would endorse one of four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, and released an agenda for candidates seeking the endorsement. Blacks make up 26.1 percent of the city's population.
People attending the forum submitted written questions on issues ranging from transportation to reducing crime. Candidates were asked to explain issues they think are important to the black community.
“First and foremost, you need to make sure that the people that work for you represent the community,” said former state Auditor General Jack Wagner, 65, of Beechview.
“As mayor, I will make certain that the African American community is well represented in my administration,” he said.
In addition, Wagner said, he would be “strong advocate” for improving public education, which he thinks is critical to helping the black community.
Community organizer A.J. Richardson, 36, of Sheraden, who is black, said the city needs “leadership that represents all people.”
“Not just leadership that you see during election time, but even when the election is way over,” he said.
“We need leadership that will diversify the city of Pittsburgh ... create programs that encourage and build our young people,” he said. “If you want to know what the black agenda is, you're looking at the black agenda.”
State Rep. Jake Wheatley, 41, of the Hill District said the black agenda is “an agenda of social and economic equality and justice.”“It's about how government responds to all people,” said Wheatley, who is black.
Wheatley said his administration would focus on improving opportunity “not only for black families, but for all families.”
City Councilman Bill Peduto, 48, of Point Breeze said defining the agenda comes down to “one word — opportunity.”
He said he would work to bolster opportunity by being an advocate for early-childhood education to “give every child an equal start” as well as promoting after-school and summer employment.
Peduto said he would help create opportunity by reducing violent crime and enforcing laws that require that city contracts use local labor.
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Labor board’s subpoenas in UPMC case are not relevant, federal judge says
- O’Hara teen finds inspiration for flying, dodging robot in fruit fly
- Demolition of Station Square warehouse nears
- Traffic for eastbound Squirrel Hill Tunnel getting congested
- Expert: Print on cyanide vial could be vital in Ferrante murder trial
- Police charge Oakmont man in fatal Penn Hills shooting
- Police identify victim of deadly Homewood shooting
- Light rail shutdown between West Library, Library stops set for Sunday
- Pitcairn police department to carry Narcan for heroin overdoses
- Pittsburgh bishop throws cold water on ALS group, which uses embryonic stem cells
- Newsmaker: Dallas Jackson