TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pittsburgh mayoral candidates address concerns of black community

Related Stories
Saturday, April 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

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 tlarussa@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group volunteers cut trail in South Park
  2. Former Rollier’s store to become art gallery, cafe
  3. Pittsburgh wins Gawker.com ugliest accent tourney n’at
  4. Western Pennsylvania residents chill about forecasters’ spat
  5. Legal titans prepared to tussle in Ferrante cyanide homicide trial
  6. City suspending trash collection Tuesday to honor slain worker
  7. Rules hamper Franklin Regional attack victim scholarships
  8. Pittsburgh photo exhibit shines light on ‘Good’ work
  9. Prosecutor in Ferrante cyanide trial attacked; partner charged with assault
  10. Pittsburgh VA director gets more time to appeal firing recommendation
  11. Water process eyed for 2 parks in Allegheny County
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.