Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto creates new Office of Equity
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Friday issued an executive order renaming his Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment and requiring it to have a greater focus on eradicating all forms of inequity across the city.
Majestic Lane, Peduto’s deputy chief of staff, will head the newly created Office of Equity.
The office will consist of employees from the former Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment previously headed by Valerie McDonald Roberts, who retired in January.
Lane, 42, of North Point Breeze said the changes will have no budgetary impact. The department has a $1.5 million 2019 budget, which includes 13 full-time positions.
“Were building on the strengths of what the Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment did, really focusing on place and focusing on populations and places that the city hadn’t focused on before,” Lane said. “This just has a much more specific people-based lens of equity, whether that’s racial, gender, orientation or vulnerable populations. It’s being very explicit about making sure the city’s equitable for all.”
The city is partnering with the Alliance on Race and Equity, a network consisting of government officials from across the country, to figure out how to do that.
The office will continue it’s original mission of improving business, housing, education and living conditions in the city’s most economically depressed neighborhoods.
It will also, for example, work to ensure equal access to and quality of childcare facilities across the city.
“How do we make sure that the quality of the childcare places in neighborhoods is equitable, that a place in Squirrel Hill is the same as a place in Homewood,” Lane said. “Where before it was we need more places. That was one thing, but now we’ve got to say what are the quality of them, what do they look like and how do we make sure we’re serving all people equally.”
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .