Since taking office in January my single biggest priority has been remaking the culture of Pittsburgh government. That requires modernization, new ways of thinking and working cooperatively with community leaders from the ground up — all of which are reflected in the great new land banking bill that city council is set to approve Monday.
I am also committed to focusing on those neighborhoods that have not shared in our city’s economic boom. I and my staff are working daily to give communities that have been neglected for decades ladders of opportunity to join in the success of their more prosperous neighbors. That means supporting better housing opportunities, education, entrepreneurship and related work by our faith-based partners — and now it also means with land banking we have a powerful new tool to assist them.
Our partners in this work also include city council. In particular I want to thank Councilwoman Deb Gross for being a tireless leader throughout the discussion of this complex issue, and Councilman Corey O’Connor for being key to bringing the communities most impacted by blight and abandonment together to strengthen the land bank legislation.
I also want to thank all those whose collaborative participation informed the legislation, including Community Empowerment Association, Black Political Empowerment Project, Kingsley Association, Hazelwood Initiative, Northside Coalition for Fair Housing, Voices Against Violence, Hill House Association, Hill District Consensus Group, SEIU 32BJ, Pittsburgh United, Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, Bloomfield-Garfield Corp., East Liberty Development Inc., Hill Community Development Corp., Operation Better Block, Manchester Citizens Corp., Black Women’s Empowerment Association, Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania and Regional Housing Legal Services.
City of Pittsburgh