Editorial | Gainey is a mandatory change for Pittsburgh

Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd a year ago yesterday. Ed Gainey, the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Pittsburgh, celebrated this celebratory anniversary three times on Twitter and called to pass the US Senate Justice in the Police Act. Mayor Bill Peduto, who last week after one Shellacking There was silence in the city’s more black and progressive neighborhoods.

At least he was silent about Floyd. Peduto retweeted posts via Bike lanes, a Deck hockey rink and how “Pittsburgh’s food scene is heating up” – Don’t look at Floyd.

Twitter is hardly the be-all and end-all of racial justice. But Peduto, who remains a mother a year after the murder, is a microcosm of his mayorhood, or at least his dwindling years. He is lie down young activists, defended unsustainable acts by the city police and the habit of playing bill know best rather than accept criticism. It often felt like serious problems were a second priority for the city government’s trifles, making themselves a liberal national hero.

The primary results can be analyzed at will, but at the end of the day Gainey won because he was willing to not only create rhetorical space but also press for tangible changes in the fundamental issues that plague Pittsburgh – racial justice, a lack of affordable housing and police brutality. We’re not going to deny that Gainey’s records are questionable or that there is a lack of specific guidelines on some issues, but neither are we going to deny that he is the person for the job right now.

Only 23% of Pittsburgh are African American, but blacks make it up 65% of all arrests in the city – an amazing fact that Gainey often cites. In addition, the city police worse racial differences According to The Police Scorecard, 96% of departments use lethal force and more police officers per 10,000 population than 88% of departments.

Gainey has pledged End the use of military equipment by city police officers, revise police training, strengthen the civic police review body, and most importantly, redirect resources into community police strategies rather than over-police. Note the lack of dithering Emergency services and committees that defined Peduto’s response to protests against Black Lives Matter last summer.

In addition, Gainey to implement city-wide inclusion zones requiring developers to offer low-income tenants a percentage of the units to combat gentrification and the rampant population shift of black residents. He also intends to renovate Dilapidated housing in the city’s country banks to create safe and affordable housing that strengthens Pittsburgh’s tax roles. Peduto himself admitted that it is him “Bat .500” over his eight years as mayor on housing. Even the hits, such as an inclusion zone Pilot program in Lawrenceville were hardly spectacular.

Gainey was also ready to address racial inequality in all aspects of governance – not just the police. In particular, he said he would concentrate Environmental justiceThis shows that the focus is on engaging vulnerable communities in a transition to clean energy and sustainability.

It’s time for a mayor to take bold, direct action to tackle the highly intertwined housing and racial rights crises in Pittsburgh, rather than tinkering on the edges with pilots and task forces. With Gainey almost certainly going to be mayor in January 2022, we really have a chance to become a model city. Mostly Peduto seemed interested when we say we’re already there – more cops and everyone.

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