PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was an exciting day for the children in the Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood celebrating the opening of a spray park and playground at a filled in swimming pool that had been closed for years.
The ribbon cutting was disrupted by protesters accusing the city of neglect and playing politics just before election day.
“They’ve been promising this for five years,” said Carmen Brown, a community activist.
“For 12 years, they’ve done nothing to district nine communities for the benefit of those communities,” said Rafique Brookins, another member of the community. “Only because elections are next week in a few days they want to come out here and act like they did something.”
Rafique Brookins stood several feet from Councilman Ricky Burgess with a loud speaker blaming the councilman and other city leaders for a lack of investment in the black community.
“$7 million they invested, public money, into a puppy shelter in Homewood,” said Brookins. “$7 million! We have gotten nothing in type of money like this for our own development.”
Councilman Burgess admits there is still a lot of work to be done.
“When people are in pain they express their pain, but we have to pray for them and it makes me work harder until every person in my community sees the benefit of economic activity,” Councilman Burgess said.
“Their word was heard and there’s a lot of hurt within this community, but at the same time, 20 minutes of disruption for 20 years of children enjoying this great amenity is worth it,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.