By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Councilmen Ricky Burgess and Daniel Lavelle are inviting Joe Biden back to Pittsburgh.
In a letter, they ask Biden to visit Pittsburgh’s Black neighborhoods and see the challenges Black people face in Pittsburgh. They also want him to support the city’s “Black Pittsburgh Matters” resolution and prioritize rebuilding Black communities.
Councilman Burgess said he’d bring the former vice president to Homewood, where unemployment and crime are high and few community amenities exist.
“Here in Homewood, there is no grocery store,” said Burgess. “There is no clothing store, no fast-food restaurant of any kind. There are no vegetable stores. The basic, there are no drug stores.”
“We want him to come and show that Black Pittsburgh matters and Black people matter,” Burgess said.
Burgess points to a 2019 Gender and Equity Report, which concluded that African Americans would have a higher standard of living if they lived in most other U.S. cities. Why?
“Access to jobs, access to health care, a variety of issues,” Burgess said.
But there are some success stories in Homewood. Just down the street from abandoned homes are subsidized townhouses with mixed-income rents. Burgess says the federal government could build more.
“We are putting massive amounts of money into the military,” Burgess said. “We can take some of that money and redistribute it to the inner cities.”
Burgess says he’s spoken with Biden’s campaign staff, but so far there is no firm commitment.