PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh has received $335 million in federal COVID relief funds. The majority of that money will be going towards first responders and will save about 600 jobs. A group says the rest of that money should go towards restoring communities.
Several groups took to the steps of the City-County Building Monday morning to protest where COVID relief money should go. They want City Council to delay their vote on what to do with the money. They feel the city is making decisions without guidance from the people they serve.READ MORE: Tentative Contract Agreement Reached Between Pittsburgh Public Schools, Teachers Union
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Groups have come together to call for community input of Pittsburgh’s $355 million from COVID-19 relief. They want the money reinvested in communities.
— Bryant Reed (@Reed_Reports) July 13, 2021
Pittsburgh received $335 million to spend on COVID-19 relief. Mayor Bill Peduto has said that money will be invested in people, planet, place and performance.
The groups protesting say that’s all good but say the community hasn’t been involved enough. The city has asked for community input. However, the groups feel there hasn’t been enough notice concerning the two public hearings where people could voice their opinions.
They want money to be reinvested back into underserved communities like Homewood and the Hill District, help with housing assistance and building up minority businesses.
“One example of how we can rebuild the city is to go to the long-neglected neighborhoods of Homewood and the Hill District,” said activist Randall Taylor. “Now we’re saying the time we’ve been denied so long, they told us ‘we don’t have the money, we’re broke, we can’t do anything,’ now we have a rare opportunity to transform those communities, to transform the lives of the people who live there.”MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Reports 2-Day Total Of 268 New Cases, 3 Additional Deaths
Pittsburgh City Council will hear a presentation of the spending budget Tuesday. Council President Theresa Kail-Smith says a preliminary vote on what to do with the money will happen on Wednesday.