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UPDATE: Legislation Passed! | Pittsburgh as an All-In City: Landmark Equity and Inclusion Legislation is Introduced in City Council

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UPDATE: We’re pleased to share that today, May 28th, 2019, city council unanimously passed the equity legislation that was first introduced on May 14th of this year! The passage of this legislation is a major milestone for All-In Pittsburgh and sets a firm foundation for the future of our work together. We are sending a strong signal across our city, region and country that Pittsburgh is serious about equitable development by creating the critical infrastructure that is needed to drive and sustain equity results at scale.

As a brief overview, the legislation package consists of the following three components:

  1. Resolution declaring Pittsburgh an “All-In” city which formally recognizes our equitable development definition provided in the Equitable Development: The Path to an All-In Pittsburgh report released in September of 2016. The resolution also highlights the critical role that art, culture and entrepreneurship plays in the equitable revitalization of our neighborhoods.
  2. Equity Reporting Requirements for Department Directors: requires Department heads to submit reports detailing how their budgetary decisions and operational decisions and policies either further the goal of equity in the provision of government services and activities or fall short of this critical requirement.
  3. Establishment of the Equity and Inclusion Implementation Team: this will be an interdepartmental working group with a diversity professional appointed by the Mayor to work with the Departments to implement the new mandates and report-out to the community annually.

Much more work is to be done of course. Over the next few weeks, All-In Pittsburgh will be engaged in a strategic planning process to: revisit our agenda, improve our operations and consensus building/collective decision-making ability; enhance our communications within the coalition and externally; refine our policy analysis, advocacy and evaluation platforms; connect more deeply to residents and support the work of our partners who are leading equity work everyday at the grassroots level.

Thank you to all who joining us on this path to achieving an All-In Pittsburgh, especially the entire All-In Pittsburgh Collaborative, the Pittsburgh Black Election Officials Coalition, Mayor Peduto and his Administration, PolicyLink, The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation!

“All-In Pittsburgh is determined to one day close the racial income, wealth and opportunity gap in Pittsburgh. We have been on a 3-year journey to operationalize equity, and the introduction of this legislation is an incredible, tangible and powerful step in the right direction.”

-Presley Gillespie, President of Neighborhood Allies and core team member of All-In Pittsburgh

Diamonte Walker, Director of Performance and Compliance at the URA; Shad Henderson, Director of Equity and Community Partnerships at Neighborhood Allies; Presley Gillespie, President of Neighborhood Allies; Councilman Ricky Burgess and Councilman Daniel Lavelle before the press conference.

On Tuesday, May 14th, City Council members Ricky Burgess and Daniel Lavelle introduced legislation aimed at increasing racial equity and inclusion within city government practices. In partnership with the All-In Pittsburgh Equitable Development Collaborative, the Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition drafted legislation that would, among other things, require each city department to formally measure overall impact on and progress toward racial equity based on a number goals outline in an official “Racial Equity Toolkit.” Both the Mayor’s new Office of Equity and City Council will team up with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) to create these goals.

The legislation package grew from recommendations outlined in All-In Pittsburgh’s 2016 equity report, Equitable Development: The Path to an All-In Pittsburgh, created in partnership with national research institute PolicyLink using their All-In Cities Initiative framework as a guide. One of the report’s 5 main recommendations states that Pittsburgh should “embed racial equity throughout [its] institutions and businesses,” and address a vital need to “adopt a racial equity focus within government.” The report even suggests that Pittsburgh become an official member of GARE and lean on their technical assistance to create a racial equity analysis tool to measure and track tangible equity impacts of decision making on marginalized populations and neighborhood opportunity within each city department.

“They say if you aren’t measuring, you’re just practicing. What we want are real measurements to show where we can have success and where we have challenges that still need to be addressed.”

– Mayor William Peduto


In full, the legislation package would:

  • Declare Pittsburgh an “All-In City,” which means vowing to create an equitable city for all.
  • Require all city departments to track and measure their equity impact using goals outlined in an official racial equity analysis tool and scorecard, to be created by the Mayor’s Office of Equity and GARE.
  • Create an Equity and Inclusion Implementation Team within the city that will monitor and hold accountable all city departments to these specific equity standards.

The announcement of this historic legislation demonstrates  our city’s commitment to advancing racial equity, diversity and inclusion. It sends a clear, strong signal across our region and throughout the the nation that Pittsburgh is actively tackling the tough challenges to ensure that our most vulnerable populations can participate in, benefit from and not be harmed by the region’s economic transformation. “At the end of the day, this is about institutional change,” said Gillespie during the 1 p.m. press conference. “This is about breaking down the barriers that created these issues years ago.”

“This work is gonna take a lot of practice, and this legislation is just the beginning.”

– Janera Solomon, Executive Director of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater

Interested in learning more about the All-In Pittsburgh Equitable Development Collaborative and its work? Read the equity report, see main goals and desired outcomes, and sign up for their newsletter here.

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