FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Contact: Jenny Johnson, 412.879.0344
Pittsburgh for Trayvon recently sent the following statements to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Democratic Nominee Bill Peduto, and Pittsburgh City Council:
Dear Mayor Ravenstahl,
Your actions and statement have made it clear that you are more interested in deflecting responsibility than addressing the issues Pittsburgh for Trayvon have presented to you on Thursday, July 18, 2013. You claim to have taken action to “address many of the points raised,” however, you have taken no action to acknowledge the negative impact of institutional racism. If this is your impression, you either have not read or fully understood our demands.
The real threats of white supremacy, institutional oppression and racialized violence deeply affect the Black residents of Pittsburgh and you have failed to demonstrate any interest or leadership to address the social and economic conditions of 1 in 3 of your constituents.
If Pittsburgh wants to honor Trayvon Martin, address the injustices that resemble this tragedy and create a city that is worthy of the title, “America’s Most Livable City,” our Black residents must lead. Any formally elected officials who refuse to follow in support will be left behind.
You have shown yourself ineffective in serving the best interests of the Black community. Therefore, we will no longer be attempting to engage with you.
Dear Council Member Peduto,
We appreciate your detailed response to the Pittsburgh for Trayvon demands. We also look forward to building a relationship with you, and as a part of that relationship holding you publicly accountable to meeting the demands necessary to ensure that the Black communities of Pittsburgh are “Most Livable”.
Dear Council President Harris and Members of Pittsburgh City Council,
We extend our respect for your receptive actions and your offer to present a resolution written by our group. We have delivered our resolution to you and have received the notice of adopting the “Will of Council”, and we look forward to participating in public discourse soon. However, we have not received a collective response from you regarding the specific Pittsburgh for Trayvon demands. We remind you today that we expect a meaningful response to our demands and will continue, publicly, to seek this.
The following “Will of Council” was adopted on Monday the 5th of August –
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh condemns racism and prejudice in our society, and renews its commitment to combating these social ills, and ensuring justice and equality for all; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does hereby request that the Administration make anti-racism and racial sensitivity training a high priority for all City of Pittsburgh employees.”
While most city officials have failed to directly respond to Pittsburgh for Trayvon’s list of demands, we have been working alongside and steadily gaining support from ally organizations. Action United of Southwest PA has endorsed our demands and we will be seeking endorsement from the Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) on this upcoming Thursday, August 8. We will continue to mobilize support for demands from the Black communities of Pittsburgh.
As we continue to build alliances and strengthen our numbers, we are preparing to further our work by delivering our demands to liable agencies, institutions, organizations, complicit with systemic injustice and white supremacy in Pittsburgh.
In the near future, Pittsburgh for Trayvon will deliver a love letter to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)