Category: Metro Written by Kathleen Yocum
If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. That remains state Rep. Jake Wheatley’s overarching theme in his race to become Pittsburgh’s next mayor.
His front-running opponents, city Councilman Bill Peduto and former Councilman, state Senator and Auditor General Jack Wagner, he will tell you have a record of maintaining the status quo. But, he will also tell you that enough voters appear disenchanted enough with business as usual to give him the support he needs to pull off the Primary Election upset on May 21.
“My campaign won’t be crippled by the old-style politics of telling segments of the public how to vote. I’m not running just to run, just to be a Black face. Win, lose or draw, all the people we talked to before getting in were ready for it,” he told the New Pittsburgh Courier editorial board April 26. “And with polls saying 48 percent of the voters are still undecided, I think the city is ready for change.”
One of the changes he would like to employ here is an idea called social impact bonding. It could simultaneously address educational shortcoming and unemployment, especially in some Black communities where drop-out rates exceed 50 percent and unemployment is running three times the average.
“We’re the only campaign talking about this. Get engineers and business people from companies like Google in the classrooms. Teach the kids what they need to know to get a job,” he said. “Tell our business leaders that if they invest in improving job skills, we’ll pay you back based on the percentage of employment improved.”
Wheatley said the city can’t do everything, and can’t afford to. But that means it could provide opportunities for small businesses and community nonprofits to do so, and thereby further improve the employment climate.
“Open up government services and contract with small businesses and nonprofits,” he said. “The mayor shouldn’t be in the social service business. But he should support and be a cheerleader for those organizations that do it better.”
Wheatley wants to open up the police force too, not just to African-American applicants, but to the community. He said the bureau can help reduce tensions by being more involved with neighborhood youth.
“I’d like to see a police athletic league, working with kids,” he said. “It would give the community a better image of the police and vice versa, and it would help with recruiting.”
Wheatley agrees that the city needs to increase its efforts to recruit from the military so it can attract more minority and women candidates. He would also negotiate changes with the union that could improve actual minority hiring and retention.
Though he would keep the requirement that applicants have 60 hours of college credit, he would extend the time they have to complete the schooling.
“There has to be a cultural change in the bureau. Assignments and promotions can’t be based on popularity,” he said. “I told the (Fraternal Order of Police) I want negotiations on pensions and work rules. And I will insist on merit-based promotions. In exchange, I would waive residency requirements.”
Wheatley said his campaign is the only one that presents a vision and the best plan to include every city neighborhood. And he is not as big a long-shot some claim.
“I want your vote, I need your vote. But I’m not just a Black candidate. Like Speaker (K. Leroy) Irvis reminded me years ago, I represent all the people and I have a lot of White support,” he said. “So, if 20,000 African-Americans vote and I get 60 percent of that, that’s huge in a three-way race.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 10:37
Category: Metro Written by Courier Newsroom
MAY 9—The Alzheimer Disease Research Center and Alzheimer Outreach Center of the University of Pittsburgh will host the Walter Allen Memorial Seminar Series at 1 p.m. at the Hill House Kaufmann Center, 1835 Centre Ave., Hill District. The topic will be “Informed Consent: What We Need to Know about Participating in Clinical Research.” Ishan C. Williams, PhD, of the University of Virginia will discuss her current research. Registration is requested. For more information, call Marita Garrett at 412-692-2722.
Ladies’ Night Out
MAY 10—Allen Place Community Services Inc. will host Ladies’ Night Out from 6-10 p.m. at 227 Bonvue St., North Side. This is a celebration in honor of Mother’s Day and of women. The evening will include medical screenings, topic discussions, a silent auction, line dancing lessons and more. Registration is requested. For more information, call 412-231-1531 or visit www.allenplacecommunity.org.
Absentee Ballot Application Deadline
MAY 14—Applications are due for Absentee Ballots by 5 p.m. to the Allegheny County Elections Division for the May 21 primary election. Ballots are available to registered voters who will be absent from their municipality on the day of the election or who cannot get to the polls due to illness or disability. For more information, call 412-350-4520 or visit www.votespa.com.
Monthly NAACP Meeting
MAY 14—The NAACP Pittsburgh Unit will host its monthly Executive/ General Meeting at 7 p.m. at Freedom Unlimited, 2201 Wylie Ave., Hill District. All members are encouraged to attend. For more information, call 412-471-1024.
Get Out the Vote
MAY 18—The Black Political Empowerment Project, The Western Pa Black Political Assembly, Talk Magazine and others will host the Get Out the Vote Non-Partisan Rally and free Concert from 1-4 p.m. at the Hill House Auditorium, Hill District. The event will feature various artists, vocalists, choirs and various community leaders speaking.
A Sure Bet
MAY 19—The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School will host the “Date with an Angel” Mom Prom from 5-8 p.m. at the Twentieth Century Club, 4201 Bigelow Blvd., Oakland. The special guest will be children’s author Sharon Flake, along with DJ Mac Daddy. For more information, call 412867-5457.
Miss Black Pageants
MAY 19—Willie Gee’s Designer Collection will host their 4th annual Redline Fashion Show at 6:15 p.m. at the Priory Hotel, the Pittsburgh Grand Hotel, 614 Pressley St., North Side. Designs from Malcolm Anthony Williams, Cherie Jackson and Sofiya Mozley will be displayed. The show will benefit the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. For more information, call 412-254-3570.
(To have items listed on Community Calendar, send information at least two weeks in advance to: 315 E. Carson St., Pittsburgh, PA 15219; Fax: 412-481-1360 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 10:33
Category: Metro Written by Associated Press
JOAN ORIE MELVIN (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
by Joe Mandak
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin and her sister avoided prison time for their corruption convictions but were sentenced Tuesday to house arrest for what a judge called crimes of "arrogance."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 May 2013 12:58
Category: Metro Written by Public Source
GREGORY BURRELL - MESTA
by Emily DeMarco
The Hillcrest light-rail stop is not easy to find.
There is no sign at either entrance. Tucked between two hills in Bethel Park, it’s barely visible from nearby roads. The closest landmark is a Walgreens.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:49
Category: Metro Written by Associated Press
MA'LIK RICHMOND (AP Photo/File)
by Andrew Welsh-Huggins
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An eastern Ohio grand jury has adjourned for three weeks while investigators go back to analyzing evidence and interviewing witnesses to determine whether other laws were broken in the case of a 16-year-old girl raped by two high school football players last summer.
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 May 2013 20:00
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