There are those of you who criticize Councilman Burgess and in part I agree with some of the criticism. However, we should never forget the verse that states, “There is none perfect, no not one.”
Allow me to put the victory of Councilman Burgess in perspective, because it was a total victory. How? He defeated six Democratic chairpersons, five unions and four sitting Pittsburgh Council people. Councilman Burgess’ intellect in my estimation has never been questioned, it is what I perceive as a lack of people skills, which I believe can be corrected. Those outside forces that sought to remove Ricky Burgess absolutely do not have the best interest at heart when it comes to the residents of the 9th council district. Over the years we the voters have complained that we have failed to make our elected officials responsive to the Black communities.
It is apparent that now is the time that a group of capable, concerned and able people sit down at the table of common concern with the newly-elected councilman and collectively help develop a strategy that will enhance the growth of the 12th ward (East Liberty) and there will be more inclusion than in the first segment of redevelopment.
There will hopefully be a Marshall Plan to rebuild Homewood and Black contractors, laborers and suppliers will be overwhelming participants.
We must build a working coalition that will inspire citizens of the ninth district to attend Pittsburgh City Council meetings in numbers. It is a given that Councilman Burgess is the brightest and most articulate member of council and has a close working relationship with the mayor of the city. The four factors that I am convinced will heighten the positive image of Pittsburgh City Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess are his reelection, ability, competence and new found people skills.
The anticipated and hopeful growth of the new Rev. Ricky Burgess can be reflected in the growth of the citizens of Pittsburgh and the ninth council district in particular: economically, rebuilding of housing and business; spiritually; and politically.
Please let us remember Kingsley Association.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)