William ‘Bill’ Robinson; dean of Black politicians

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As I write this column it brings to mind that “an apple does not fall far from the tree.”

HopKendrickBox

Bill Robinson is the son of two of the finest people that I ever had the privilege of knowing. Devoted,God-fearing parents that mirrored untold numbers of other parents, wanting the best for their children. They instilled in Bill the importance of family and a sense of responsibility for self and others.

He was an excellent student in high school and furthered his education by obtaining a BA in political science from Ohio State and upon graduating, returned to Pittsburgh and enrolled in Duquesne University and graduated with a Masters in Political Science.

In one of my early political campaigns in the 1950s, I was involved in an election where Colored folks and White folks constantly would challenge us with the question of our Colored candidate’s qualifications, but the question never surfaced when White candidates ran that could not speak English.

That has not been an issue in any of Bill’s campaign, because Bill had totally prepared himself—not just academically, but with that great concern to serve not the Democratic Party, but HIS PEOPLE to the best of his ability.

Allow me to inform those of you who may not know of his political accomplishments. He was a Pittsburgh city councilman for 8 years, Pennsylvania state representative of the 19th district for 14 years, Allegheny County councilman for 8 years, Allegheny County Community College board member for 16 years and board chairman for two years.

Those numbers are fantastic and a real tribute to a proud, dedicated Black man, who, after a total of 46 years of service, is still standing.

The Democratic Party never viewed Bill as a vote they could always count on. Often times they tend to gravitate to Colored politicians who place the interest of the party before the well-being of the voters, particularly Black voters.

Some of you may recall, and if you don’t, look it up online, Bill did a report card on the building of two stadiums at the same period of time, PNC Park and Heinz Field, and the grading was done based on meaningful participation by Blacks and females. The Democratic party, who was responsible, received a D and in return Bill was punished, and there today still exists hard feelings by some.

On Allegheny County council Bill occupies the important and powerful position of BUDGET CHAIRMAN. Bill still has the energy and his record clearly indicated he has the ability to seek another public office. A perfect position for Bill to seek, depending on the outcome of the next race for mayor, would be a campaign for the position of Pittsburgh City Controller.

Please remember that the Kingsley Center needs your financial support.

(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum page.)

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