Politicians generally come in four categories: 1. Economic salvation [obtaining a job] 2. Committee person [perceived influence] 3. Ward chairperson [direct access to office holders] 4. Hopefully get elected to a political position [make pension]
Let us as Black voters across Allegheny County and Pittsburgh in particular analyze our political situation. It has been brought to my attention that a Black female attorney will be running for an Allegheny County judgeship. GO GIRL!
March 12 is the deadline to file for public office and particularly the position of Mayor of Pittsburgh. I was in attendance at a meeting last Saturday to discuss the possibility of the Black communities rallying behind one Black person for the mayor’s race. There were the names of two men, Rep. Jake Wheatley and Allegheny County Councilman William Bill Robinson, dean of all Black elected officials in Allegheny County. There was no commitment made to endorse either, but I left the meeting with the distinct impression that the Black communities will not unify behind one candidate.
One of my personal concerns is that we knew the mayor’s race occurs every four years, and we should not wait to see who would be running. The Black communities had plenty of time to organize, raise money, identify our concerns and which Black men or women would serve us best. We completely failed to be prepared and allowed the potential resignation of the mayor to excite us to the extent we became overly emotional and panicked seeking a Black candidate. We are not in an impossible situation, but it is a very difficult one, because unity is lacking.
I received a phone call that stated we are preparing to seek a Black male to run for mayor and I used the analogy of you are calling Santa Claus at 11:55 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and his bags are already packed. Another important factor is that most of those who are active in politics have already mounted a horse and are reluctant to change horses. Another question that must be addressed is can we expect Black voters to vote for a person only because they are Black? I recall a period of time that was our only selling point and it was relatively effective, but we got away from it.
Some get confused and quote the voting statistics that President Obama received from the Black wards. They fail to recognize that President Obama is not running for the mayor of Pittsburgh. In my personal estimation a Black person running for mayor of Pittsburgh is not the most important factor, the most important factor is that the Black vote be the determining factor in electing that person, who will truly develop Pittsburgh into a city of true diversity.
Please remember Kingsley Association.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum page.)