A couple of years ago I wrote a column titled “Distractions” and how we have allowed ourselves to get played totally out of position. It is my fervent belief that we as a people must focus on the multitude of issues that have such a devastating effect on those of us who live in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Allow me provide you with some examples.

Trayvon Martin was killed and his killer was found not guilty. A record number of Blacks are killed every day in cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, and other cities. A record number of Blacks are incarcerated in almost every state in the country. The selling, using and overall negative effects of drugs are at an all time high. We charter buses to travel to Washington, D.C., Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and any other city that some persons say let’s march. All of the fore mentioned problems are priorities, but we must challenge the causes.

Last week Rev. Councilman Burgess introduced legislation supporting a referendum for Pittsburgh police to be mandated they live in Pittsburgh, but there was no busload of people in attendance to support him.

Allegheny County Councilman Bill Robinson on a multitude of occasions has presented issues that would improve our quality of life, but only two or three people were interested enough to attend council meeting. Have you ever attended any council meeting? If not, why not?

The unemployment problem for Black males throughout Allegheny County is one of highest in the nation, why don’t we go down and address this issue. All of the side streets off Lincoln Avenue are being paved and I never saw any of us working, once again a local issue. A couple of years ago the city of Pittsburgh discussed a meaningful program that would afford Blacks and females contracts, but nothing happen and now the mayor is a lame duck. What happens now? In every section of Pittsburgh—North Side, South Side, West End, East End, Hill District and Downtown—there are unbelievable sums of taxpayers’ money awarded to building projects but once again we don’t share in the proceeds.

These are the major contributing factors to the increase of poverty and the acceleration of the problems of dysfunctional families, failed education system, and the high rate of incarceration. Right here, in this city and county problems exist of staggering significance that must be addressed, so think about that when you are making plans to travel to other cities.

Please remember that there is a need for your financial support for Kingsley Association.

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


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