We must collectively construct an urban agenda that is just, equitable and inclusive of all people. What role does the Black leadership play in the institutional power structure dynamics, in both the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County? Historically they have not done an effective job in building a sustainable political organization. Especially when it comes to dealing with internal systemic impediments, that have prevented full access to resources within mainstream power centers. Realistic programs that address the problems of the inner-city poor and working class have to be developed. Black leadership has to redefine its political interests, making them relevant to current issues.

The rehabilitation of Black leadership organizations

To rehabilitate Black leadership organizations, we must first move from the accepted notion that the availability of a fine stable of the individual leaders has the ability to gauge and understand the urban community. Our community faces a series of complex, compounded problems. Now more than ever, Black leaders must mobilize to work together and create forums that focus on and address the key areas of concern. They must provide a dynamic environment for dialogue on key issues that affect the community, where the ultimate benefactor is the urban community.

Politicians and special interest groups would like to believe that circumstances can be changed by retooling underprivileged areas with new leaders. We have to demonstrate this is not needed or necessary. We must show that we have a distinctive understanding of not only what our problems are, but also the expertise to move towards sustainable solutions. We need politicians and special interest groups to work with us and commit the resources needed.

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