THE REGION’S BLACK LEADERS—City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, State Representatives Jake Wheatley and Ed Gainey, City Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess and County Councilman Dewitt Walton work together in helping the community address issues. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)

THE REGION’S BLACK LEADERS—City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, State Representatives Jake Wheatley and Ed Gainey, City Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess and County Councilman Dewitt Walton work together in helping the community address issues. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)

The Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition held the last of six in a series of community roundtable discussions Tuesday, October 4 on the campus of Carlow University. The women’s roundtable, moderated by Candi Castleberry Singleton founder and CEO of the Dignity and Respect Campaign and Chairwoman for the Women and Girls Foundation was designed to hear women’s voices, to provide community input, to discuss current realities, to generate strategies and to answer specific questions.

Topics of the evening like in the previous roundtables were business and organizations, childcare and transportation, education, employment, family outcomes and housing.

The goal of the Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition was to host a series of community meetings city-wide to receive direct feedback from residents, to begin the drafting of a “Peace and Justice Policy Agenda”, a roadmap to improve police-community relationships, transform neighborhoods trapped in a cycle of isolated poverty into healthy mixed-income communities, and to ensure equity and justice for all of Pittsburgh.

Utilizing statistics provided by the Women and Girls Foundation it was pointed out that Pittsburgh’s households with children, living in poverty are at high numbers with 77 percent of poor households being headed by single-women. The top three barriers to economic security were identified as childcare, transportation and workforce development.

“Women are very important in this process,” said State Legislator Ed Gainey while explaining the significance of the roundtable. “We need you.”

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