I’ve been recording conversations about the potential impacts of land bank legislation introduced by District 7 City Council member, Deb Gross. Here are her own hopes for how the legislation might enable the revitalization of communities throughout Pittsburgh as blighted and abandoned properties might be brought back into circulation. She also responds to widespread concerns and to thoughtful recommendations for amendments from community groups and residents of the neighborhoods that would be most affected by the operations of a land bank.
Audio of conversation on 02/10/14. (20 minutes)
I’m currently editing recorded conversations with Council Member Ricky Burgess of District 9, with Marimba Milliones, CEO of the Hill District CDC, and with Rev. John Welch, former President of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network and police chaplain. All three have been working for many years to address the impacts of blight and abandonment with their neighbors and allies in their home communities – and the long histories of top-down planning and gentrification that many fear may replay if safeguards for community inclusion and empowerment are not codified in the legislation.
There will be a public hearing on the land bank legislation this coming Thursday, February 20th, starting at 6pm in City Council Chambers. You can call 412-255-2138 to sign up for three minutes of speaking time.