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New Homewood Development Collaborative To Be Announced

Posted by Elwin Green on June 5, 2015 at 10:50 AM

The Mayor's Office sent out a press release yesterday afternoon, so tiny that it would escape most people's notice - and it would have escaped mine if an alert Homewood Nation reader had not brought it to my attention.

This is what it says:


PITTSBURGH, PA (June 4, 2015) Mayor William Peduto, Representative Ed Gainey, Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess, and other community leaders tomorrow will announce the formation of the Homewood Community Development Collaborative.

The Collaborative is comprised of seven indigenous Homewood organizations and East Liberty Development Inc., which will serve as the fiduciary and technical assistance partner. This is the first step in creating sustainable transformation in the neighborhood of Homewood.

WHERE: In front the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Homewood, 7101 Hamilton Avenue.

WHEN: 3 p.m., Friday, June 5.


This is what I can add:

The "seven indigenous Homewood organizations" are, in alphabetical order, Building United of Southwestern Pennsylvania (Rev. Sam Ware, executive director), Community Empowerment Association (T. Rashad Byrdsong, chief executive officer), Homewood Concerned Citizens Council (Cherylie Fuller, president), Homewood Renaissance Association (Dina Blackwell, chief executive officer), Operation Better Block (Jerome M. Jackson, executive director), Rosedale Block Cluster (Dianne Swan, executive director) and the Save Race Street Committee (Elwin Green, chairman).

You'll note my name at the end of that list. Although I am chair of SRSC, the Committee is represented within HCDC by our secretary, Paulette Davis. Otherwise, the folks named above are expected to represent their organizations at the press conference.

The member organizations have been meeting since November to figure out how they might work together. This is not a new question; the hope is that this new structure will provide a more powerful answer than what's been done before.

One reason for believing that it might work is that is backed by Homewood's Councilman, the City's Mayor, and our Representative in the State Legislature. Longtime readers may recall that during the Bridging the Busway process, Councilman Burgess said that he, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, and Representative Joe Preston were in agreement about making the redeveloment of Homewood a priority - an alignment of political office holders that might not happen again.

Well, the new troika's backing of the Collaborative says that it has happened again. At minimum, that means there's real opportunity for the Collaborative to be effective as its members learn to work together. Indeed, my hopes and prayers are for the Collaborative to succeed at such a level that they create a new paradigm for - well, for collaboration, between all levels of government and all sectors of the community.

But if the office holders are as committed to Homewood's redevelopment as they sound, the redevelopment of Homewood will happen even if the Collaborative fails. Which I don't even want to think about. 

So, here's to the Collaborative: May it live long and prosper.

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