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File #: 2022-0121    Version:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed Finally
File created: 2/14/2022 In control: Committee on Public Works
On agenda: 2/23/2022 Final action: 3/1/2022
Enactment date: 3/1/2022 Enactment #: 88
Effective date: 3/3/2022    
Title: Resolution authorizing and directing the Mayor to establish a Joint Pittsburgh Infrastructure Task Force to oversee the equitable distribution of infrastructure funds.
Sponsors: Reverend Ricky V. Burgess


Resolution authorizing and directing the Mayor to establish a Joint Pittsburgh Infrastructure Task Force to oversee the equitable distribution of infrastructure funds.



WHEREAS, on December 23, 2019, the City, through Resolution Number 843 of 2019, declared racism a “public health crisis” in the City of Pittsburgh, a Home Rule municipality and political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and,


WHEREAS, the City of Pittsburgh recognizes the history of racism in our country and how it has led to many current-day disparities in education, health and safety, job attainment, income and wealth, housing and healthcare, disproportionate incarceration rates for people of color and other pernicious systems of injustice.  The City further recognizes the existence White privilege, meaning the systemic advantages that white people have relative to non-white people; and,


WHEREAS, here in Pittsburgh, a pervasive sense exists that there are “Two Pittsburghs”: one which grows more prosperous with each passing day and the other, cut off from opportunity by poverty, structural racism and discrimination; and,


WHEREAS, the City of Pittsburgh Gender Equity Commission’s "Pittsburgh's Inequality Across Gender and Race" report concludes that Pittsburgh’s Black residents could move to almost any other U.S. city of comparable size and have a better quality of life; and,


WHEREAS, one of the major the consequences of Pittsburgh’s institutional racism and discriminatory practices is predominately Black, segregated communities of concentrated intergenerational poverty which shapes everything from higher crime rates to limited social mobility and lower-quality infrastructure in worse condition for those residents -and especially their children; and,


WHEREAS, the challenges of poor Black communities-including worse health outcomes, higher crime rates, failing schools, and fewer job opportunities-make it that much harder for individuals and families to escape poverty and often perpetuate and entrench poverty across generations; and,


WHEREAS, these negative factors affecting Black communities and their residents also negatively impact the regions they inhabit and the ability of those metropolitan areas to grow in inclusive and sustainable ways; and,


WHEREAS, City of Pittsburgh recognizes the need to examine seemingly neutral policies and practices to determine whether they are contributing to racial inequity and, where needed, change or eliminate the policy or practice as the city has a long history of decision and policy making that has resulted in classist and racist outcomes; and,


WHEREAS, the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath has the potential to disproportionately disaffect Black Pittsburghers and their communities, according to the social determinants of health; and,

WHEREAS, data recently released by the National Equity Atlas show that racial inequality comes at a great cost to the city and the region: Pittsburgh’s economic output would be nearly $5 billion dollars higher every year without the clear racial inequities in income; and,

WHEREAS, Pittsburgh’s racial, economic and geographic inequities are no mere moral challenge, but an existential threat to the city’s long-term resilience and prosperity; and,


WHEREAS, the government of the City of Pittsburgh has a legal and a moral obligation to ensure that its services are provided to the residents in the most equitable way possible; and,


WHEREAS, requiring the City and the heads of government units and departments to submit reports detailing how their budgetary decisions and operational decisions and policies either further the goal of equity in the provision of government services and in government-sponsored or government-assisted activities or fall short of this critical requirement is a fundamental and necessary means of ensuring that the City lives up to its legal obligations to its residents; and,


WHEREAS, in 2019 the City of Pittsburgh implemented equity standards and requirements for all departments and units of City government; and,


WHEREAS, Covid has had a devastating effect on the United States, and it has disproportionately impacted Black Americans.  According to the CDC, Black Americans are 1.4 times more likely to contract Covid-19, 3.7 times more likely to be hospitalized by Covid-19, and 2.8 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than their White counterparts.  It is thought that this is due to underlying comorbidities among Black Americans as well as increased exposure due to a disproportionate number of Black Americans working in essential occupations, where they are overworked and underpaid; and,


WHEREAS, the intent of the Infrastructure and Jobs Acts is to rebuild roads, bridges and rails, expand access to clean drinking water, ensure every American has access to high-speed internet, tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and invest in communities that have too often been left behind; and,


WHEREAS, the City of Pittsburgh may receive direct State and Federal dollars for The City’s Infrastructure needs as part of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act or other future State and Federal sources.




Section 1. The Council of the City of Pittsburgh hereby authorizes the Mayor to establish a joint Pittsburgh Infrastructure Task Force consisting of the Mayor, Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor, President of Council, President Pro-Tempore and Chairman, Committee on Finance and Law, City Council, to oversee the creation of an Infrastructure Plan including funding sources and listing specific Projects in the City’s Capital Budget;

Section 2. The Pittsburgh Infrastructure Task Force’s Equity First Infrastructure Spending Plan in the Capital Budget will specifically investigate increased infrastructure funding including any potential funds to be allocated to the City of Pittsburgh for the city’s infrastructure needs as part of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act or other future State and Federal sources.

Section 3.  The Pittsburgh Infrastructure Task Force Equity First Spending Plan shall use a racial equity lens in the budgeting and expenditure of monies.

Section 4.  The Pittsburgh Infrastructure Task Force shall create the Equity First Spending Plan detailing the methods Infrastructure funding will be used to reduce racial inequities in the City caused by decades of institutional racism.

Section 5.  The Equity First Spending Plan shall also include funds used for emergency infrastructure needs.

Section 6.   The Pittsburgh Infrastructure Task Force shall utilize the Black Pittsburgh Matters Strategic Investment Principles to formulate the Equity First Spending Plan.

Section 7.  The Black Pittsburgh Matters Strategic Investment Principles are designed to increase funding to Black people, Black organizations and Black businesses in Black communities.  These principles are as follows In addition to these principles, the Pittsburgh Infrastructure Task Force shall develop the Equity First Spending Plan to:

1.                     Prioritize investments in infrastructure and transit facilities community-based violence and crime prevention, intervention and reintegration programming while simultaneously reforming policing and criminal justice policies and practices in low-income and predominately African-American communities to reverse decades of intentional disinvestment and deferred maintenance in these communities;

2.                     Prioritize investments in infrastructure which support and/or complement investments in community and economic development projects in Black communities;

3.                     Prioritize investments in capacity-building of local community-based and faith-based organizations in Black communities providing them with sufficient funding and sufficient opportunities for Black and other minority-owned companies and firms to provide design, construction, contracting and maintenance services on City infrastructure projects;

4.                     Prioritize investments that results in stakeholder collaboration and resource coordination in Black communities.

5.                     Prioritize investments in workforce development, minority entrepreneurship, minority-owned businesses that build and/or rehabilitate housing with minority contractors established in or serving in Black communities.