Office of Mayor William Peduto
Pittsburgh Joins Cities United Effort
City officials attend annual conference in Philadelphia this week

PITTSBURGH, PA (May 1, 2015) - Mayor William Peduto today announced that the City of Pittsburgh has joined the Cities United initiative, a national network of communities focused on eliminating violence in American cities related to African American men and boys.

Pittsburgh officials joined thirteen U.S. mayors and more than 300 city leaders at the 2nd annual convening of Cities United conference in Philadelphia this week. During the three day conference, 57 municipalities are working to develop concrete action plans to reduce the violence plaguing African-American men and boys in communities across the nation.  

“There is still a need to eliminate the racial inequities and cultural isolation that exists in our own communities,” said Mayor William Peduto. “This work is essential in eliminating the legacy of injustice that has impacted communities in our home city of Pittsburgh and across the U.S. for generations.”

Cities United provides mayors and their teams with technical assistance and capacity building strategies for the planning, implementation and evaluation of comprehensive violence prevention. The coalition also provides reduction strategies around improving life outcomes for African American men and boys. Cities United works directly with city leaders to cultivate peer-to-peer learning focused on a range of issues: funder engagement, juvenile justice reform, youth organizing and building healthy relationships between law enforcement and communities. Cities United also works with mayors and their teams to develop practices and strategies to align the coalition’s efforts with other important initiatives being developed locally, specifically aligning Pittsburgh’s involvement with My Brother's Keeper.

Relevant Work

Community policing development work designed to build trust between the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and our communities of color is already under way. Last year the Department of Justice awarded Pittsburgh a community oriented policing grant  to hire 15 new community oriented police officers starting in 2015. In March of this year, U.S. Attorney David Hickton announced that Pittsburgh was selected by the Department of Justice as 1 of 6 cities to serve as a pilot site for the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.

These efforts are designed build system-wide changes that will be transformative, not just in local government but also in the communities the city serves and protects. The hope is to further develop current efforts and propose a comprehensive strategy to improve opportunities for young men of color through My Brother's Keeper and to continue building bridges of understanding across cultures as part of Welcoming Pittsburgh.

Contact : LaTrenda L. Sherrill Deputy Chief, Operations and Administration - latrenda.leonard@pittsburghpa.gov  (412) 807-1760

 
About Cities United

Cities United was launched in 2011 by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who partnered with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Casey Family Programs President and CEO William C. Bell to forge a national network of communities focused on eliminating violence in American cities related to African American men and boys. Today this movement has grown to 76 U.S. mayors committed to working with community leaders, families, youth, philanthropic organizations and other stakeholders to reduce the epidemic of homicides and violence plaguing African American men and boys.

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