Council District 6
Public Launch of Uptown Eco-Innovation District Draws Hundreds

The public launch of Uptown's Eco-Innovation District invited residents and stakeholders to meet the consultant team, Interface Studios, to share their thoughts on a vision for an equitable and sustainable development plan for Uptown.  For more information on the Eco District, please click here.

Councilman Lavelle Introduces Legislation Addressing Issue of Affordable Housing

Councilman Lavelle and Councilman Ricky Burgess introduced 2 pieces of legislation aimed at addressing the issue of affordable housing in Pittsburgh. The "Source of Income" bill would make it illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants that use housing vouchers, and the "Affordable Housing Impact Statement" would require developers to submit a statement on the impact their proposed developments will have on affordable housing options. 

Ceremonial Groundbreaking of Lower Hill 28 Acres Site

Councilman Lavelle, joined by political leaders from the State, County and City, participated in the groundbreaking for the first phase of infrastructure development of the Lower Hill District's 28 acre development site. Thanking residents and community activists for their work in advocating on behalf of the Hill and the City's best interests, the Councilman optimistically pointed to the transformative potential of the project.

Council Creates Affordable Housing Task Force

Councilman Lavelle introduced legislation to establish an Affordable Housing Task Force for the City of Pittsburgh. The goal of the task force is to identify the current state and projected needs of housing throughout the city to better inform its housing policy. The issue of affordability will be closely looked at to ensure a fair housing supply to all residents of Pittsburgh. 

Lower Hill Development Agreement (CCIP) Available for Review

On September 9, 2014, the final draft of the Community Collaboration & Implementation Plan was officially signed and announced to the public. The plan describes specific goals, strategies and processes for maximizing the inclusion of the Greater Hill community in the redevelopment project. To access a copy of the CCIP, please click on the "Read More" link below.

Welcome to Council District 6!
Councilman Participates on Panel at PCRG Community Development Summit

Councilman Lavelle served as one of the panelists on Affordable Housing & Equity at PCRG's Community Development Summit. Given the Councilman's role as one of the Chair's of the Affordable Housing Task Force, the Councilman spoke to attendees on how the Task Force was formed, the work of the Task Force so far, and provdided an overview of the preliminary recommendations from the Task Force that will be going into the final report, due at the end of May.

The annual PCRG Community Development Summit, which took place from May 17 -May 18, featured a series of panel discussions, breakout sessions, and work-group sessions on topics connected to the broader issue of affordable housing in the City of Pittsburgh.

posted 5/23/16 @ 12:00 am
Final Community Meeting Held for Hill District Housing Strategy

The work to complete the Hill District Housing Strategy nears its final stages. A final community meeting, hosted by the consultants working on the report, was held at the Kaufmann Center in the Hill District. The meeting featured a presentation with a list of strategies targeting the Lower Hill, Middle Hill and Upper Hill on the issue of Affordable Housing. It was an opportunity for the community to provide the consultants with initial feedback on the recommended strategies. This feedback will then be used to provide a series of site specific, detailed recommendations to address the issues surrounding the provision and availability of affordable housing options in the Greater Hill District.

posted 5/20/16 @ 12:00 am
Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank Empty Bowls Dinner

On Saturday, March 20th, Councilman Lavelle joined community members and leaders across Pittsburgh to serve at the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank's 21st Annual Empty Bowls dinner held in Rodef Shalom Congregation. This fundraiser event, co-hosted with Just Harvest, rose awareness of the one in seven members of our community who face hunger. The simple meal of bread and soup was symbolic. The family-friendly atmosphere featured beautiful handmade bowls for guests, community celebrity-servers, games and a silent ceramic art auction.

posted 3/30/16 @ 10:30 am
Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project Hosts Community Meet & Greet with Councilman Lavelle

On Thursday, February 18, 2016, Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP) hosted a community meet and greet with Councilman Lavelle in the historic August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Councilman Lavelle discussed developments in District 6 with emphasis on promoting diversity, inclusion, and creation of jobs and opportunity. These issues are of importance not only to District 6 but also Pittsburgh at large.

About 20 community members attended the insightful and open discussion. After hearing Councilman Lavelle's vision and plans, individuals asked their own questions. The conversation covered development of the 28-acre Lower Hill site, Downtown's growth, Uptown Eco Innovation District, and housing and workforce development.

This event was part of PUMP's monthly meet and greets with each City Councilmember in a different location in their district. The next event is on Thursday, March 10, 2016 with District 1 Councilwoman Darlene M. Harris from 6:30pm to 8:00pm in Bistro to Go on 415 East Ohio Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

posted 2/24/16 @ 12:00 pm
Downtown CDC Hosts Downtown Developers Forum

On Wednesday, January 20, the Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corporation (PDCDC) hosted a Developers Forum. The panelists were Ray Gastil, Director of City Planning, City of Pittsburgh, Lucas Piatt, Millcraft Investments, Todd Reidbord, Walnut Capital, Herky Pollock, CBRE, and Randy Mineo, Core Realty. The forum was moderated by the PDCDC’s Executive Director, John Valentine. Downtown is a rapidly changing urban center of the City of Pittsburgh. Panelists discussed plans to make Downtown more residential, increase retail, and continue engaging citizens of Pittsburgh with improved cultural, food, and gathering options.

During the discussion, panelists pointed to Downtown’s growing residential population as a sign of its strength. There are currently 34 units available for purchase, and the value of real estate continues to appreciate. The challenge, as noted by City Planning Director Ray Gastil, is to make Downtown accessible to people of all income levels, and to work to diversify the population.

Also discussed was the transformation of retail in the Golden Triangle. The large department stores that once formed the backbone of Downtown retail may be gone, but the potential remains to create a strong urban shopping district comprised of smaller, one-of-a-kind boutique stores. Mr. Mineo stated that his goal is to bring millennials to Downtown with new retail in the Macy’s building.  

posted 2/05/16 @ 12:00 am
City Council Gives Preliminary Approval to Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

On December 16, 2015, Pittsburgh City Council, in a 5-2 preliminary vote, recommended passing ordinance 2015-2245, known as the Marijuana Decriminalization Bill. Final vote on the passage of this ordinance is scheduled for Monday, December 21, 2015. 

Other cities have passed similar legislation, and Pittsburgh is following suit. In 2012 the City of Chicago moved to decriminalize small amounts allowing police to issue tickets instead of making an arrest. In 2014 Washington D.C. passed a similar ordinance providing for a $25.00 fine for possession of a small amount. 

The City of Pittsburgh Police Department and the Office of the District Attorney of Allegheny County have regularly and routinely reduced all “small amount”/minor marijuana possession charges to a summary offense with the payment of a fine. If passed, this legislation will give Pittsburgh police officers the discretion to issue a ticket for possession of small amounts of marijuana, rather than charging an individual with a misdemeanor criminal offense for possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana or eight grams of hashish. The intent of this law is two-fold:

·        To eliminate the drain on the local criminal justice system.

·        To reduce the loss of employment and housing opportunities associated with a criminal conviction for a cannibas possessory offense.

Within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this Ordinance, the City of Pittsburgh Police Department will be required to enact policies consistent with the intent of City Council. This law, if passed, does not legalize marijuana in the City of Pittsburgh. 

posted 12/18/15 @ 12:00 am
Freedom Corner Receives Updates

Freedom Corner is a historic fixture in the city of Pittsburgh and a continued symbol of our fight for civil rights and social justice. For the past year Councilman Lavelle has worked to ensure that proper funding was allocated for the maintenance and upkeep of Freedom Corner. Working closely with the Department of Public Works, we are pleased to announce the completion of a first phase of repairs to the lighting and masonry of Freedom Corner.

In addition, the Councilman continues to oversee the Freedom Corner Committee, which was put together to both fundraise for maintenance and technology upgrades, as well as create the process for soliciting new names of local civil rights heroes to be added to the monument.


posted 11/12/15 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle Introduces Legislation Aimed at Addressing Affordable Housing Issue in Pittsburgh

Councilman Lavelle, together with Councilman Ricky Burgess, introduced today 2 pieces of legislation aimed at addressing the growing need for affordable housing in the City of Pittsburgh: a bill that makes it illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants based on their source of income, and a bill that requires developers to provide an “Affordable Housing Impact Statement” with their development plans.  

In many housing markets, one of the key ways housing is provided to low-income tenants is through a housing subsidy, the most well known of which is the Section 8 voucher program. Unfortunately, voucher holders often face blatant discrimination in their housing search. The Housing Authority reports that 41% of low-income people who were issued vouchers had to return them unused, in part due to landlords unwilling to accept them.

With the “Source of Income” bill, landlords will be prohibited from discriminating against tenants who use vouchers to pay their rent. Such discrimination makes it increasingly difficult for voucher recipients to use their vouchers, a loophole that the bill would effectively close once and for all. To access a copy of the proposed bill, click here.

In addition to the “Source of Income” bill, the “Affordable Housing Impact Statement” legislation is intended to keep council members informed of the impact new developments will have on the affordable housing stock in Pittsburgh. The legislation would require developers to submit with their development plans an analysis of how their proposed projects will impact the creation and/or preservation of affordable housing. To access a copy of the proposed bill, click here.

These measures will create 2 additional tools for the toolkit aimed at ensuring housing options within the City of Pittsburgh for people of all income levels. As these pieces of legislation move through Council, Councilman Lavelle will continue looking into innovative ways of increasing the options of affordable housing for the residents of Pittsburgh. 


posted 9/29/15 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Joins Healthworkers in Support of Workers' Rights

Councilman Lavelle joined his colleagues on Tuesday August 4th at a rally for Pittsburgh Hospital Workings Rising. The councilman attended to reaffirm his commitment to the basic requirements of employment, healthcare access, the right to join a union, and a 15 dollar minimum wage. Across the country cities are taking steps to cement these goals. Pittsburgh is a city beginning to move down that path. It is a city where our largest industry is health care. Now the city intends to continue that forward momentum by lifting our city’s largest industry, which in turn will lift our entire city.

The Allegheny Health Network has recently taken a big step in this direction by respecting workers’ rights to form their own unions. Pittsburgh City Council stands firmly and proudly behind the hospital workers who marched this summer for those rights. The councilman and city intend to do everything in their power to ensure that these institutions are fulfilling their role as community partners.

posted 8/05/15 @ 12:00 am
Council Approves Overhaul of Noise Ordinance

City Council has given final approval to an overhaul of the City’s Noise Control Ordinance. The original noise ordinance was first established 24 years ago. Under the new guidelines, Pittsburgh Police officers will be able to issue a citation to a noise infraction without taking an official decibel level. The Bureau’s current meters for measuring sound decibels are outdated and the city will seek bids for replacement.

The new ordinance will extend noise protection to District Six residents who live in commercially zoned areas like downtown and some areas of Oakland. This proivdes the residents of some of our city’s fastest growing communities relief from obstructive sound during reasonable hours. The ordinance is broken primarily into two time zones, Daytime 7 AM-10PM and Nighttime 10PM-7AM. The new ordinances do come with exemptions available for those who apply for the appropriate permits through the Special Events Committee in the Office of the Mayor.  

To review the ordinance, please click here.

posted 8/03/15 @ 12:00 am

With site preparations well underway in the 28 acres site of the Lower Hill District, the first phase of infrastructure development is scheduled to begin in the fall of this year. This will involve the construction of the major roadways that will form the street grid of the Lower Hill site.

Along with the extension of Wylie Ave into Downtown, phase I will involve the development of 2 new north-south roadways that will intersect Wylie and connect Bedford Ave to Centre Ave. Construction on these roadways cannot begin until the new roadways are officially named. With technical assistance being provided by the Department of City Planning, our office reaches out to you, as a resident of the Hill District and/or representative of a Hill based organization, to assist in the selection of names for Street # 1 and Street # 2.

Attached to this message is a presentation prepared by the Department of City Planning offering 2 suggestions for the naming of these streets which you can access here. Both options are based on the original street grid of the Lower Hill District, and use the historical street names that existed on the site before the construction of the Civic Arena.

Option # 1: Logan St and Fullerton St
-In the original Lower Hill street grid, these were the 2 most prominent north-south bound streets.
-The intersection of Fullerton and Wiley used to be known as the “Crossroads of the World”. This option would therefore pay homage to the historic significance of that intersection.
-The new streets would not be in the exact same location as the historical Logan and Fullerton St.

Option # 2: Elm St/Congress St and Logan St
-The new Logan St would be almost exactly in the same location as the original Logan St.
-With this option, there would be no Fullerton-Wylie intersection to honor the historically termed “Crossroads of the World”.

In addition to the above options, our office will be taking suggestions for street names from the community at large. As nominations are compiled, and after they are vetted by the City Planning Department to ensure they are not duplicate names of existing streets and meet other street naming requirements defined in the city code, our office will provide the top 3 names to City Planning’s Street Naming Committee for review.

The process will therefore work as follows:

Step 1: Office of District 6 compiles naming suggestions from the Hill District Community.

Step 2: City Planning assists the District 6 office in determining which naming suggestions meet the street naming requirements defined in the city code.

Step 3: The top 3 community naming suggestions will be forwarded to the Department of City Planning’s Street Naming Committee, the city entity in charge of providing naming recommendations for City Council.

Step 4: City Council receives the naming recommendations from the Street Naming Committee and votes on the recommendations.

To submit a street naming suggestion, please contact the district office by July 13th:                
               Phone: 412-255-2134
               Fax: 412-255-0737
               Mail: Office of District 6
                         414 Grant St
                         Pittsburgh, PA 15219

posted 6/30/15 @ 12:00 am

Councilman Lavelle was interviewed on the Union Edge radio show on Monday, June 8th.  Among the topics discussed were the redevelopment of the Lower Hill District 28 acres site, the CCIP agreement between the community, the Pens and the City that sets the social and economic goals for the development, and the potential of the site to empower the minority and low income communities in the Hill and the Greater Pittsburgh region. 

To listen to the interview, click here.

posted 6/09/15 @ 12:00 am

The District 6 office has prepared a spring Update newsletter to better inform you of what is happening throughout the district. The Spring Update provides details about the Lower Hill Redevelopment, Affordable Housing, neighborhood updates, and information on other projects and events occurring in the District.

To access a copy of the spring newsletter, click here.  

posted 5/19/15 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle Speaks as Panelist on Conversation About Police Community Relations

Councilman Lavelle recently sat in on a panel with the RAND Corporation to discuss issues and policies surrounding the police and communities.  The conversation, Strengthening Police-Community Trust, also included Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay and RAND Director of Safety and Justice, Brian Jackson. To listen to the discussion, click here.

posted 5/15/15 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle Attends Ribbon Cutting of Skyline Terrace

With sweeping views of Downtown Pittsburgh spread over 50 acres, the Hill District's Addison Terrace was a product of its time. With many units dating to the 1940’s, over the last 60 years the cluster of tight barrack style row houses had far outlived their useful lives. Cramped and small without many community amenities, the replacement of this complex was long overdue. On May 14, after years of talks and redevelopment, the ribbon cutting ceremony for the first phase of the new Skyline Terrace took place.

Now named for the skyline it views, Skyline Terrace was the largest award to a minority business in the history of the City of Pittsburgh. When completed, the $160 million project will encompass 400 units with significant upgrades to public utilities and streets. Phase 1 consists of 186 mixed income units ranging from 1 to 4 bedrooms. Just as significant as the bricks and mortar is the social aspect of the redevelopment, with 53% minority and women owned business participation in the construction of the project, $27 million awarded in contracts to minority and women owned firms, and the largest award to a minority general contractor at $50 million. 

posted 5/14/15 @ 12:00 am
District 6 Congratulates UPrep AAAT Graduates

On May 5, students who participated in the AAAT (African American Achievement Trust) Collective Focus mentoring program at University Preparatory School graduated. These students, between 6th and 12th grade were a part of this program to improve academic achievement, receive emotional support and/or receive assistance towards graduation and post-secondary education. The students were full of energy and listened eagerly as Mike Logan, former Pittsburgh Steeler and now life skills coach at UPrep spoke. He challenged us all to simply think about the one thing you aspire to do and work hard to achieve that goal.

Bernelle Wood of the District 6 staff sat with her mentee who is in the 7th grade at UPrep. She has watched her confidence boost from when she first started mentoring her in the 6th grade. Her mentee has also worked hard to maintain the highest grades in the group. She is an aspiring doctor and Bernelle looks forward to keeping her on task in order to help her get there.

posted 5/05/15 @ 12:00 am
Ribbon Cutting for Moorhead Towers Renovations

Councilman Lavelle joined other City and County leaders to celebrate the preservation and restoration of the William S. Moorhead Tower this week. Ralph Falbo, Inc and Beacon Communities worked together for over a year to renovate the 414 unit tower on Craig Street. The apartment building, which primarily serves senior citizens, received updated amenities to help residents with visual or other impairments. Some of the residents have been in the building for over 30 years and were given the opportunity to directly include their ideas in the renovation work. With the stability of the Oakland community, this renovation is another strong addition to a growing community. 

posted 4/30/15 @ 12:00 am
Fowler Field Receives Much Needed Updates

The North Side’s Fowler Park is in the process of getting some impressive new updates. The Public Works Department has been working diligently for the past several weeks to update the park. New fountains, fencing, goal posts, and five renovated sets of bleachers are only some of the work being done on the property. Areas once covered in asphalt have been revamped into regulation turf to limit the risk of injury.  The renovations are ongoing, and the Parks Department is working with the community to ensure the field properly serves their needs. Parks is now in talks with community members about the possibility of concession stands gracing the property. 

posted 4/30/15 @ 12:00 am
Market Street Grocery Opens Downtown

The Market Street Grocery, Downtown’s first grocery store in five years, opened in Market Square in the Thompson Building on April 22nd. The store will cater to the day to day needs of Downtown residents and is styled after a European market. It will serve fruits, vegetables, fresh meats, and seafood as well as a Deli and wine bar. A feature will also include a branch of popular Squirrel Hill French bakery Gaby et Jules. The grocer will be open 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. daily, with the wine bar staying open until 11:00 p.m. 


posted 4/22/15 @ 12:00 am

On Monday March 23, Councilman Lavelle attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of infrastructure development in the Lower Hill 28 acre site. In his remarks, the Councilman noted that as a lifelong Hill District resident, the groundbreaking was a moment of personal pride, signifying an opportunity to create a development that benefits the residents of the Hill District and the City of Pittsburgh. 


posted 3/25/15 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle Co-Sponsors Legislation to Improve Training of City's Security Guards

Councilman Lavelle has co-sponsored an ordinance to ensure that the City’s security guards are adequately trained in protecting Pittsburgh’s buildings. SEIU 32BJ, a union representing nearly 130,000 office workers, gathered in front of Council Chambers to support the Ordinance to increase and mandate training for those who are charged with protecting the thousands who work in large office buildings or public places. The change would require at a minimum 40 hours of training to guarantee that in an emergency situation guards are able to respond swiftly to any dangerous situation. The ordinance is on the agenda for the April 15th Council Session.  

posted 3/24/15 @ 12:00 am

City Council unanimously approved legislation establishing a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) district for the Lower Hill District 28 acres development site which will serve to further development projects and needs in the Greater Hill District. Development projects on the site will be granted a 10 year tax exemption.

In exchange, developers will agree to make payments, in an amount equal to the exempted taxes, towards 2 funds: one for infrastructure improvements and development incentives on the 28 acres site, and another for programs and projects designed to benefit the Greater Hill District. The LERTA district will help to implement the Community Collaboration Implementation Plan (CCIP), a document which outlines goals for Hill District participation in the development, contracting, business, employment and housing opportunities on the site. 

To access a copy of the legislation establishing the LERTA, click here.


posted 2/25/15 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle Presents Proclamation to Honor Pittsburgh Living Legends

Mr. Ralph P. Watson, who runs "CLASSIC EVENTS! Public Relations and Marketing Group", will host the 4th Annual Black History Celebration on February 28. The theme for this year is "Legends", as they salute several Pittsburgh notables who have left their imprint on the City in the areas of economic development, education, health and politics. On Tuesday, February 10, Councilman Lavelle presented a proclamation to the honorees of the event, which included:

Hon. Brenda Frazier, Dr. Renee Frazier, Roger Humphries Sr., Father Eric McIntosh, Rev. Johnnie G. Monroe, Chris Moore, William Neal, Charles M. Powell, Herman Reid, Hon. William R. Robinson, Charles Sanders, JT Thomas, Brenda J. Waters, Hon. Ralph P. Watson, Judge Warren Watson, and Frances Ford-Wilson.  

posted 2/13/15 @ 12:00 am
Council Extends Deadline for Paying City Real Estate Taxes Early

City Council approved this week an extension to file real estate taxes early to receive the 2% discount. Instead of February 10, residents will now have until February 28 to file their City taxes early. The decision came as a result of tax bills being received by residents on January 31, which would have given 10 days fewer to file early for the discount. 

posted 2/06/15 @ 12:00 am

Pittsburgh is in the midst of an economic renaissance that has seen property values rise throughout the City. It is a positive sign of growth which is imperative to the City’s future, but if not appropriately planned for, can lead to the displacement of mid to low income populations who are unable to keep pace with rising property values in their communities. The provision of an adequate supply of affordable housing is therefore critical to retain existing residents and prevent the potential displacement caused by rising housing costs.

In order to address the issue of affordable housing throughout Pittsburgh, Councilman Lavelle has partnered with Mayor Peduto to introduce legislation that creates an Affordable Housing Task Force. The task force will be comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders inside and outside of government who will work to make specific recommendations to the Mayor and City Council.  A report will be published that identifies Pittsburgh’s current housing landscape, projected future housing needs, and recommended policy responses to ensure a vibrant mix of accessible housing options for all residents in Pittsburgh.

To access a copy of the legislation that creates the Affordable Housing Task force, please click here.

posted 2/02/15 @ 12:00 am
Ribbon Cutting of Downtown's Hotel Monaco

Councilman Lavelle’s office was honored to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony for Hotel Monaco on January 21st. Located in the Reed building, an iconic structure Downtown, the 248 room hotel caters to the world traveler with unique designs that set it apart as a one of a kind brand. The hotel boom Downtown has been experiencing is a testament to the area’s growing economic base and profile on a national and global scale, and we welcome Hotel Monaco as a new tenant that will help further the area’s economic revitalization, as it is expected to create 200 permanent jobs.

Hotel Monaco will also be the come of restaurant and bar The Commoner. We invite all Pittsburghers to stop by for a bite, a drink, to spend the night, or simply to tour the new site. 

For photos of the ribbon cutting, please click here.

posted 1/21/15 @ 12:00 am
District 6 Fall Newsletter

The District 6 Fall Newsletter is available for viewing.

The Fall Newsletter provides District 6 stakeholders with a seasonal update of developments taking place within the district and the greater City of Pittsburgh. The latest edition includes information on the jobs bill Councilman Lavelle introduced in September, the development deal for the Lower Hill which was finalized in September, and an overview of events that have taken place within the district, such as the Kiva Small Business Fairs and the District 6 Youth Basketball Tournament. 

To access a copy of the newsletter, please click here.

posted 10/07/14 @ 12:00 am
Lower Hill District Development Deal: Building Ladders of Opportunity

In the summer of 2012, Councilman Lavelle convened a diverse group of residents and stakeholders to begin defining the Hill District community’s position on how they envisioned development on the Lower Hill District 28 acres site. The group, which became known as the Lower Hill Working Group, initiated formal negotiations with the Pittsburgh Penguins in early 2013. After close to 2 years of contentious negotiations, a final development deal has been reached by both sides, formally referred to as the Community Collaboration & Implementation Plan (CCIP).

Focused on improving economic disparities and gaining wins for Hill District residents and minority businesses, the agreement is a big win for the community. Councilman Lavelle’s goal, from the outset, was to ensure the site built ladders of opportunity for populations in need, a vision that focused on generational wealth building that was sustainable and community driven. The goals laid out by the CCIP agreement provide a framework through which the Greater Hill District, and the City of Pittsburgh at large, receive real benefits from the development activity on the 28 acres site.

Highlights from the plan include:

  • The highest MWBE participation goals in Pittsburgh’s history
  • Job opportunities for Hill District residents
  • Workforce development training programs
  • Provision of affordable housing
  • Support for the development of small businesses
  • Creation of a “Reinvestment Fund” to support development in the Greater Hill District   

With the CCIP document finalized and signed, the true hard work to make the vision a reality is set to begin. As Councilman Lavelle noted, the signing of the agreement was the 1st round of a 12 round fight. What it does is join the community, the developer (the Pittsburgh Penguins) and public partners (Government) at the hip, ensuring each is accountable to meet the goals laid out by the CCIP. The framework has been laid, the ladders of opportunity have been raised, and now all stakeholders come together with the community to build a stronger Hill District for all.

To access a copy of the CCIP agreement, please click here.

To access a summary of the CCIP’s focus areas, please click here.

To access a summary of the points of contention in the negotiations, and the final resolution in the CCIP, please click here

posted 9/19/14 @ 12:00 am

A policy priority for Councilman Lavelle is to provide ladders of opportunity to the residents of District 6 and the City of Pittsburgh as a whole. His goal is to ensure that disenfranchised populations have access to the tools and resources that allow them to build wealth and raise their families out of poverty. To further this end, the Councilman introduced in Council on September 9 “Pittsburgh Works”, an expansion of a local hiring bill by the same name that was originally implemented in 1999, whereby City residents with very low household incomes will be given opportunities for employment on City subsidized projects. 

The legislation introduced by Councilman Lavelle would expand upon the original 1999 bill, which requires that 35% of all work hours performed on City subsidized projects be performed by City residents. The new Pittsburgh Works includes additional language to provide opportunities to low-moderate income residents. Some of the main provisions include:

  • Definition of a disadvantaged worker: A person who, as of the date of hire to perform work on a covered construction project, has a household income at or below fifty-percent (50%) of area median income (AMI), or faces other barriers to employment, such as having prior involvement with the criminal justice system.
  • Continued requirement that 35% of all work hours be performed by City residents, with the additional requirement that 15% of all project work hours be performed by disadvantaged workers.
  • Require establishment of First Source Hiring Centers in low-moderate income census tracts to connect residents to training programs and employment opportunities.

Requiring that City subsidized projects provide economic opportunities for not only City residents, but also hard to employ City residents will increase their earning capacity, decrease levels of poverty, and increase the City’s tax revenue. 

With this infrastructure in place, and by defining disadvantaged workers and requiring their participation in city-subsidized projects, Pittsburgh has the opportunity to take a progressive, proactive approach to address the needs of its underserved community, truly ensuring that “Pittsburgh Works” for all.

For a copy of the “Pittsburgh Works” bill, please click here.

posted 9/10/14 @ 12:00 am
Pittsburgh Awarded Federal TIGER Grant for Lower Hill Infrastructure Development

Yet another piece of the Lower Hill District development puzzle has been completed.

On Tuesday, September 9, the US Department of Transportation awarded a $1.5 million TIGER grant to the Sport & Exhibition Authority for redevelopment of the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill District. The purpose of the federal grant is to fund the preliminary design of the "cap" that is to be built over the Crosstown Boulevard. 

The announcement sends a strong message that the US Department of Transportation (DOT) wants to partner with the City of Pittsburgh to redevelop the Lower Hill District. It is clear that the DOT is committed to the project for the long haul, and establishes a foundation from which we can continue the fight to secure the rest of the necessary funding to complete the multiyear project.

Councilman Lavelle noted that the grant is another step forward in reconnecting the Hill District to Downtown. When the Crosstown Boulevard was built, it severely severed the Hill from the Golden Triangle. The "cap" will provide the much needed connection between the Hill District community and Pennsylvania's second largest economic center, Downtown Pittsburgh. 

As future pieces of the larger puzzle come together, the development of the "cap" is sure to prove critical in attracting developers to the 28 acres Lower Hill District site. All of these victories are interconnected, and help to build momentum to fulfill a promise decades in the making: a redeveloped Lower Hill that strengthens the Greater Hill, the City of Pittsburgh, and the region. 

posted 9/09/14 @ 12:00 am

On Wednesday, August 20, Zone 2 Police held the 2nd Annual Open House to celebrate Commander Holmes’s 2nd year as Commander.   The event was held to thank the community for their continual support of the Zone 2 Police, as well as to discuss public safety goals for the remainder of the year. 

Those who attended the Open House were given the opportunity to interact with Zone 2 Police Officers to foster a solid foundation for partnerships between all community members.  Also, the Open House provided tours of the Zone 2 station; and an opportunity to see a bomb technician truck, K-9 Unit, and a Mobile Police Command Center. 

posted 8/22/14 @ 12:40 pm
Councilman Lavelle Discusses Lower Hill Development Negotiations on WESA Interview

On Thursday, August 7, NPR - 90.5 WESA Essential Pittsburgh invited Councilman Lavelle and Marimba Milliones, Hill District Community Development Corporation CEO, to discuss the Lower Hill District redevelopment and the negotiations that have been taking place between the community and the Penguins.  With the October 31 option agreement deadline for developing the first parcel on the site, all parties involved have been in discussions to put a plan in place.

The interview with the Councilman and Ms. Milliones revolved around the community’s efforts to bolster the levels of minority inclusion in the development and the effort to raise the level of affordable housing on site.  To hear the full interview, with a Q/A session, please click here.


posted 8/15/14 @ 12:00 am
Community Block Party Held in Manchester Neighborhood

On Saturday, July 19th, the Office of Councilman Lavelle was proud to provide support to the Manchester Community Block Party hosted by the Manchester Citizens Corporation. Held at the Manchester Playground, the family friendly event featured games for kids, a bounce house, face-painting, a raffle and live music. Neighbors from Manchester and throughout the Northside came together in a strong showing of unity for the community. 

posted 7/21/14 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle Participates in Kaboom! Playground Build at Weil Elementary

On Friday, June 20, the Hill District community came together to build a Kaboom! playground at Weil Elementary School. Kaboom! is a non-profit whose mission is to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities. The playground build at Weil was overseen by the Hill District Consensus Group, which worked hard to make the project a reality thanks to their fundraising and leadership efforts.

Councilman Lavelle joined the 200+ volunteers to assist in the building of the playground. It was an inspiring event that showcased the commitment of Hill District residents and stakeholders to improving their community by offering a safe, modern playspace for the children of the Hill. For photos of the event, please check out our photos page here.

posted 6/20/14 @ 12:00 am

A public rededication ceremony was held today to celebrate the reopening of the newly renovated Mellon Square park in Downtown Pittsburgh. The ceremonies marked the completion of a $10 million restoration project that will reactivate the square for public use. 

With funding support from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, BNY Mellon, The Colcom Foundation, The Eden Hall Foundation and other corporate and private donors, the City of Pittsburgh is excited to see the completion of a project that brings Mellon Square into the new century. We encourage all to take the opportunity to visit the park.

For pictures of the park, visit our online photo album here.

posted 5/29/14 @ 12:00 am

The City of Pittsburgh and the Hill District community mourns the passing of one of its own, longtime community activist and volunteer Thelma Lovette, at the age of 98 years.

Mrs. Lovette was involved in every aspect of social development and civil rights in the Hill District. Having grown up on Wylie Ave and graduating from Schenley High School, Mrs. Lovette obtained a bachelor's and master's degrees in social work from the University of Pittsburgh. She became the first black social worker at Mercy Hospital and retired as supervisor of social workers after more than 15 years with the hospital.

Mrs. Lovette leaves behind a long and influential legacy of social involvement and community service. She was the first woman to serve on the YMCA's Board of Management, with the Hill District branch of the YMCA being named in her honor, the Thelma Lovette YMCA. 

Mrs. Lovette at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Thelma Lovette YMCA, 2012


posted 5/27/14 @ 12:00 am

An annual Pittsburgh tradition, the 28th EQT Pittsburgh International Children's Festival is being held in venues throughout the Cultural District Downtown. Part of the festivities includes a giant sandbox, pop-up green space, and seven theater performances from around the world. 

The family friendly festival runs from May 14 - May 18. One of its newest attractions is the LilyPad Park, which has been set up at the corner of Eighth Street and Penn Avenue. The park is free to the public, and includes artificial turf play areas, a community stage, hands-on activities and food vendors.

posted 5/14/14 @ 12:00 am
City Council Approves Amended Land Bank Bill

Land is an original source of material wealth. Communities which own and maintain control and oversight over their land are strong, sustainable communities. With the original introduction by Councilwoman Deb Gross of the Land Bank bill, and given that I represent one of the districts with the greatest number of properties eligible for land banking, I have since worked diligently to ensure that the community be inserted and involved in the process of land acquisition and disposition. 

On Monday, April 14, City Council approved an amended version of the Land Bank bill. I supported the changes to the legislation, which include key provisions that ensure greater protections to those communities most affected by the bill:

  • An expanded board of 9 members with stronger representation from the districts with the greatest number of land bank eligible properties
  • Greater protections for owner-occupants whose tax-delinquent properties would be eligible for land banking
  • Stronger language to define requirements for public notice and public participation in the disposition of properties from the land bank 
  • Provision requiring City Council approval for the disposition of land in the first four (4) years of the land bank

To view the original version of the bill, as presented by Councilwoman Gross, click here.
To view an amended version of the bill, written by Councilpersons Lavelle and Burgess, click here (this version was never formally introduced in Council).
To view the final version of the bill, passed by Council on April 14, click here.

posted 4/14/14 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle Visits Pittsburgh Art Institute

Councilman Lavelle was invited by the Pittsburgh Art Institute to take a tour of their facilities in their Downtown location at 420 Boulevard of the Allies. Led by Art Institute President George Sebolt, the Councilman was shown the facilities that house their 4 areas of study: Design, Media Arts, Fashion and Culinary Arts. Part of the discussions involved ways that the Art Institute has and can partner with nonprofit organization in the District 6 community to assist them with services their students can provide, whether it be via internships or semester projects. For more information on these opportunities, please contact our office at (412) 255-2134.

posted 2/28/14 @ 12:00 am
Mentors Community Wealth Building Initiative Presented with $150k Donation for Job Training Program

Councilman Lavelle was present to welcome a $150,000 donation from Chevron to Mentors Community Wealth Building Initiative (MCWBI) job training program. 

Mentors Community Wealth Building Initiative, or MCWBI, connects people in hard-hit neighborhoods with energy careers, particularly in the region's natural-gas industry. The initiative is a mobile skills development program that can be implemented anywhere to reach people in their own neighborhoods. Organizers report the pilot year results are impressive with what they say is an unheard-of 90 percent placement rate in lucrative energy careers.

In exchange for an MCWBI scholarship, participants commit to: 40 hours of skills development; 80 hours of energy certification training; an intensive job-placement process in the region's oil and gas industry; and giving back by helping others take the same path they pursued.

So far, MCWBI participants have been hired at eight different energy companies and are generating a combined personal annual income of more $1 million per year, plus health benefits, for themselves and the Pittsburgh region's economy. MCWBI expects this to double in a few months as the initiative expands its neighborhood base.


posted 2/06/14 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle and Hill CDC Lead Group in Visit to Over the Rhine

On January 22, 2014 Councilman Lavelle, the Hill CDC and other community stakeholders, including Hill District community residents, went to Cincinnati, OH to visit a neighborhood called Over the Rhine. The purpose of the trip was to take away best practices used in the redevelopment of this area as a possible model to pursue in the redevelopment of the Lower Hill District 28 acre site. The Councilman and the group had the opportunity to meet with community residents, a local CDC and a few social service agencies, as they learned about the successes, issues and concerns each has faced in the redevelopment of Over the Rhine. Upon returning the group was able to debrief and set a plan of action moving forward to ensure that the community is involved in the redevelopment of the Lower Hill 28 acre site.


Lavelle and group from the Hill listen to Steve Leeper of Cincinnati 3CDC

posted 2/03/14 @ 12:00 am

Upon the announcement from the Manchester Citizens Corporation (MCC) in October of 2013 about the launch of Manchester Renaissance II, the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF) confirmed their support of the development project in the form of a $292,000 loan and an $80,000 grant. The funds will go towards the restoration of 1401 Columbus Ave and an additional property on Liverpool St. We are excited and honored to see the support from PHLF, and our office will continue to work closely with the MCC to ensure that this project continues the strong renewal efforts taking place in the Manchester community. 

For more information, click on the header for a link to an article from the PHLF newsletter on their funding support for Manchester Renaissance II.

Google Maps screen capture of 1401 Columbus Ave
Google Maps 


posted 1/02/14 @ 12:00 am

Office of Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle
414 Grant Street, 5th Floor | City County Building
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Telephone: 412-255-2134 | Facsimile: 412-255-0737

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