Minority Social Research Project Lauded
Ramirez, Chris, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Local politicians on Monday said they support a recently formed panel of black leaders that will study Pittsburgh's minorities with the hope of sparking policy change.
At a news conference at Freedom Corner in the Hill District, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato said the Minority Research Policy Group of Southwestern Pennsylvania will provide "a strong voice" for the region's minorities. The group has the potential to provide a clearer picture of socioeconomic difficulties facing people of color, they said.
"No longer can anyone criticize a program for lack of study or a lack of evidence" after this, Onorato said. "This is a key component to changes we want to make for the future."
The nine-member group is the latest initiative of Landmarks Community Capital Corp., a nonprofit based in the South Side and headed by Howard B. Slaughter Jr.
Slaughter and other group members hope their findings can be given to lawmakers, educators, community groups and the region's business leaders and eventually factor into policy-making discussions.
They want the results to be a catalyst to improving the quality of life for minorities, who accounted for roughly one-third of Pittsburgh's population in the 2005-07 American Community Survey.
"From a policy standpoint, it's important to provide information that is empirical and pragmatic ... and that comes from a minority perspective," Slaughter said. …