Juliette Rihl is a reporter for PublicSource focusing on mental health and health. She also writes stories for Develop PGH, a PublicSource reporting desk focused on economic development. She was selected to be a 2019 Justice Reporting Fellow as part of the John Jay Fellowship on "Cash Register Justice." Before joining PublicSource, she taught English in Taichung, Taiwan, as a Fulbright scholar. She is also a graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, during which she worked as a consultant for several nonprofit, government and startup entities in Pittsburgh. Juliette graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017.
After 45 minutes of discussion about future spending for the Housing Opportunity Fund, the fund’s advisory board and housing advocates reached a common conclusion: the fund could use more than $10 million a year.
Since 2011, the Pittsburgh housing authority has spent $58 million from its Section 8 housing voucher program on the construction of mixed-income housing developments. Those developments — such as Garfield Commons, Skyline Terrace in the Hill District and Cornerstone Village in Larimer — include market-rate and affordable units and are part of the authority’s long-term strategy to revitalize neighborhoods and stem the loss of affordable housing. But is construction coming at the expense of the agency’s hobbled Section 8 voucher program? As of Oct. 31, 8,684 families were waiting for housing vouchers.
PublicSource will report here about notable actions and conversations from the meetings of the City of Pittsburgh’s Planning Commission. The meetings are held at 2 p.m. on every other Tuesday on the 1st floor of the Civic Building at 200 Ross Street.
After nearly 13 years of being represented by Councilwoman Darlene Harris, the North Side has a new City Council representative. Spring Hill’s Bobby Wilson, 36, won the District 1 City Council seat with 60% of the vote in Tuesday’s election (3,554 votes as of 10:32 p.m.)
Wilson defeated independent candidates Chris Rosselot and Malcolm Jarrett. “What this means is a new progressive North Side,” Wilson said in his victory speech Tuesday evening. ”We continue to really change the face of how we’re going to collaborate with people, whether it’s City Council or the mayor.”
Wilson credited voters for supporting his vision for the district.“We’re going to get more for us. And it’s because of the voters of District 1 that came out and voted for me, this campaign, that we’re going to be able to do that.”
Wilson, a medical researcher at the University of Pittsburgh and father of three, said in an interview before Election Day that his top priority for the North Side is affordable housing.
Involuntary mental health treatment is a highly controversial issue among practitioners, advocates and those who have sought and received treatment. Some argue that involuntary treatment is the only way to guarantee that certain people get the help they need. Others say it infringes on a person’s civil rights and can push them away from seeking help in the future.
Researchers, nonprofit leaders and advocates who gathered Monday continued to criticize a September report on racial and gender inequity for its predominantly white research team and the failure to engage Black leaders and community organizations already working on similar issues.
This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story. Read PublicSource's stories here. Climate change is a crisis that impacts us at both the global and local levels. The decisions of local and state lawmakers determine the type of materials that end up on our shelves and in our environment. The impact of pollution can vary depending on where you are, not just on a regional level but on a neighborhood level — meaning Pittsburghers don’t all experience the same consequences from pollution in the same way.
As part of the Covering Climate Now global reporting initiative, we spoke to three representatives from major Pittsburgh institutions on how they try to make their large footprint in the region more sustainable.