O’Harold Hoots, a displaced resident from the Penn Plaza complex, was the first of nearly 40 opponents to the proposed development to speak during Tuesday's meeting of the planning commission. Hoots asked that the commission consider the human face of those that would be negatively affected by the redevelopment.

The people who filibustered Pittsburgh’s planning commission over plans for the former Penn Plaza site

Jackie Smith, Ashley Cox, Dan Kubis, Rachel Brown, Adam Clark… The list read before the City of Pittsburgh Planning Commission on Tuesday afternoon included the names of almost 1,300 people who wrote letters to the commission, opposing the development plan proposed by LG Realty for the former site of Penn Plaza Apartments. After more than four hours, the commission voted to approve design plans for the $150 million development in East Liberty. One year following the controversial demolition of Penn Plaza and after six months of mediation between the community and developers, LG Realty presented plans to put commercial retail space, a park and several office buildings at the former site of affordable housing. About 30 to 40 people spoke at the meeting, some of them in support of the project. A few of them took their three minutes of time at the podium to read the names of the people who submitted letters opposing the Pennley Park South Redevelopment Plan.

The police officers behind the senseless killings of black men nationwide are not only bad examples, they’re dream killers

Editor’s Note: As journalists, we spend a lot of time talking with officials and community members and distilling it into stories that explore important issues of our time. But we realize that sometimes it is just more powerful to hear it straight from the source. This is one of those times. The essay is a special feature timed for Mother's Day and the Brown Mamas Monologues* happening May 12. For as long as I can remember, my son Dion has wanted to be a football player and a policeman (and a pizza maker and a race car driver).

Video: Facebook Live interview with artist Vanessa German

Vanessa German is a renowned artist and a community activist. She runs ARThouse in Homewood, where youth in the neighborhood have the opportunity to immerse themselves in art. German most recently made news when she spoke out at a community conversation about the removal of a billboard that contained the message, “THERE ARE BLACK PEOPLE IN THE FUTURE.”