O’Connor Moves to Divest from Mon Oakland Connector, and Invest in Affordable Housing

Call your Councilperson and ask them to support O’Connor’s budget amendment to divest from Mon Oakland Connector and invest in the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund

Councilmember Corey O’Connor announced on Thursday, 12/10, that he would introduce an amendment to the 2021 City Budget that would fund affordable housing, build safe sidewalks, and invest in black-owned businesses. His amendment would do this by divesting the $4.15 million that is proposed for the construction of the controversial Mon Oakland Connector roadway. This ammendment is a necessary move that provides vital resources to help our community combat the pandemic’s economic depression instead of building a luxury transportation option for the universities.

Although the amendment’s language will not be finalized until Monday, Councilman O’Connor intends to move the $4.15M that was intended for the Mon Oakland Connector to instead support the following essential needs:

  • $2 Million to the Affordable Housing Opportunity fund to help address the housing and evictions crisis compounded by the pandemic.
  • ~$1 Million to fund sidewalks in Hazelwood, and to create a pedestrian and bike-only path along Sylvan Ave.
  • ~$1 million to Avenues of Hope, a program to support small Black-owned businesses on 7 specific Main Streets in the City, including Irvine/2nd Ave. in Hazelwood. This is a vital investment as small-businesses are struggling and restaurant workers are losing work due to the pandemic.

Councilman O’Connor’s amendment would deliver clear and immediate benefits to his constituents and to communities throughout the city. This amendment is the type of decisive action that we need NOW in order to protect our families from the pandemic’s worst effects.

The amendment’s investment in the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund also supports calls made by Pittsburgh United and other housing advocates to double the size of the AHOF in order to fight the housing crisis that the pandemic has only amplified. Investment in these programs creates far more equity in this City than DOMI’s Mon Oakland Connector project that has been met with nothing but years of community resistance.

CONTACT YOUR CITY COUNCIL PERSON NOW and ask them to support Councilman O’Connor’s amendment to get resources to PGH families that have been hard-hit by the pandemic, instead of building a luxury transportation choice for CMU.

City Council Contacts can be found on the City Council’s website, and are listed below:

Council District #1
Councilperson Bobby Wilson
Neighborhoods served: Allegheny center, Allegheny City Central, Allegheny West, Brighton Heights, Brightwood, East Allegheny, Fineview, Northview Heights, Observatory Hill, Spring Garden, Spring-Hill City, Summer Hill, Troy Hill Washington’s Landing.
Contact:  http://pittsburghpa.gov/district1/feedback
Office: 412-255-2135

Council District #2
Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith 
Neighborhoods Served: Banksville, Chartiers City, Crafton Heights, Duquesne Heights, East Carnegie, Elliot, Esplen, Fairywood, Mount Washington, Oakwood, Ridgemont, Sheraden, West End, Westwood, Windgap, 
Contact:  http://pittsburghpa.gov/district2/feedback
Office: 412-255-8963

Council District #3 
Councilman Bruce Kraus (City Council President)
Neighborhoods Served: Allentown, Arlington, Arlington Hts., Beltzhoover, Central Oakland, Knoxville, Mt. Oliver, Oakcliffe, South Oakland, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, St.Clair. 
Contact:  http://pittsburghpa.gov/district3/feedback
Email: bruce.kraus@pittsburghpa.gov
Office 412-255-2130

Council District #4 
Councilwoman Anthony Coghill
Neighborhoods Served: Beechview, Bon Air, Brookline, Carrick, Mt. Washington, Overbrook.
Contact:  http://pittsburghpa.gov/district4/contact
Office: 412-255-2131

Council District #5 
Councilman Corey O’Connor 
Neighborhoods Served: Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hays, Hazelwood, Lincoln Place, New Homestead, Regent Square, Squirrel Hill, Swisshelm Park.
Contact:  http://pittsburghpa.gov/district5/feedback
Office: 412-255-8965

Council District #6 
Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle 
Neighborhoods Served: Perry Hilltop, Hill District, Northside, Uptown, Downtown, Oakland. 
Contact: http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/district6/feedback
Office: 412-255-2134

Council District #7 
Councilwoman Deb Gross 
Neighborhoods Served: Bloomfield, Friendship, Highland Park, Lawrenceville, Morningside, Polish Hill, Stanton Heights, Strip District. 
Contact:  http://pittsburghpa.gov/district7/feedback
Office: 412-255-2140

Council District #8 
Councilman Erika Strassberger 
Neighborhoods Served: Shady Side, Squirrel Hill, Oakland, Point Breeze. 
Contact:  http://pittsburghpa.gov/district8/feedback
Office: 412-255-2133

Council District: #9 
Councilman (Reverend) Ricky Burgess
Neighborhoods Served: Garfield, East Liberty, Larimer, Homewood, Point Breeze, Friendship, Lincoln-Lemmington-Belmar, East Hills. 
Contact:  http://pittsburghpa.gov/district9/contact
Office: 412-255-2137

Mayor, City of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto 412-255-2626

You can also testify in-person to support O’Connor’s amendment and defunding the police on Monday at 10am. Info on registering is available here.