Mayor William Peduto creates the city's first Office of Equity
May 14, 2019
Mayor William Peduto has signed an Executive Order creating the City’s Office of Equity, which will work across City of Pittsburgh government to embed the importance of equity in government work, and address and eradicate inequalities in all its forms.
The Office of Equity will build upon the work of former Chief Urban Affairs Officer Valerie McDonald-Roberts accomplished at the Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment, and will be led by Chief Equity Officer Majestic Lane.
The Office of Equity will follow on Mayor Peduto’s directive that if opportunities in Pittsburgh are not for all, they’re for none. Other cities in Pittsburgh’s peer network that have equity offices include Seattle, Minneapolis, Boston, and Albuquerque.
“Based upon the research from the Equity Indicators Report, OnePGH and the concerns I hear from constituents daily, we know we have more work to do on equity but I am proud of what this administration has been able to do thus far,” Mayor Peduto said. “The Office of Equity will build upon this foundation, and seek to bring further opportunities to all Pittsburghers.”
The Office of Equity replaces the Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment within the Mayor’s Office. Since its creation in 2014 the Bureau celebrated accomplishments including:
The $2 million Childhood Equity Fund
Implementation of the Gender Equity Commission
Offering more than 2,000 city and county youth summer jobs through the Learn and Earn program
Expanding the use of Nalaxone to stop fatal overdoses from opioids
Hiring a full-time staffer to coordinate My Brother’s Keeper initiatives for African-American men and youth
Implementing the Welcoming Pittsburgh initiative
Working with Allegheny County to ensure a full 2020 U.S. Census count
Introducing Financial Empowerment Centers, providing free one-on-one financial advice citywide
A 100% score in the Human Right’s Commission’s Municipal Equality Index Scorecard
The next steps for the Office of Equity will including joining the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), and reorganizing contracting oversight by the Equal Opportunity Review Commission.
“Local government has the opportunity and capacity to address issues of equity and close disparities. I look forward to continuing to work with internal and external stakeholders to make Pittsburgh a more welcoming and equitable city for all,” Ms. Lane said.