Youth Participatory Budget Council Presents Proposal on Gentrification to City Council


YPBC members at meeting earlier in year

Sam Bisno, Editor-in-Chief

The Youth Participatory Budget Council (YPBC) presented a proposal to City Council at City Hall today to allocate $125,000 to the Urban Redevelopment Authority for increased funding for community land trusts (CLT).

The YPBC is a PPS-affiliated group of 25 high schoolers spanning nearly every school in the district in addition to select private, parochial, and cyber schools and seven of the nine city districts. The YPBC, which is sponsored by District 5 Councilman Corey O’Connor, focuses on city rather than school board policy and serves as a sister cohort to the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council. Beginning with a four-day leadership summit in August, its members spent the past nine months brainstorming, narrowing down, and brainstorming some more. Finally, they settled on the issue of gentrification. After an extensive research period with the goal of understanding exactly what causes displacement, they synthesized a variety of potential solutions to formulate one concrete, relatively inexpensive, theoretically attainable proposal. If it passes, the money will be given to a newly established CLT with the expectation that it be used to purchase land for affordable housing.

The students partnered closely with Pittsburgh’s elected officials: they met individually with Councilman O’Connor as well as Mayor Peduto early on in the process, and the chief of staff to O’Connor, Curt Conrad, attended the majority of the group’s biweekly meetings.

In attendance on the day was Councilman O’Connor as well as Councilwoman Gross of District 7 and Councilman Coghill of District 4.

The proposal should appear on the calendar this fall.