In 2017, the Department of City Planning completed a two-year community engagement process which led to the introduction of a city-wide ordinance that establishes requirements and benefits for community organizations. The stated purpose of the Ordinance is to "obtain informed and inclusive participation from as many neighborhood stakeholders as possible." Despite serious concerns expressed by community organizations affected by the Ordinance, the City passed SS178E titled "Registered Community Organizations" in September 2018. This vote amended the Pittsburgh Code Title One: Administrative, Article IX: Boards, Commissions, and Authorities, thereby creating a Registered Community Organization (RCO) status.
Since then, a growing coalition of organizations, including the Hill Community Development Corporation (Hill CDC), Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP), Hill District Consensus Group (HDCG), Pittsburgh UNITED, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, Coalition of Organized Residents of East Liberty (CORE), Homewood Concerned Citizens Council (HCCC), and California-Kirkbride Neighbors, has been working to raise awareness about and revise the ordinance to assure equity for all.
Please see a timeline below of our efforts, as well as links to the legislation, the letter the Hill CDC sent to the Mayor's Office and City Council, and the coalition's public statement. If you are interested in joining our coalition and learning more please contact Felicity Williams, Programs and Policy Manager and Special Assistant to the President and CEO at 412-765-1820 or fwilliams [at] hilldistrict.org.
September 2018 - City Council passed the RCO ordinance
November 14, 2018 - Hill CDC sent a letter to the Mayor's Office and all City Council Members expressing our concerns and inviting them to attend a citywide conversation
November 19, 2018 - Hill CDC hosted a citywide conversation about the RCO ordinance where approximately 40 community representatives and residents attended
May 18, 2019 - Hill CDC released a Public Statement from the coalition
May 20, 2019 - Conversation with Councilwoman Gross (Chair of the Land Use and Economic Development Committee) who introduced the legislation, who informed us the legislation was a directive from the Mayor's Office
June 7, 2019 - Coalition members met with Chief Gilman and Councilman Lavelle to begin to work towards a more equitable RCO ordinance