1.25.23 NPC

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For New Pittsburgh Courier

“I’m only 31.”   Those were the final words of Jonny Gammage, a young Black man whose life was ended by the Brentwood Police in 1995. His death was ruled a homicide by the Allegheny County medical examiner.

The outrage over the murder, the ruled mistrial and acquittal of the officers involved sparked community activists and organizers to create a Pittsburgh-based summit to fight for racial justice.

A quarter-of-a-century later that summit continues. Last weekend, three generations of activists took center stage at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary to kick off the 25th annual Pittsburgh Racial Justice Summit on Jan. 20-21.

The day-and-a-half event included a keynote panel, workshops, discussions, wellness sessions and even a community resource room.

“We’re looking back at the last 25 years in fighting for racial justice, locally and nationally,” said

Daeja Baker, lead summit organizer and coordinator.

“And then we’re looking how we move forward.”

The keynote panel comprised of Auja Diggs, an executive member of the Black, Young and Educated; Amber Thompson, founder of de-bias, an equity-focused monitoring and evaluation platform; and Noble Maseru, the associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the University of Pittsburgh.

Tim Stevens, founder of the summit, led the panel discussion.

“We’re going to be speaking to our continuing collective struggle, and it is a struggle,” Stevens said in his opening remarks. “To address issues not only of the historic challenge of police abuse and overreach but the various issues of racial justice that continue to negatively impact Black, brown and marginalized people locally and nationally.”

The panelists spoke about their activism, sharing their individual experiences and what inspired

There’s never been someone quite like La’Tasha D. Mayes in the Pa. State House.

She’s proud to call herself the first out lesbian to be elected to the House, and she’s the first woman to serve as District 24 representative, which encompasses Black neighborhoods like Homewood, Lincoln-Lemington and East Hills, along with Morningside, Highland Park, East Liberty and parts of Bloomfield and Oakland. Parts of the borough of Wilkinsburg is also included.

But more importantly, Rep. Mayes told the New Pittsburgh Courier that she’s ready to “disrupt politics as usual” in Harrisburg.

“I’m bringing different, newer, bolder perspectives on a host of policy and leg-

islative issues, but also how the work gets done,” Rep. Mayes, 41, told the Courier in an exclusive interview, Jan. 23. “How we engage with the people of the commonwealth, how we work within our party...my campaign, my race and now my leadership in the House is going to be a more unapologetic approach in my commitment not only to my district, but to the issues I have been fighting for in the greater Pittsburgh community and at the state level for two decades.”

And those issues have been everything from reproductive justice and health care access, to environmental justice and voting rights.

If the name La’Tasha D. Mayes sounds familiar, that’s because she is the founder of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, an

Courier Pittsburgh Courier Vol. 114 No. 4 Two Sections Published Weekly NEW www.newpittsburghcourier.com America’s best weekly America’s best thenewpittsburghcourier Dr. Theodora Cotten turns 90! See Pages A6-7 To subscribe, call 412-481-8302 ext. 136 Pittsburgh Courier NEW SEE MAYES A5 LA’TASHA D. MAYES IS THE NEW STATE REPRESENTATIVE FOR HOUSE DISTRICT 24. (PHOTO BY EMMAI ALAQUIVA) SEE JUSTICE SUMMIT A4 JANUARY 25-31, 2023 25 YEARS STRONG Racial Justice Summit pulls from past to forge better future
La’Tasha D. Mayes seeks to ‘disrupt politics as usual’ Sworn-in as House District 24 Representative on Jan. 3
KEYNOTE PANELIST AND PITTSBURGH RACIAL JUSTICE SUMMIT FOUNDER, Tim Stevens (far left), listens to Auja Diggs, an executive member of Black, Young and Educated, address the summit audience Friday, Jan. 20, while panelists Amber Thompson, the founder of de-bias, and Noble Maseru, the university of Pittsburgh’s associate dean for diversity and inclusion, listen. (Photo by Jeremy S. Burnworth)

This Week In Black History A Courier Staple


From outrage to action: Reflections on the 50th anniversary of Roe v.

I’ve seen a whole new level of outrage in the Black community since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and states started banning abortion—and it’s invigorating.

When I launched Planned Parenthood’s Black Organizing Program in 2019, people at our community gatherings wouldn’t even use the word abortion. They were interested in discussing birth control, cancer screenings, and other sexual and reproductive health care. Abortion? Not so much. I think the general feeling was that since abortion was legal, there’s no need to talk about it—especially with strangers.

After June 24, 2022, that all changed. The U.S. Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to abortion, a right Americans had since 1973. The decision cruelly stripped us of our reproductive freedom, allowing states to ban abortion, and many have. Seven months later, as we mark what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (January 22), we live in a world where our children will grow up with fewer rights than their parents had. And it’s unacceptable. Like millions of Americans, Black people took to the streets marching and protesting. And sisters—as well as some brothers—are finally ready and willing to say it with raised voices: “abortion.”

We live in a world where our children will grow up with fewer rights than their parents had. And

it’s unacceptable.

To be clear though, even with Roe v. Wade in place, the right to get an abortion was never enough for many Black people. Access has been out of reach for generations. For so many people, it’s nearly impossible to navigate a health care system steeped in racist practices with a long, despicable history of policing Black bodies. Removing the federal constitutional right to abortion robs us further of the right to decide whether and when to have children. Now, state lawmakers are the ones with the power to make those decisions for us.

Cost is a huge barrier to this essential health care. The discriminatory Hyde Amendment blocks Medicaid funds from covering an abortion in most states. So, thousands of people who rely on Medicaid for health care are burdened with trying to come up with the money to pay for an abortion and/or paying for transportation, childcare, and taking time off of work to get to health centers hours away from home. Now, already-imposing barriers are even worse for many Black people— for whom inequitable access to health insurance and a lack of financial opportunities have made health care a costly or even impossible burden.

As of this month, 18 states have either banned abortion completely or imposed harmful and often confusing restrictions. In the first 100 days following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe, 66 clinics in 15 states with abortion restrictions were forced to stop offering abortions. Nearly 5.8 million Black women, or 56.7 percent of the reproductive-aged Black women in the U.S., plus nonbinary and trans people, face new barriers to abortion care.

To be clear though, even with Roe v. Wade in place, the right to get an abortion was never enough for many Black people. Access has been out of reach for generations.

Planned Parenthood’s Black Organizing Program held its first-ever Shop Chat meet-up in 2019 as Texas and other states enacted strict abortion bans. These gatherings take place at  Blackowned spaces in local

communities—usually a barber shop or beauty salon. They bring together dozens of Black people to enjoy brunch and discuss how sexual and reproductive health care, or the lack thereof, harms their communities. At that time, people were shocked to learn threats to abortion rights, decades in the making, were becoming a reality in some states.

The stories began to flow about why people get abortions, in spite of the maze of challenges to do so. Many folks in the room shared how their lives may have gone differently had they not had that option. Toward the end, one woman who had been silently observing stood up and told her abortion story for the very first time.

“I have never even told my mother, and I’m really close to my mother,” she said. She hugged me later and thanked me for what turned out to be a cathartic experience.

Since Roe was overturned, people don’t want to stop sharing. They understand the importance of eliminating stigma and shame around abortion, and they recognize the value of sharing their stories. They are outraged that lawmakers can now make decisions that should be left up to them and their healthcare providers. And at Planned Parenthood, we were outraged, too.

No one is free unless they have control of their own body and future, and all people deserve the freedom to make their own health care decisions.

But now, as we face a new year and a new era in the reproductive rights movement, we are moving beyond outrage.

The passionate organizers who lead Planned Parenthood’s Black Organizing Program and our engaged student activist leaders in Planned Parenthood Generation Action chapters on college campuses across the country—including at 14 HBCUs—help channel that outrage into action.

Here’s the bottom line: No one is free unless they have control of their own body and future, and all people deserve the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions.

We invite you to join us this year as we stand with our partners to help ensure all people can access the health care and education they need to control their bodies, lives, and  futures. This moment cannot and will not defeat us. It only empowers us to move toward a future where access to abortion is a reality for all. And we’re determined to get there.

(Jamesa Bailey is the Director of Black Campaigns for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.)

1893—“Queen Bess,” Bessie Coleman, the nation’s first Black female aviator, was born in the small town of Atlanta, Texas. Coleman was also the first African American (male or female) to earn an international pilot’s license. Because of the racism and sexism in America, she had to travel to France to earn the license. She traveled the U.S. encouraging other Blacks to become pilots. Queen Bess died in plane accident in 1926. 1944—Political activist Angela Davis is born in Birmingham, Ala. She was a brilliant scholar and philosopher who made the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list because of her suspected involvement in the violent Aug. 7, 1970 courthouse attempt to free jailed Black revolutionary inmate George Jackson. She was also associated with the Black Panther Party. However, shortly after the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she joined the Communist Party. She later became a tenured professor at the University of California Santa Cruz although then governor and later U.S. President Ronald Reagan had vowed to block her from teaching.


1953—One of Black America’s most gifted novelists, Ralph Ellison, wins the prestigious National Book Award with his powerful novel “The Invisible Man.” The novel helped him achieve international fame. The main character constantly escapes one disaster after another. The disasters are brought on by a combination virulent racism and the character’s own naiveté. Ellison was born in Oklahoma City, Okla.

1961—Opera diva Leontyne Price makes her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

1972—Mahalia Jackson, generally considered the greatest gospel singer that ever lived, dies of heart failure on this day near Chicago, Ill. She was born in New Orleans, La. She settled in Chicago where she briefly studied beauty culture under the nation’s first Black millionaire, Madame C.J. Walker. Among her greatest and most frequently requested songs were “Did It Rain,” “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho, “ “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.”


1938—Crystal Byrd Fauset becomes the first Black woman elected to a state legislature when she wins a seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

1944—Matthew Henson receives a medal from the U.S. Congress for being co-discoverer of the North Pole along with Robert Peary. The medal, however, came 35 years after the historic feat because Peary, a White man and Henson’s boss, received all the credit for decades. However, records show that Henson, leading a party of four Inuits (Eskimos) actually reached the North Pole 45 minutes before Peary.

1989—After 62 years and numerous protests, the Colgate-Palmolive Company ends the sale of “Darkie Toothpaste.” The toothpaste, which was only sold in Asia, was renamed “Darlie” and the Sambo-style character on the tube was dropped.


1837—The great Russian literary genius Alexander Pushkin dies on this day as a result of a duel. He is generally considered Russia’s greatest poet. Unlike many famous Europeans of color, Pushkin was proud of his Black heritage, which is traced to his great grandfather on his mother’s side—Ibrahim Petrovich Gannibal who was most probably an Ethiopian who became part of Russian royalty. Pushkin’s poetic style combined drama, romance and satire.

1908—Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity is incorporated. The Black Greek-letter organization was actually founded, however, on Dec. 4, 1906. The “brothers of the black and gold” have included as members a host of distinguished men ranging from W.E.B. DuBois to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

1913—Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority is incorporated. It is the nation’s oldest Black Greek-letter sorority having been founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1908. The AKAs are currently headquartered in Chicago, Ill.

1954—Talk-show diva


1797—Sojourner Truth is born Isabella Baumfree in Ulster County, N.Y. She becomes the most influential and powerfully spoken Black female abolitionists of the 1800s. She worked with other fiery abolitionists including William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass. She says, in 1843, a spiritual revelation compelled her to change her name and preach for the end of slavery. She was also deeply religious and a strong spokesperson for a woman’s right to vote.

1797—The first multi-state organization of Blacks in America is formed when Black Masons in Boston, Mass., led by Prince Hall, create African-American Masonic lodges in Philadelphia, Pa., and Providence, R.I. Overtime, the Prince Hall Masons would become a major force in Black communities around the nation.

1800—The Census Bureau reveals that the United States has a population of 5,300,000 of which 1,002,000 or 19 percent were Blacks. Today, African Americans constitute roughly 13 percent of the U.S. population. However, the latest Census projections say the percentage of Blacks in America is not expected to grow over the next 40 years, while the Hispanic population is projected to skyrocket.

1926—The Harlem Globetrotters, a comedic but highly skilled basketball team, is organized by Abe Saperstein in Chicago, Ill. The group’s original name was the “Savoy Big Five” after Chicago’s Savoy Ballroom. However, in their early games they wore jerseys suggesting they were from New York. After World War II, they also achieved international fame playing in more than 100 countries. Some of the greatest names to play with the Globetrotters were Geese Ausbie, Goose Tatum, Marques Haynes, Curly Neal and Meadowlark Lemon.

1956—The Montgomery, Ala., home of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is bombed by racists apparently angered by his leadership of the Montgomery bus boycott, which set the modern Civil Rights Movement into motion. This would be the first of several attempts on the civil rights legend’s life.


1865—Congress passes the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which upon ratification, abolished slavery in America. The vote was 121 to 24. Ratification was not completed until December 1865. The amendment read simply: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party has been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States nor any place subject to its jurisdiction.” The exception for crime led to the passage of a host of laws, especially in the South, specifically designed to criminalize certain behaviors and place Blacks back into involuntary servitude.

1919—Baseball great Jackie Robinson in born in Cairo, Ga. He became the first Black to play in the White major league of baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. He played from 1947 to 1956. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962. Prior to the Dodgers, Robinson played with the Kansas City Monarchs of the old Negro Baseball League. He retired as perhaps the most admired man in baseball and died in 1972.

1963—James Baldwin’s influential collection of essays, “The Fire Next Time” is published. The essays warn White America that they can expect racial turmoil if they do not address issues of injustice in America. Baldwin expected Blacks to show Whites how to avoid conflict by adopting a redemptive spirit. Born in Harlem, N.Y., in 1924, Baldwin became a homosexual apparently as a result of being raised by a non-emotionally supportive and often cruel father.

2006—Coretta Scott King, widow of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., died at the age of 78.

Oprah Winfrey was born on this day in Kosciusko, Miss. However, she was raised in Nashville, Tenn. Winfrey ended her popular “Oprah” show in 2011. She has already launched her own network, OWN.
A2 JANUARY 25-31, 2023 NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER THE NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER PUBLISHING COMPANY Publication No.: USPS 381940 315 East Carson Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Phone: 412-481-8302 Fax: 412-481-1360 The New Pittsburgh Courier is published weekly Periodicals paid at Pittsburgh, Pa. PRICE $1.00 (Payable in advance) POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: New Pittsburgh Courier 315 East Carson Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219 6 Months—$25 1 Year—$45 2 Years—$85 9-Month School Rate $35 PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S JAMESA BAILEY looks at the long term implications of overturning the right to abortion access in this country and a world where children will grow up with fewer rights than their parents.

Sprouts brings Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad to life on stage

History was brought to life on the New Hazlett Theater stage Friday night, Jan. 20, during Prime Stage Theatre Sprouts’ rendition of “Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.”

The show, which runs through Jan. 29, teaches audiences the very real intricacies of Tubman’s life and expeditions.

Most know that Harriet Tubman was a conductor on the Underground Railroad, but the show gives deeper insight into her life, during times of slavery and after the Civil War, director Linda Haston said. Discrimination against Tubman’s race and gender put her in a harrowing position, Haston noted, but Tubman’s faith and strength were her “guiding light.”

The director added that Tubman’s feats are a significant part of history, and the play intends that she be accurately remembered.

Being a Black woman in the 19th century meant a lifetime of hardship, but Tubman never gave up her fight.

Maame Danso, the actress who portrays the show’s heroine, said she believed Tubman must have had great strength despite her odds.

“I mean she wasn’t just a slave fighting for her freedom and the freedom of others, but she also was a woman, she was about 5 feet tall. She was a very unas -

suming person that you wouldn’t think had that much inner strength to do the things she’s done,” Danso said.

Haston said she wanted the play to be a conduit for Tubman to tell her story. Each scene finds a balance between Tubman talking directly to the audience and showing them the action.

“All the scenes that you see come right out of her head. You see these scenes that she has been through, and then the rest she tells you,” Haston said.

The cast also believes this way of storytelling makes it more accessible, especially for younger audiences.

“Seeing Harriet go through the motions and those little scenes of her working in the hospital or her meeting Still, are going to stick with them (children) more than if they were in a classroom,” said actress Anne Rematt, who plays Sarah Bradford, Susan B. Anthony, and a Quaker woman in the show.

The Sprouts program, which launched in 2022, aims to make educational yet entertaining historical content for children, augmenting the history lessons taught in school.

Teaching children history is key to not repeating it, Haston said. She believes teaching young kids, showing them respect, and tailoring an artistic learning experience helps younger audiences engage with the


“Make it more about them and how they live today and how it affects how they live today. So that as they get older, they can understand what’s going on in the world and not necessarily be shielded,” Haston said.

The play is appropriate for all ages, and the company encourages families to attend.

“Adults need to see this to learn what to say to their children. Children need to see this to learn their history,” Haston said.

The cast and director

hope audiences walk away with a stronger sense of who Tubman was, what she fought for, and the hardships she experienced. Haston also wants Tubman’s story to remain part of modern conversations.

Actress Michele Renee Bankole, who plays Mrs. Ross and Mary, felt that though times are different, there are necessary messages in Tubman’s story.

“I think it’s still very relevant and about how you can affect change no matter your circumstance is a story that never gets old,” Bankole

said.    Her co-star Sam Lothard, who plays Mr. Ross, Joe, William Still, and Henry, agreed the production has timeless themes that promote change.

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog, she was the littlest thing, but she made the biggest impact,” Lothard said. “We might not be able to fix every single issue and problem in our lifetime, but we can create a change that has a ripple effect that our kids and grandkids and so forth and so

on, they can keep pushing the train forward,” he said.

Bankole agreed, adding that Tubman’s deeds are still impactful and pave the way for future generations.

“It matters what you leave behind. Harriet left the things she did,” Bankole said.

The show returns to the stage again, this weekend, Jan. 27-29 at The New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East. Tickets are $14 for students, $24 for adults.

ACTRESS MAAME DANSO, who portrays Harriet Tubman in Prime Stage Theatre Sprouts’ rendition of “Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad,” shares a scene with fellow actress Anne Rematt, who plays Sarah Bradford in the theater’s two-weekend performance at the New Hazlett Theater, located at 6 Allegheny Square East, Pittsburgh. (Photo by Laura Sloveko)

Racial Justice Summit pulls from past to forge better future

them to dedicate their lives to serving the Black community and marginalized groups.    “My community work has passion and it’s intersectional,” Diggs said. “I’m not just catering to one demographic or a certain group of just Black people. I want my community work to reach all people. I want us to work as a community.”

The importance of voting, the disparity in data, misrepresentation in census reporting, environmental impacts on the Black community and the use of art as activism were among many of the subjects discussed.

“I’m not going to mince words tonight,” Thompson said. “When I say I’m fighting, I’m fighting. Any chance I get, any lawsuit I’m creating, I’m making it better for whoever is having the same issue as me.”

Thompson’s matterof-fact tone fit perfectly with her message on the abundance of racial bias in data. She emphasized that properly recording and evaluating information can not only improve inefficiencies in systems, but it could also help craft legislation and inform policy.    “I want guardrails on everything,” Thompson said. “And the only way we are going to do that is by becoming proactive in our activism. “

After the speakers finished giving their initial statements, the panel left the stage to engage in a separate roundtable discussion.

Breaking up in four small groups guided by the keynote speakers, audience members

shared their experiences and raised issues they observed in the community.

Once the roundtable discussions ended, the speakers reconvened on stage where they collectively took questions from the audience.

Twenty-eight years after Gammage’s death, Pittsburgh advocates are still having the hard-but-necessary conversations, advocating to shape public policies that affect marginal -

ized people—and finding ways to build strong communities in the process.

La’Tasha D. Mayes seeks to ‘disrupt politics as usual’

organization that fights ferociously for the well-being of Black women, girls and gender-expansive people. She started the organization in 2004, and relinquished president and CEO duties in March 2022.

In January 2022, Rep. Mayes announced she would be running for the District 24 seat, with Ed Gainey leaving the seat to become Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor. In April 2022, Martell Covington, who formerly was a legislative aide to state Senator Jay Costa, was elected via a special election to serve out the remaining

Rep. Mayes grew up in West Philadelphia. She credits her mother, who was an Army veteran and union member, for sparking her passion at an early age. In 1997, her mother took her to the Million Women’s March in Philadelphia. Representative Mayes has said in interviews that attending that rally made a profound impact on her.

In 1999, she came to Pittsburgh to attend the University of Pittsburgh. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2003, followed by a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mel-

eight months of Mayor Gainey’s term. The next month, however, was the Democratic Primary for, among other seats, the District 24 seat. It would, in effect, determine who would be the state representative in that district starting in 2023 for two years. In what some called a surprising outcome, Rep. Mayes defeated Covington, 46 to 38 percent. A majority percentage was not needed to win the election.

Thus, on Jan. 3, 2023, Rep. Mayes officially was sworn-in as state representative. But for Rep. Mayes, her win didn’t come as a surprise. She’s discussed in numerous interviews how she’s always been a champion for her community.

“I talked to voters, I knocked on their doors, I went to their homes,” she told the Courier. “I have been helping my community for two decades. What it came down to is, they know my work and my impact, work ethic, dedication, and they know that I’m going to speak up for what’s right, what’s just and what we can win for Black communities in particular. People who knew my work, it was a natural transition for me in their mind to move into an elected role.”

For the last 24 years, Rep. Mayes has called Pittsburgh home. Born on an Army base in Kansas,

lon University in 2005. Not that it took her to become a state representative to know this, but she said the number one issue facing residents in her district is gun violence and public safety.

Representative Mayes said she’s “looking forward to working with any stakeholder who’s interested in addressing gun violence and working to bring long-term solutions that can uproot the root cause of the violence, which often is poverty.”

Other issues include transportation, access to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, and housing. Not even two weeks into the position, Rep. Mayes told the Courier a few residents have spoken to her about their homes on the list for foreclosure.

Representative Mayes said she’s quickly learning that issues can affect people individually, or to an entire class of people.

“It’s about what resources are available,” Rep. Mayes said. “A person may have an issue that we can work on with them, and it may be a resource that the state provides; (but) a lot of times, a community organization or entity can provide (the assistance).”

What’s paramount for Rep. Mayes is that people get connected to the needed resource, “no matter where it’s coming from.”

STATE REP. LA’TASHA D. MAYES, with Congresswoman Summer Lee.

Theodora Cotten turns

The 25th Annual Pittsburgh Racial Justice Summit

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There are many athletes that become synonymous with various cities that they play in. During this era of team-jumping and money-only-equaling loyalty, oftentimes for financial reasons a player may not be with a franchise long enough to become loyal. It can also be said for some that the only team logo that inspires commitment from a few individuals and their agents is the photos of dead presidents.

However, the epitome of what it means to be a true Pittsburgher first and a loyal Pittsburgh Pirate second can never, should never, will never be lost on Andrew Stefan McCutchen. McCutchen gave Pittsburgh the ultimate honor when he named his firstborn son; Steel Stefan McCutchen after his birth on November 27, 2017. This is a living and breathing testimony to Pittsburgh PA. that came directly from the loins of Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen could have gone on the usual ego trip and honored himself by naming his son Andrew Stefan McCutchen Jr. Instead, he chose to honor the city and the team that provided him with a good living and the means to take care of himself and his family.

Andrew McCutchen was born on October 10, 1986, in Fort Meade, Florida, yet he has developed and maintained loyalty to a city located more than 1,000 miles from his birthplace. The same cannot be said for his boss, Pirates owner Bob Nutting. Nutting was born on March 29, 1962, in Wheeling, West Virginia, located just an hour from Pittsburgh. Bob Nutting has come nowhere near being as loyal to the city of Steel and the Pirates fans as Andrew McCutchen.

After he was signed by the Bucs in 2005, he was promoted from the minors to the big leagues in 2009.

He went on to become a five-time All-Star and the 2013 National League MVP. He became one of the marquee Pirates that most of us surmised would not have been traded in the immediate future because he once represented one-third of a Pirates outfield that had been projected to be not only one of the Pirates’ greatest outfields but one of the greatest MLB outfields of all-time.

The following is an excerpt from an article that Rob Biertempfel posted on triblive.com on March 1, 2014. “Excitement about the Pirates’ Dream Outfield of McCutchen, Marte and Polanco hasn’t reached Beatlemania proportions ... but it’s building. ‘We’re a small-market team, but they are big-market players,’ said

a total of $235,000. ‘Those guys are prototype play-

ers: They can run, hit and field,’ Gayo said. ‘To have Marte and Polanco out there on either side of the National League MVP, that’s a blessing for the Pirates. That’s a hell of an outfield.’ In just his fifth season, McCutchen, 27, was the runaway winner of the MVP award after batting .317 with a .911 on-base plus slugging percentage. The center fielder

is a three-time All-Star who owns two Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove.” The Pirates’ 2023 re-signing of Andrew McCutchen is a misnomer. This transaction is merely a false gesture of benevolence regarding the temporary reunion of Andrew McCutchen with the Pirates. McCutchen was signed by the Kevin McClatchy ownership group in 2005 as a part of the new Pittsburgh Pirates foundation; two years before the Bob Nutting surgical group came in and placed the body of the Pittsburgh Pirates on the “dis-operating” table and began dismembering the team. Bob Nutting and his financial “goons” traded in their fiscal scalpels for hacksaws, amputating the potential of the Pirates’ bright and prosperous fu-

ture just for a few funky dollars.

There aren’t any authentic nostalgic or heartfelt reasons for Bob Nutting to bring Andrew McCutchen back “home.” This is purely an insidious, devious stunt and marketing ploy by Nutting and the Pirates’ “dis-ownership” to increase attendance. Not increasing the attendance of African Americans because less than 10 percent of Blacks even attend Pirates games. Now, let us go “back to the future.”...

Newsflash, January 20, 2023: The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Andrew McCutchen back to the team. The team did not disclose financial terms, but the Associated Press reported: “The one-year deal to be worth $5 million.”

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 also reported that; “the

outfielder and the team had agreed to a one-year deal to bring the fan-favorite back.”

Hear ye, hear ye, ladies and gents, can the words “fan favorite” translate to “cha-ching?” Bob Nutting has baited and switched the City of Pittsburgh since 2007 and in the process has poisoned the hopes of the Pirates faithful. Be ye ever so cautious. The “D-Con” rodent control poison is not hidden inside the cheese. The poison is the cheese. Bob Nutting, the Pied Piper of Major League Baseball, doesn’t have to travel far to lead Pirates fans to drown in the “river of mediocrity” because it will always just be a stone’s throw away.

Pitt finds themselves near the top of the ACC!

:10—Overtime might just be the deal today... as I write this, I am live and in living blue and gold color at that “Pete” as the Pitt Men’s basketball team does battle with the Florida State Seminoles. Reason being the Panthers jumped out to a 17-5 start. The Seminoles called a timeout and when they came back to the floor it was clear there was more than “Gator” in their “Ade!” Something woke them up...I am just sayin. 38-27 with two minutes to go in the half on this Saturday afternoon, Jan. 21. I’ll keep you posted.

:09—OK, so it’s basketball time in the ‘Burgh and that means that half my waking hours will be spent

at the Pete or the newly established Cooper Fieldhouse at Duquesne. Which always greenlights me to ask a question. When are they going to retire Sam Clancy’s shirt? You don’t need my word, just Google the man’s stats. And no, I won’t let it go! No, you shut up!

:08—I must admit, there is something culturally inspiring about eight young White kids doing the halftime show at the Pitt game Hip-Hop style. And it does echo the words we’ve all heard before...“That we as a nation have more in common than differences.”

EXCEPT, NOT ALWAYS! I am just sayin’!!!

:07—OK, let’s just have some fun since I don’t know

and you don’t know, not really...not for sure. So, here’s my lockdown predictions... The Chiefs over the Jaguars. The Eagles over the Giants. The Bengals over the Bills, and the 49ers over the Cowboys. (Editor’s note: All were correct.)

:06—Five minutes into the second half...and, as you know, the most important part of the game if you’re trailing. Your main

man and mine, Blake Hinson has the Pete “lit” with three 3s in a row. Stay tuned.

:05—By the way and speaking of “lit,” January 25 is Jerome Lane Day remembering when the extremely versatile big man brought it home at the old Fitzgerald Fieldhouse, shattering the glass and icing himself into Pitt folklore. “Send it in Jerome!” That’s a Pitt vs. Wake Forest contest featuring Jerome Lane tee shirts and mugs.

:04—For the record, I had the great pleasure of speaking at my alma mater, Penn Hills H.S. Football Banquet last Friday night. While I could certainly talk you to death

about their football accolades, it gives me great pleasure to tell you the highlight of the evening was their collective discipline and that their grade point averages were off the chart. They have about six players with 3.6 GPAs. A tap of the helmet to coach Charles Morris and staff. I can tell you my entire 1970 team couldn’t hit that mark if we combined all our scores! (By the way, that being said . . . can I retake the SAT test? I’ve got to be able to do better by now.)

:03—Good news, your Panthers fought the good fight but came up short, 7164, against Florida State. And a player you might see in the NBA very soon...Da-

rin Green Jr., was their undoing. A lights-out shooter who makes it look easy. He finished with a game high 24 points, most of which came at critical moments.

:02—If you missed it, you’ll see it here in a future column. The Noblemen of Penn Hills donated basketball shoes to the girls’ and boys’ hoop teams at Penn Hills High School—real big deal!

:01—“Champions Live” Sports Talk Show will premiere in April. We are in search of the ultimate female sports talk show host and the best high school sports talent in town. Call me at Achieving Greatness Inc. (412-628-4856) if you’ve got the skills.

Rene Gayo, the scout who signed Marte in 2007 and Polanco in 2009 for
McCutchen loves Pittsburgh and Pirates fans...but what about the team’s owner? Urban Media Today/Trevin Jones HBCU Top 10 Rankings Jan. 23-29, 2023 MEN’S BASKETBALL 1. Langston (Sooner Athletic Conference) 2. Tugaloo (Gulf Coast Athletic Conference) 3. Norfolk State (MEAC) 4. Philander Smith (GCAC) 5. West Virginia State (Mountain East Conference) 6. Claflin (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) 7. Grambling State (SWAC) 8. Virginia Union (CIAA) 9. Miles College (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) 10. Winston-Salem State (CIAA) WOMEN’S BASKETBALL 1. Norfolk State (MEAC) 2. Tuskegee (SIAC) 3. West Virginia State (MEC) 4. Morgan State (MEAC) 5. Langston (SAC) 6. North Carolina A&T (Colonial Athletic Association) 7. Stillman (Southern States Athletic Conference) 8. Savannah State (SIAC) 9. Rust College (GCAC) 10. Lincoln University, Pa. (CIAA)
MCCUTCHEN is back in Pittsburgh. Andrew

Dr. King’s quest for economic justice continues

On January 16, the nation marked its 37th national holiday honoring the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (19291968). Across the country observances chronicled how one man’s efforts pricked the moral conscience of the nation in a lifespan of only 39 years.

When he was just 26 and a new pastor at Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church,

consistent throughout his sermons, speeches, and other writings.

On March 14, 1968, weeks before his assassination, Dr. King gave a speech entitled The Other America. In it, he describes how our nation actually reflected two vastly different experiences. In one, “millions of people have the milk of prosperity and the honey of equality flowing before


Dr, King was chosen by community leaders to lead the effort to desegregate the city’s buses following the arrest of Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat to a white man.

From December 1955 and continuing for 13 months, an estimated 50,000 Black residents of Montgomery chose to walk, carpool, or patronize Black cab drivers.

In the end, the boycott brought economic devastation and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the city’s segregation policies violated the Constitution’s 14th Amendment that guaranteed equal protection under the law.

The 2023 observance was also a time to recall how it took 32 years to create the first national holiday to honor a Black person. Although the federal holiday was enacted in 1983, its first observance came three years later in 1986, and at the time only 17 states observed its commemoration. It wasn’t until 2000 that all 50 states observed the King holiday.

Dr. King’s lifelong quest for economic justice is

them… In this America children grow up in the sunlight of opportunity,” noted Dr. King.    “But there is another America,” continued Dr. King. “This other America has a daily ugliness about it that transforms the buoyancy of hope into the fatigue of despair…Probably the most critical problem in the other America is the economic problem. There are so many other people in the other America who can never make ends meet because their incomes are far too low if they have incomes, and their jobs are so devoid of quality.”

Today the unfortunate reality for much of Black America is that we continue to toil and suffer from that same economic “fatigue of despair”.   As a people, we fervently believe in the value of higher education; but meager financial resources force our students to incur six and sometimes seven figures of debt. Despite laws that call for equal credit, our access to affordable credit is often limited and instead Black Americans

More employers demanding employees return to the office

Josh Wright runs a small eCommerce business that helps consumers get good deals on cell phones and plans but doesn’t believe employers should demand everyone return to the office.

Wright says that people who work at home are more productive because they do not have as many distractions at work.

When people work at home, they can be more focused and focus on their work, Wright said.

“For a small eCommerce business like mine, the cost savings associated with working from home can be significant,” he added.

“Remote work eliminates the need for a physical office space, and employees can use their own equipment, which reduces overhead costs.”

However, Wright’s view isn’t shared by many other employers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, employers are losing their patience with empty desks in the


The newspaper noted that companies like Vanguard Group, Paycom Software, and others have told employees to come in to work more in 2023 to save money.

Many employers have asserted that in-person work helps with prob-

through remote work. It will be difficult to get them to give that up.”

Duggan said that many federal employees have continued working remotely.

She noted that District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser had urged President Joe Biden to

employees and their company.”

However, McKenna Moore, an associate editor at LinkedIn, said remote work may be past its prime.

Moore wrote that, in the current U.S. job market, many employers have taken remote-work arrangements off the table.

“Data from LinkedIn’s Workforce Report shows the rapid rise and fall of employers’ willingness to target remote candidates,” Moore reported.

lem-solving, training new employees, and it reinforces corporate culture.

“Employers face a tough decision. Forcing employees to return can cause many of these employees to seek other employment,” Caroline Duggan, Chief Brand Officer for Lumineux, said in an email.

“Employees have found they enjoy the flexibility and better work/life balance they have achieved

either have them return or release the buildings they formerly occupied, so the city could create more housing space.

“The larger issue seems to be around the question of productivity,” Duggan added.

“Are employees as productive working from home as in the office?

Employers will need to balance their needs with retention to determine what works best for their

In an analysis of over 60 million paid job postings on LinkedIn since January 2021, researchers found that remote jobs had the highest number of jobs in March 2022.

But Moore noted that spike gave way to an abrupt decline; in November 2022, barely 14 percent of paid job postings invited remote applicants.

“It might be helpful for businesses to have workers located in an office, where they can keep an eye on them and offer constructive criticism to guarantee timely project

Can you call it ‘rapid refund’ when it’s 365 days late?

Tax time is upon us. This is the time when Uncle Sam mandates that we reconcile taxes that were collected throughout the year by way of payroll withholdings and estimated payments to see what’s rightfully due to the IRS. This year individuals have until April 18 to get their tax return prepared and their tax liability paid or suffer the consequences of penalties, interest and/or the wrath of the IRS.

Many people are eagerly anticipating the largest lump sum check they’ll receive the entire year. This check is the result of a tax refund. If you’re expecting a large tax refund this year, I’m sure you can’t wait to get your W2s, 10-99s and all applicable tax forms so that you can file your tax return and get access to your refund. This is the time of the year when friends and relatives will proposition you to let them borrow some money until they get their tax refund.

After running up balances on credit cards and spending more than what was budgeted for during holidays, a tax refund or some financial relief of any kind would be appreciated by all. Tax time can be considered the day of reckoning. This is a time when you come face to face with the amount of money you earned throughout the year then suddenly gasp, wondering where all your hard earned money went.

Would you lend a close friend or relative money at a 0 percent interest rate and no payments until next year? Would you pay fees to get fast access to money rightfully owed to you? Would you pay additional fees to cash a check to gain access to your money?

When spoken in these terms, I’m sure

that most of us would answer the above question with a resounding NO! Yet, this is exactly what millions of people do each and every year. They lend Uncle Sam money with a 0 percent interest rate. They pay astronomical fees and interest for refund anticipation loans. These loans give them access to their refund within minutes or days as opposed to the IRS turnaround time, which is two to eight weeks. They then take these refund anticipation loan checks to check cashing companies or corner stores and pay even more fees to cash these checks.

In the past, I would ridicule tax preparation companies who aligned themselves with third party organizations that offered various high cost products and services. After taking a closer look at their business model, I came to the realization that if they did not offer these products and services, most of their clients would take their business elsewhere. People want their money and they want it now.

Considering the fact that 78 percent of American households live paycheck-to-paycheck, you can understand why people need to have access to their money as soon as possible. When you factor in the fact that the average American saves less than two cents for every dollar earned, you begin to understand that money received during the tax season represents the only form of savings

the typical American does on a consistent basis. Because of this reality, I’ve always been hesitant to suggest a way that millions of people who are in need of extra money can access their hardearned money each and every paycheck versus once a year during tax season. For if they followed my advice without an ironclad financial plan, I fear that the extra money in their paycheck will be absorbed, spent and be unaccounted for. Only this time there will be no tax refund to serve as a bailout.

We can continue this “little man can’t get ahead” mentality of managing our money or we can become more responsible and begin to make our money work just as hard for us as we work for it. I encourage you to stop lending interest free money to the IRS. Stop opting for high cost Rapid Refund Anticipation loans. Stop cashing your refund check at check cashing companies and corner stores who charge high fees. Doing these things creates a negative rate of return on your money. I encourage you to start making smart money moves with your money. Give yourself a raise! Increase your paycheck and reduce your refund by modifying your W4-Form withholding certificate with your employer. The IRS welcomes this advice.

According to the IRS website, the IRS collected more than $4.1 trillion in gross taxes in 2021 and issued almost 600 million refunds, amounting to more than $1.1 trillion. The IRS processed

more than 261 million federal tax returns in 2021.Nearly 203 million or 78 percent of all returns and other forms were filed electronically. The IRS would prefer you come close to breaking even on your tax return for it’s an administrative nightmare to process hundreds of millions of tax refund checks each and every year.

This tax year when you receive your tax refund, use it to establish a solid financial game plan to help you get a grip on your money: Pay off some debt. Start an emergency savings fund. Start saving for vacation or large purchases. Stash some money away in a Section 529 College Savings Plan or Coverdell Education Savings Account for your child’s college education. Set aside some money for your future in a tax advantaged retirement saving vehicle such as an IRA (Individual Retirement Account). Doing so can reduce your taxable income which can increase your tax refund.

If you aspire to have a better handle on your money, I encourage you to seek “tax shelters,” not “tax refunds.”

Here’s how you can access your money today versus next year: Form W4 withholding certificate. This form instructs your employer on how much to withhold from taxable wages. Remember that exemptions and withholding allowances are not the same.

may be entitled to additional withholdings if you qualify for various deductions and/or credits.

Receiving your money throughout the year and managing it wisely is the true definition of a “rapid refund.”

(Money Coach Damon Carr can be reached at 412-216-1013 or visit his website @ www.damonmoneycoach.com.)

BUSINESS www.newpittsburghcourier.com New Pittsburgh Courier B Classifieds Find what you need from jobs to cars to housing B5-7 Scrutinizing football’s violence often adds insult to injury J. Pharoah Doss Page B4 JANUARY 25-31, 2023
“Employees have found they enjoy the flexibility and better work/life balance they have achieved through remote work. It will be difficult to get them to give that up.”

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. named national co-chair of No Labels

No Labels, a nonprofit think tank that describes itself as a national movement of Democrats, Republicans, and independents working to solve the country’s most complex problems, has named Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. as its national co-chair.

lishers Association on the 196th anniversary of the Black Press of America,” Dr. Chavis stated. “Working with former Sen. Joseph Lieberman and former Gov. Larry Hogan as co-chairs, I believe this will lift up the Black Press of America and elevate its visibility in the American mainstream politics, business, economics, and public policy that will affect

come him to No Labels. I know Dr. Chavis will be a great addition to the leadership team of No Labels,” Hogan stated.

“He shares our commitment to bringing people together to achieve common sense solutions for all Americans. Having worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Chavis knows what it means to fight for freedom and respect for all Americans, and that’s exactly what No Labels stand for,” Hogan concluded.

Manchin, the conservative-leaning Democrat, said he got involved with No Labels more than 12 years ago because the organization works to unite America.

“We’re still working to unite this country,” Manchin declared.

“What we’ve done in the last two years in a bipartisan way because of No Labels has been [major].

“So I’m thrilled to have the experience of Dr. Chavis and the wealth of knowledge he’s gained over the years that he’ll share with us to help make us a more perfect union.”

THE FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT occurred during a Zoom news conference on January 22.

The formal announcement occurred during a Zoom news conference on January 22.

It included welcome messages from Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), and former Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, among others.

Recording star Deborah Cox opened the introductory news conference by performing a spirited song about No Labels, who created the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus and an allied Senate group that led passage of some of the most important legislation of recent years, including the CHIPS Act, a gun safety bill, and a rewrite of the Electoral Count Act in 2022.

Voiceovers were woven in of former U.S. Presidents from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

The organization then played a tribute video that included Dr. Chavis’ family and his legendary career as a civil rights leader.

“As the new co-chair of No Labels, I’m proud to continue to be the president and CEO of the National Newspaper Pub-

the quality of life in the communities in which we serve.”

Dr. Chavis continued.

“As a veteran of the civil rights movement, during the last six decades, I’ve learned a few things about the importance of people working together across lines of race, ethnicity, language, geography, and the things that divide us.

I want to work on things that unite us as Americans. I believe No Labels offers that opportunity but also that responsibility to move forward.”

Lieberman, a former U.S. Senator from Connecticut, who changed parties in 2006 and is now an Independent, said No Labels is fortunate to have Dr. Chavis on board.

“Based on his history as a civil rights leader and the kind of person he is, I’m thrilled. Dr. Chavis has always been a bridge-builder and will bring civility, which is sorely needed in our government and our country,” Lieberman asserted.

Hogan, who served two terms as Maryland governor, also congratulated Dr. Chavis.

“I’m thrilled to congratulate Dr. Chavis and wel-

Report: White real estate agents earn more than Black agents

(Black Information Network)—A new report highlights the huge earning gap between Black and White real estate agents.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), White real estate brokers make about three times more than their Black counterparts, per the New York Times. The median sales volume for Black real estate agents lands at $474,500 compared to $1,998,000 for White agents, NAR reports.

Black people make up 14 percent of America’s population but only account for 6 percent of real estate agents and brokers.

percent lower than White-owned homes, which has led to a smaller pool of clientele and less commission for Black agents.

Black real estate agents also face life-threatening discrimination that forces them out of the field, the Times reports.

Lydia Pope, the president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, a group created in 1947 for Black brokers and agents turned away by NAR, told the New York Times that police once swarmed her listing in a majority-White neighborhood in Cleveland.

In welcoming Dr. Chavis, Collins, Maine’s longest-serving Senator, lent her voice.

“As a highly respected civil rights leader, his service alongside Sen. Lieberman and Gov. Hogan will help move our organization and nation forward,” Collins insisted.

“Dr. Chavis has dedicated his life to championing equality and encouraging our nation to live up to its ideals. He believes in American unity, democracy, and opportunity for all.”

Dr. Chavis said his life’s work had taught him that if everyone works together, divisions can be overcome.

“And when we overcome divisions, we make progress,” he insisted.

“I believe we need to restore bipartisanship in the American Congress. We need to restore bipartisanship at the state legislative level.

“We need to restore bipartisanship at the local and municipal level. Americans today are worn out with all the divisions and looking for a way forward. No Labels offer that way forward.”

(Stacy M. Brown is NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent)

The disparity is largely attributed to discrimination that has persisted in the market for decades.

Black agents were blocked from becoming members of NAR and having access to its perks until 1961. Despite the bar being lifted, the organization continued to oppose and lobby against the Fair Housing Act well after it outlawed housing discrimination in 1968.

Residences owned by Black people continue to be undervalued, with pricing 23

“I showed them the computer, the information on my phone,” Pope recalled of the 2017 incident. “I showed them the work order that I had. I showed them my business card, my license, everything, and they ran my plate.”

The situation ended amicably, but Pope said she was so disturbed that she gave her listing back and never returned.

In 2020, NAR apologized for previously backing discriminatory housing policies. The organization has launched the ACT initiative to hold bad actors accountable. Still, a number of Black agents say they want more action to be taken.

Social Security cards are safer at home

by Josh Grant

For New Pittsburgh Courier

Scams to steal your personal information are at an all-time high. The need to safeguard important personal documents such as your Social Security card continues to be very important.    A Social Security card is not an identification document. In many situations, you only need to know your Social Security number (SSN). Your physical card is not necessary for most business needs.         Do you need evidence for work? There are several documents you can use instead of your card. Other acceptable evidence includes the following:   *         Birth Certificate.  *         Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt.  *         Employment Authorization Document.

*         Form I-94 or Form I-94A.  You do not need to show your physical card to apply for certain benefits. You can simply provide your SSN for benefits like:

*         Housing.

*         Health insurance.

*         Food assistance.

You should also know your physical card is not required as evidence for the Department of Motor Vehicles or Driver License (REAL ID). The only state that requires a physical card is Pennsylvania.  For all other states, other acceptable evidence includes:

*         W-2 forms.

*         Form SSA-1099.

*         Non-SSA-1099 forms.

*         Pay stubs.

Keeping your card at home reduces the risk of loss or theft—and helps you keep your information safe.

(Josh Grant is Social Security District Manager in Pittsburgh, PA)

Dr. King’s quest for economic justice continues

are plagued by predatory lending that leaves us with high-cost debts.

In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis that disproportionately harmed Blacks and other people of color, Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to be a financial cop-on-thebeat.

Since opening its doors in 2011, the CFPB has received more than 3.3 million consumer complaints, and delivered over $14.9 billion in monetary compensation, principal reductions, cancelled debts,

and other consumer relief through its enforcement and supervisory work. Nearly three in four complaints filed—73 percent —were about credit or consumer reporting. The remainder of the complaints reported issues with debt collection, credit cards and checking/savings accounts and mortgages.

Even so, the quest for financial justice continues. Laws and regulations must be vigorously enforced. But just as with civil rights legislation, the naysayers remain aggressive.

Over the past year, CFPB’s research and surveys have documented how con-

sumers remain at risk via emerging consumer issues such as the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) industry, elder financial exploitation, nursing home debt collection, college banking, student loans, and medical debt on credit reports and payments.

Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) on December 14, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra warned lawmakers of the growing dangers of BNPL.

“The CFPB’s recent study on Buy Now, Pay Later noted a significant increase in use of these products to fund essential goods and

services,” said Chopra. “The CFPB is working to ensure that Buy Now, Pay Later lenders adhere to the same protocols and protections as other similar financial products to avoid regulatory arbitrage and to ensure a consistent level of consumer protection.”

Weeks earlier on November 2, the potential harms of BNPL were the topic on the HFSC’s Task Force Financial Technology. Marisabel Torres, speaking on behalf of the Center for Responsible Lending said, “When the borrower’s BNPL loan is linked to a bank account

that lacks sufficient funds for payment, the BNPL lender’s payment attempts will typically trigger highly punitive non-sufficient funds (NSF) and/or overdraft fees…These fees in turn are highly associated with closed bank accounts and exclusion from the financial system. Or, the borrower may have sufficient funds for the BNPL payment but then be left without sufficient funds for other essential living expenses or debts. And many BNPL providers charge their own late or returned payment fees on top of the fees charged by banks.”

For these economic and equality issues, Dr. King’s own words continue to challenge America to live up to its creed:

“Expediency asks the question is it politics? Vanity asks the question is it popular? The conscience asks the question is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politics nor popular but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.”

Amen, Dr. King.    (Charlene Crowell is a senior fellow with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at charlene.crowell@ responsiblelending.org.)

More employers demanding employees return to the office

completion,” said Calvin Willis, a tech entrepreneur.

“An organization might see, for instance, that its remote workers are constantly a few days behind schedule on projects, whereas those based in the office never miss a deadline,” Willis continued.

“Having everyone in the same room at the same time encourages conver-

sation and cooperation among workers, which isn’t always easy to accomplish when everyone has different hours.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that, for much of the pandemic, companies took a “fairly soft” approach to policy enforcement, fearful that too rigid a stance on in-office work could harm morale or lead to turnover.

“Although companies

set office policies, some managers largely allowed workers to ignore them,” the newspaper reported.

The average office occupancy in 10 major U.S. Cities remained below 50% for much of 2022, according to data from security firm Kastle Systems.

According to the newspaper, most employees want to work in an office at least a few days a week.

They also said that many

workers see the benefits of working in an office.

Meanwhile, some employers insisted that enforcing the rules is a matter of fairness to the workers who have been complying.

“Uneven and inconsistent adoption has created inequities in how the model is applied and has made it difficult to realize the benefits of in-person learning, collaboration and

connection,” Vanguard officials said in a memo, according to the Journal.

Some Vanguard employees said they were told by their managers that if they didn’t comply with the return-to-office policy, they would be terminated without severance.

At Paycom, nearly 80 percent of the company’s employees are already working five days a week at the company’s headquarters.

Many employees began returning to the office in August 2021.

“From the start of the pandemic, Paycom communicated that working from home would be a temporary solution while we prioritized everyone’s health and well-being,” a spokesman told the Journal.

(Stacy M. Brown is NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent.)


Guest Editorial

Gov. Shapiro must balance principles and pragmatism

Democrat Josh Shapiro is now the 48th governor of Pennsylvania.

Shapiro, 49, succeeds term-limited Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. He is the first governor of Pennsylvania since 1966 to be elected to succeed a member of his own party. Democrat Austin Davis, 33, is now Pennsylvania’s first Black lieutenant governor.

Shapiro has a strong mandate to govern from the middle.

In the midterm election in November, Pennsylvania voters rejected extremism.

Shapiro achieved an impressive 15 percentage-point victory over the far-right Republican nominee, state Sen. Doug Mastriano. He received support from independents and Republicans in the election.

“Now is the time to join together behind the unifying strength of three simple truths that have sustained our nation over the past 2 centuries: that above all else, beyond any momentary political differences, we value our freedom, we cherish our democracy and we love this country,” Shapiro said at his inaugural ceremony at the state Capitol Tuesday.

Shapiro has vowed bipartisanship in personnel and policy.

He is already making good on that promise.

He has nominated a demographically and politically diverse Cabinet.

He named two Republicans to major positions—former Philadelphia elections commissioner Al Schmidt as secretary of state and former state Sen. Pat Browne of the Lehigh Valley as secretary of revenue. His nominees from both parties tend to be from the middle.

A practical degree of bipartisanship will be necessary to achieve his goals in Harrisburg, especially in today’s political climate.

Republicans have a narrow and likely temporary 101-99 advantage in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Democrats won 102 of 203 seats in the November general election. Democrats are likely to recapture the majority after the Feb. 7 special elections to fill vacancies in three heavily Democratic Allegheny County districts. There is a six-seat Republican majority in the state Senate.

To be an effective and successful governor, Shapiro must stand by his core principles on protecting the rights of Pennsylvanians, particularly on voting and access to abortion, and practice pragmatic governing to make progress on important quality-of-life issues.

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—There are many memories of my first years in school which remain etched in my mind.  I remember learning the “Pledge of Allegiance” and the national anthem.  Since I have always liked history, there are numerous persons and events that are in my memory cells.  Like most students of that period, the first two presidents I learned about were George Washington and Abraham Lincoln—the first and the sixteenth presidents, respectively.

George Washington ‘chopped down a cherry tree,’ led the Continental Army against the British, and became the new nation’s first, but the reluctant president.  For me, Lincoln was a little more interesting.  He was a country kid, born into what can only be called poverty, reportedly was a hard worker, held a variety of—both laborious and sedentary—jobs, became a country lawyer, honed his debating skills, became the first candidate elected to be president as a Republican, ‘freed the slaves,’ and was shot dead at the Ford’s Theater.

Chief among his accomplishments is that he remains known as “Honest Abe” and his legacy is circumscribed by his veracity in addition to having his name ascribed to the Republican Party as its founder.  Among African Americans, his party, the party of the Great Emancipator, was the only political party worthy of their votes (those who could vote).  Although there are fewer African Americans who retain this loyalty, many still vote without question for The Party of Lincoln.  Unfortunately, if he were alive today, I am


sure that he would attempt to reform them or completely disavow the deviants and devilments of “his” party.

The biography and resume of George Santos, the newly elected Republican Congressman from New York, belies the ethic of truthfulness.  He is the antithesis of Honest Abe!  Santos has admitted to embellishing his biography with stories that are more akin to myths and fables than simple embellishments.  His lies wind through a trail of life events that serve to endear him with the voters but have no remote connection to his personal experiences.  He has fabricated so much of his resume that there is some speculation that his real name may not really be George Santos. He has used at least one other name.

What is worse, he poses a threat to the good order of the House of Representatives and, through exposure to classified materials, our national security.  In their attempt to retain power and maintain their slim margin of control, Speaker McCarthy and his conference have chosen to overlook this potential threat.  What is more, they have chosen to overlook the standards of integrity presumed for all House members.  As an entity, Republican members have shown total

disregard for the expectation of honorable service among their ranks.

However one wishes to analyze him, overwhelming evidence confirms that the preservation of the Union, and its traditions and democratic principles were primary concerns of Lincoln.  Fueled by a malignant fear of ‘Replacement,’ Lincoln’s modern counterparts have shown themselves willing to accept any equally malignant distortion of government that allows them to subvert the will of the majority and impose their will upon the same.  Gerrymandering and voter suppression, including draconian laws, which frighten and discourage lawful voters from exercising their rights have become the tools of choice for the ‘new’ Republicans.

Like the petulant kid who owns the football, these ‘new’ Republicans are threatening to blow up our national and international economies if the game is not played by their rules.  Their enmity against all except the wealthy and well-connected illuminates their goal of institutionalizing their permanent power and creating a permanent underclass that they can manipulate and control.

Whatever faults Lincoln may have had, this is not the party of Lincoln.  We will treat them with logic and measured reason at our future peril!

(Dr. E. Faye Williams is President of The Dick Gregory Society (thedickgregorysociety.org; drefayewilliams@gmail.com) and President Emerita of the National Congress of Black Women)

Teacher shortages in high-poverty schools

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—There is no way one can put a price on the value of a child’s education. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.” Dr. King’s words remind us that we must fix the root causes behind broken systems that continue to allow children to fall through the cracks. It starts by understanding how and why the systems are broken. Experts trace the current teacher shortage to the 2008 Great Recession when the nation’s public education system lost more than 120,000 teachers. When the economy rebounded, and schools started hiring again, many of those who had left were reluctant to return.

Teacher shortages are not uncommon around the nation, but it tends to hit high-poverty schools in rural areas the hardest. Researchers have found that schools that serve a high percentage of minority students and students in poverty have more difficulty finding and retaining qualified teachers than White and more affluent schools. In many southern states, the long-standing problem continues to increase. The nature and severity of the teacher crisis will differ drastically from state to state, district to district, and even from school to school. In an attempt to understand the teacher shortage issue, data found that the problem is worst in Mississippi.

Communities throughout the Mississippi Delta are rich in community pride and history but are economically poor. As manufacturing jobs left the region and agriculture became more automated, it resulted in a decrease in population. Families who remain will send their children to deteriorating schools, which are difficult for officials to manage due to the dwindling tax base and a Mississippi state legislature that is reluctant to adequately fund schools at the per-student rate as required by law. The message being sent by lawmakers is clear. Investing in the future of children living in poverty doesn’t merit meeting the state funding requirement. At the request of state lawmakers, three small-town school districts merged to become one

—West Bolivar Consolidated School District. West Bolivar Consolidated is 98 percent Black, while 100 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. West Bolivar High School in Rosedale, Mississippi, and McEvans School in Shaw, Mississippi, are18 miles apart, but teachers for math, Spanish, and science are forced to split their class instruction time between the two campuses via Zoom. The geometry class at West Bolivar High has no teacher. Therefore students have to listen to a software program while in class. Chemistry students are often left to teach themselves. Those not reading at grade level will struggle to understand science lessons. The lack of funding results in neither school having a science lab, so students with plans to study science in college will be dreadfully underprepared.

The decision to shortchange funding to high-poverty schools can impact a generation of students. Consider the long-term consequences to Black students who are unprepared to acquire the job skills needed for future careers. The economic future of Black children should be an incentive to vote for state lawmakers who are willing to fight for adequate funding for high-poverty schools. As it is difficult to attract new teachers from outside West Bolivar Consolidated, many people who currently work there grew up in the region. Will today’s students meet the minimum qualifications needed to return to West Bolivar Consolidated to serve as future teachers, counselors, principals, or administrators?

Teachers also need to be paid. Low teacher salaries reduce the attractiveness of the teaching profession and serve as another reason for teacher shortages. Teachers have always been underpaid compared to similarly educated workers in other occupations. The disparity is compounded when

teachers in high-poverty schools are underpaid compared to their counterparts who teach in low-poverty schools. It would seem that the challenging school environment would justify the higher compensation rather than lower pay. The climate in high-poverty schools is much more demoralizing for teachers. As teachers face more student absenteeism, class-cutting, student apathy, lack of parental involvement, poor student health, and issues regarding poverty in the lives of their students, it shows a lack of appreciation and respect in situations where they receive less pay. The tougher school environment results in more teachers suffering from high levels of stress and fears for their safety.

In many cases, teachers in high-poverty schools are not receiving the training, early career support, and professional development opportunities they need to succeed. This also makes it more difficult for them to remain in the profession. West Bolivar Consolidated has been plagued by high turnover, and many of the teachers it hires are new and lack the necessary training for the classes they are hired to teach. When measured on state assessments against other school districts throughout the state with more resources and fewer teacher vacancies, West Bolivar Consolidated finished near the bottom, receiving a D for its test scores.

The dismal test scores are just numbers. They don’t tell the story behind the lives of the brightest students who are consistently failed by a broken system. Those students possess so much potential but are not sufficiently challenged due to the lack of school resources and personnel—those students who may never reach their full potential. The importance of qualified teachers cannot be taken for granted.

Researchers have found that good teachers can influence the likelihood that children will graduate and how much they will learn throughout their lives. The stakes are high for students caught in the trap of underfunded schools with no teachers.

(David W. Marshall is the founder of the faith-based organization TRB: The Reconciled Body, and author of the book God Bless Our Divided America. He can be reached at www. davidwmarshallauthor.com.)

Let’s honor MLK with our deeds

We have just come off of four days of celebrating the life and work of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There were speeches by the faithful, “selected” quotations from the oppressors who needed to give the appearance of remembrance, and the singing of “We Shall Overcome” by everyone, including those who intend that we will never realize the dream on their watch as they work to turn the clock back to the status quo that existed before Dr. King’s speeches and protest marches to bring about equality. For those of us who still realize that the struggle requires more than parades, breakfast gatherings, and speeches, often by people who are the very ones blocking progress, we must move to a plan of action and join people like the Rev. Bishop William

Barber II who was co-chair and organizer of the 2022 Poor People’s March on Washington, D.C. in June of 2022. If we don’t know how to get involved at our local level, then we must join those like Bishop Barber and give our energy as well as our dollars as an expression of our deeds in a struggle that continues. Our deeds must reflect our hearts in the decisions we make.

We must ask ourselves: “Are we doing things because of our personal commitment to the struggle or are we seeking personal recognition and positions of safety in those things we say we want to be involved in? For example, African Americans still spend trillions of dollars each year, often on things we want and not on what we need or what we might do to help the needs of others around us. We still spend needless dollars with people

who neither respect nor appreciate us as a part of the American fabric.

Let’s take a hard look at the issues around us. Are we respected where we spend our money or just tolerated? Who are we singing “We Shall Overcome” with? Are we speaking to each other even when we have disagreements? How do we honor and celebrate the man without having the heart of the man which allowed him to do the things he did?

We can celebrate and honor Dr. King by seeking to become as committed as he was when he recognized that “Injustice against anyone is injustice to everyone”. Let’s get about the business of having our deeds match our celebration of the man every day, as we take our place in the struggle.

(Dr. John E. Warren is Publisher of the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper.)

The Party of Lincoln???
Editor & Publisher Emeritus (1912-1997)
John. H. Sengstacke
Founded 1910


Martin Luther King Jr.’s beloved community

(BlackPressUSA)—Martin Luther King Jr. visited Ghana in 1957 to participate in the celebration of the country’s independence from British colonialism. Upon returning home, he delivered a sermon called “The Birth of a New Nation,” and introduced his idea for a post-Jim Crow society in this country. He explained the concept saying, “the aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community.” He equated a beloved community to a successful country.

According to Dr. King, the creation of a beloved community would require the American people to address three great evils of society: racism, poverty, and militarism. My friend and former colleague, the late John R. Lewis, arguably Dr. King’s most ardent disciple, often invoked the concept to buttress his calls for a “just society.” John was committed to the pursuit, but I always wondered if such were possible until recently.

The Biden-Harris Administration has planted significant pillars upon which a foundation is being laid to tackle the three great evils and undo the generational impacts of systemic racism in our communities. Their efforts and the response of the American people in last November’s elections have buttressed my faith in such a possibility. President Biden has spearheaded a “whole of government” approach, directing every agency across the federal government to develop policies that make America’s greatness more accessible and affordable to all regardless of skin color.

Racism is a clear and present danger to the success of our “pursuit of a more perfect Union” and the Biden-Harris administration is confronting it. Recognizing the importance of environmental justice to marginalized communities, the Biden-Harris Administration launched the Justice40 Initiative, directing 40 percent of federal investments toward underserved communities disproportionately burdened by pollution.

Scrutinizing football’s violence often adds insult to injury

Recently, professor Tracie Canada wrote an article in Scientific American called: Damar Hamlin’s Collapse Highlights the Violence Black Men Experience in Football: The “terrifyingly ordinary” nature of football’s violence disproportionately affects Black men.

Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy tweeted, “As a Black man and former NFL player, I can say this article is absolutely ridiculous.”

Last week, I wrote a piece showing how Canada used a poor method to make her claim, violence in the NFL does not disproportionately affect Black men, and Canada exploited Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on the field to make a false equivalence between the NFL and slavery.

Last week, I attempted to explain why Dungy found the article ridiculous as a former NFL player. Now, I’ll attempt to explain why he found it ridiculous as a Black man.

The comparison between the NFL and slavery gained traction when Black players became the majority. The comparison points out a “power dynamic” between White owners and Black players. The argument goes: Black players are well compensated, but studies have shown the majority of NFL players go bankrupt a few years after retirement. Therefore, “Black athletic labor” only increases the wealth of White owners.

Those who compare the NFL to slavery know it’s an inaccurate comparison, but it’s a good way to accuse the NFL of racist exploitation and make demands for Black NFL owners.

Let’s go back to bankruptcy.


Pharoah Doss

Check It Out

went bankrupt within five years of retirement. These figures have remained constant since they were first compiled. Why wasn’t the NHL mentioned?

It’s not that zero hockey players go bankrupt after retirement; it’s because the majority of hockey players are White. And if White players go bankrupt, it’s their fault, but if Black players go bankrupt, it’s the fault of a racially exploitive system. In other words, White players have agency, and Black players don’t.

Also in 2015, the movie Concussion, starring Will Smith, made more people outside of sports aware of CTE, and the slavery comparison was expanded to include racist exploitation of the “Black body.”

Then Dr. Bennet Omalu, the character Smith played, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times that said children should be prevented from playing football and other high-impact contact sports before the age of 18. Even though Omalu included other contact sports, the only sport that was scrutinized was football. Why?

differences in demographics: 43 percent of Whites and Latinos were less likely to allow their children to play football compared to 28 percent of African Americans.

After the poll was taken, it was suggested that a doctor should be required to inform parents of boys under 18 of the dangers of football before the child plays. Imagine if the poll numbers were reversed and 43 percent of African American parents were less likely to allow their children to play football compared to 28 percent of Whites. No one would have suggested that doctors have to tell parents about the dangers of football because it would have been assumed that White parents knew about the risks but chose to let their kids play anyway.

To justify that assertion, in 2019, Valeo Physiotherapy, a clinic that provides concussion management, released a report about which sport has the highest concussion rates among youth athletes: Rugby was first, ice hockey was second, American football was third, and lacrosse was fourth.

But doctors only needed to inform parents about #3.

Recently, Sage Howard wrote an article called Why I’m not going to let my Black son play football. She wrote, “I get that people who play football do so voluntarily and happily. But it’s not lost on me that wealth is being built on the physical labor of Black athletes who are not properly compensated or protected, as professor Tracie Canada astutely points out … The NFL is just another traditional American business model that exploits then disregards Black bodies.”

In their efforts to confront racism directly, the Biden-Harris Administration has begun to address the racial inequities in our health care system. My father often said that if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. President Biden signed the PACT Act to make it easier for veterans suffering side effects from the contaminated water, burn pits, and toxins they were exposed to at war to receive the care and benefits they deserve. Considering roughly 43 percent of active-duty military are people of color, this will help our Black veterans and their loved ones receive equitable health care.

Reducing poverty, King’s second great evil, is a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. The American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure bill, and the Inflation Reduction Act, have created millions of opportunities for the American people to achieve upward economic mobility. President Biden’s targeting of student loan debt relief will relieve the disproportionate economic burden of student loan debt from the shoulders of over 1.6 million vulnerable borrowers. It will also restructure repayment plans to make them borrower friendly.

Home ownership is one of the quickest and sustainable ways out of poverty. President Biden’s Housing Supply Action Plan is designed to help close the housing supply shortfall in 5 years by increasing the supply and preserving the existence of affordable housing across the country. There is an extreme mismatch between the supply of and demand for affordable homes. Closing this gap will create more affordable rental units and purchase options for low- and moderate- income families.

Dr. King’s third evil, militarism, has not gone un-responded to by the Biden-Harris administration. No one can forget the images of police outfitted with military-grade equipment in cities across the country during recent racial justice protests. The militarization of police is a phenomenon that endangers everyday citizens and precipitates violent policing.

The Bipartisan Safer Communities law reforms policing by investing in violence interruption funding and children and family mental health services. The law provides over $250 million for community-based violence prevention programs, empowering communities to interrupt the cycle of violence by intervening on behalf of those most likely to commit offenses that require police attention. Similarly, bolstering programs and organizations that can help prevent and respond to emergency calls instead of armed police officers could stop incidents from ending in police violence.

In 2022, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety. This order mandates the reporting of police misconduct and use-of-force incidents and orders all federal law enforcement agencies to revise their use-of-force policies. Now Federal agencies cannot transfer or sell military equipment to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, cutting down on the militarization of our local police departments. For us to continue our pursuit of a more perfect union, we must embrace Dr. King’s vision of a blessed community and confront the injustices that have stymied that pursuit for centuries. It is our solemn duty as Members of Congress to put forth legislation that advances liberty and justice for all. But for all our successes, much remains to be done. As we pause to commemorate and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hopefully, as we move beyond this year’s celebration, we will revisit this idea of a beloved community and recommit ourselves to making his dream, the American Dream, a reality.

In 2015, studies revealed that 70 percent of NFL players, 60 percent of NBA players, and 5 percent of MLB players

In 2016, the Daily News reported that the HBO/Marist Poll found that 40 percent of adults and 44 percent of parents with a son under 18 were less likely to let him play football. The poll included

As a Black man, it’s most likely Tony Dungy didn’t find all of this just ridiculous; he also found it insulting.

Milestones show us where we’ve come from, where we need to go

Two things happened last week—one public, the other personal—that made me reflect on how far we’ve come as a nation, how we got here, and what it will take to keep that journey moving forward.

Maryland, my home state, inaugurated its first Black governor, Wes Moore. It’s a description I thought might go to me four years ago when I became only the third person and the first African American to win 1 million votes in statewide race. Unfortunately my incumbent opponent was one of the other two.

Attending the inauguration made me think about how we’ve gotten here —more slowly than anyone who truly believes in our American ideals would consider right, but making steady progress all along the way. My vote total helped Wes, just as President Obama’s victory in 2012 eased my way. I think back to being a youth leader in my California county for Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential bid.

While we can bemoan the pace for good reason, we shouldn’t overlook that change has come. That long arc of the moral universe remains. Even when we fall short of something like an electoral victory, we make progress.

The question remains the eternal one when we see injustice, inequity and threats like climate change that are unquestionably existential. How do we pick up the pace?

On the same day, I celebrated my 50th birthday. That means I’ve been organizing and advocating for change for more than half my life. I’m lucky in many

respects. Thirty years ago, celebrating someone else’s 21st birthday, I remember standing with other young Black men somberly pouring out our drinks in memory of our friends who had been killed or imprisoned before we got to college.

I’m luckier still that I’ve had people throughout my life—starting with my parents—who have helped me find my commitment and learn ways to put it into effective practice.

People like Alvin Chambliss, the North Mississippi Rural Legal Services lawyer, who asked me to lead protests against closing two historically Black universities to turn them into prisons. People like Norman Hill, a protege of A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, and union leaders Richard Womack and Bill Lucy who trained me (along with Stacey Abrams and Derrick Johnson) at an AFL-CIO summer institute for Black student organizers. People like Bishop Desmond Tutu and Colin Powell.

I remain deeply committed to passing forward all that knowledge and insight, so hard won by folks who preceded me in ways that paved my road. For me that starts with listening to young leaders and organizers both to under-

stand their perspectives as well as to give them space to air what they are compelled to get out. For me, change starts with listening.

What I hope to impart are the big ideas that were passed along to me, like Gen. Powell’s lesson that finding the one common cause we can share can be much more powerful than a hundred things that we may disagree about. Finally, I want to charge them to use their own gifts, talents, and knowledge to make the progress we still need. They will know how best to reach their peers and those who come after them. A quinquagenarian like me will never be able to use the tools of their generation to their fullest effect. What I hope to do is inspire and applaud.

That’s an optimistic view, I know. One that I get genetically perhaps. Just before my grandmother died, she took a call from Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who had been a graduate student in social work decades before when my grandmother was creating Child Protective Services in Baltimore. It was that long arc in view. It was my grandmother who gave me the perspective that still guides me. “Baby, it’s true. Pessimists are right more often, but optimists win more often,” she told me once. “In this life, you have to decide what’s more important to you. As for me, I’ll take winning.”

(Ben Jealous is incoming executive director of the Sierra Club, America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization; former national president of the NAACP; and professor of practice at the University of Pennsylvania.)

On landmark 50th anniversary abortion decision, legality alone is not enough


Roe and outlawing abortions will never make them go away. It only makes them more dangerous, especially for the poor and marginalized. People will die because of this decision. And we will never stop until abortion rights are restored in the United States of America.—Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Fifty years ago, women across the country celebrated the infamous Roe v. Wade decision that recognized the constitutional right for people to have an abortion. Now, after decades of scheming, right-wing politicians finally have forced their unpopular agenda on the rest of America. They have decided that the government—not pregnant people and their doctors—should make a private health care decision and deny women the right to control their own bodies and futures.

Since the Supreme Court made its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last June, nearly half the states in the country have either outlawed abortion services or placed heavy

restrictions around abortion access. This decision put important health care decisions out of the reach of millions of women and violated their right to decide what happens to their own bodies. Access to safe abortion services have proven over time to discourage women from exploring unsafe methods to end their pregnancies, a reality that has mostly impacted Black women and women in underserved communities.

Black women are four times more likely to die as a result of childbirth than White women, according to American Medical Association. Meanwhile, due to racialized income and wealth disparities, inequitable access to medical care, and the other insidious ways manifestations of structural racism, people of color are more likely to require abortion care and but are less likely to be able to afford out-of-state travel to obtain care if it is outlawed in their state.

Forcing women to carry pregnancies against their will can have devastating and lasting consequences for them and their family and push women and families deeper into poverty. Our health care system already fails Black, Indigenous,

and other people of color, and barriers to abortion care make that worse.

As we continue to navigate this crisis, we must not settle for legality. Legality alone will not ensure everyone can get the abortion care they need. We must aim for abortion justice and fight for that justice in our communities, city halls, state legislatures, in Congress, and the White House. We need bold solutions like the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify the right to an abortion into federal law and ensure all pregnant persons can make personal health decisions without government interference.

So, this weekend, the 50th anniversary of the landmark decision, we stand with all women in solidarity in the fight to protect women’s rights. The devastating decision to overturn Roe will reverberate for future generations of women and girls who would need access to such an essential service. Abortion access is an economic and racial justice issue, and I am proud to say that the National Urban League will continue to fight for the reproductive rights of women and the civil rights of all of us.


Estate of EDWARD J. SMELKO, Deceased of 105 Lilmont Drive, Swissvale,PA 15218, Estate No. 02-22-08096, Paul E. Smelko, Executor,108 Lilmont Drive, Swissvale, PA 15218, William C. Price, Jr., Price & Associates, P.C. 2005 Noble Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15218

Estate of CONSTANCE E. RUSSELL Deceased of 4750 Clairton Blvd, Apt# 136 Pittsburgh PA 15236 , Estate No. 02-2208259, Deborah L. Watkins, Executor, 11305 Althea Rd, Pittsburgh PA 15235,

Estate of GLORIA J. MEINERT, Deceased of McCandless Township, Pennsylvania ,Estate No. 02-22-08151, Keith M. Meinert, Executor, 10235 Meinert Road, Wexford, PA 15090 or to ROBIN L. RARIE, Atty; BRENLOVE & FULLER, LLC. 401 Washington Avenue, Bridgeville, PA 15017

Estate of AGNES MELLINGER, Deceased Clairton , No. 8228 of 2022, . Linda M. Fitzpatrick-Podroskey, Petitioner, has filed a Petition to Determine Title to Real Estate at 626 N. 6th St., Clairton, PA 15025, pursuant to 20 PA § 3546, John R. Axtell Peter B. Lewis, and Neighborhood Legal Services, 928 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222, Counsel.

In the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny, Orphan’s Court Division, Estate of HILDA T. RALICKI, deceased, Case No. 022207854: Petition for Determination of Title filed December 8, 2022 on behalf of Jeanne T. Six to terminate the interests of the heirs and devisees of Hilda T. Ralicki in 116 Beckert St, Pittsburgh, PA 15209. Peter B. Lewis, Attorney, 928 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, (412) 5866153.

Estate of NINA M. HELBLING, Deceased of Scott Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, No. 02-23-00277, Lynn Helbling Sirinek, 8518 Sundial Lane, Bridgeville, PA 15017 or to ROBIN L. RARIE, Atty; BRENLOVE & FULLER, LLC. 401 Washington Avenue Bridgeville, PA 15017


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The Community College of Allegheny County Board of Trustees will hold a meeting on February 2, 2023. The meeting will be held virtually beginning at 4:30 p.m. and streamed on CCAC’s YouTube page. A copy of the Board meeting agenda will be made available for review on the College’s website (www.ccac.edu)


RFP Release for Provision of Fixed Route Transportation Services

The Mid Mon Valley Transit Authority (MMVTA), 1300 McKean Avenue, Charleroi, PA 15022, 724-4890880, www.mmvta.com, will accept sealed proposals for the provision of fixed route public transit services and related maintenance services (RFP #MMVTA-23-FRPOS)

Electronic proposal documents are available by contacting the MMVTA by phone 724-489-0880 or by email aseman@mmvta.com.

Sealed proposals will be received at MMVTA offices by no later than MARCH 10, 2023, at 2:55 PM EST and shall be opened publicly and proposer’s names read aloud on MARCH 10, 2023, at 3:00 PM EST No electronic submissions will be accepted. Proposals received after the specified closing time will be considered as late and will not be opened or considered as a candidate for award.

The MMVTA will award an Agreement, if at all, through the competitive process set forth in this Request for Proposal (RFP). Proposers will be required to comply with all regulations applicable to a federally and state-funded procurement.

The MMVTA reserves the right to postpone, accept or reject any or all proposals as they deem to be in their own best interests and subject to the rules and regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Department of Transportation. All proposals will remain valid and binding on the proposer for a period of ninety (90) days from the date of opening. Any person or business on the Comptroller General’s list of ineligible bidders and /or those who have been prohibited from doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or its agencies/ subdivisions, is not an eligible proposer.

The MMVTA will afford Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE’s), Small Businesses (SBE), WomenOwned Businesses (WBE), and Diverse Businesses (DB), including Veteran-Owned Businesses, full opportunity to respond to this offering and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, or national origin in the review of specifications or agreement award. Such Businesses who are not certified are encouraged to do so and may contact the MMVTA for additional information.



The Advisory Committee of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority will hold a special meeting for general purposes on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. prevailing time in the Trefz Board Room at its offices located at 3300 Preble Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15233. The public may view the meeting via livestream by visiting www.alcosan.org. Public comment may be submitted by contacting Jeanne Clark at 412-734-6222 or Jeanne.clark@alcosan.org, by noon on the meeting date


ZONING HEARING BOARD OF THE BOROUGH OF THORNBURG NOTICE is hereby given that on Thursday, February 2, 2023, at 7:00 p.m., the Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough of Thornburg will conduct a public hearing in the auditorium of the Thornburg Community Building, 545 Hamilton Rd., Thornburg, PA, at which time the Board will consider the following matter:

On the request of Gerald Pecora for a variance from the 10’ setback requirement for the construction of an accessory structure on the property located at 1181 Harvard Rd. Mr. Pecora has submitted an application for a variance with a 4’ setback.

The above application may be reviewed by contacting the Borough Secretary (thornburg.secretary@gmail.com or 412-921-3713).

All interested parties are invited to attend and be heard in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the Board. Any unfinished business at the end of this public hearing will be continued to a future meeting date.

Dorothy Falk, Secretary Borough of Thornburg



The complete text of this Ordinance may be viewed at the Office of the Borough Secretary, Emsworth Municipal Building, 171 Center Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15202, Monday-Friday 9 am-3 pm. Public discussion of this proposed ordinance is invited and if no changes are made, the ordinance will be considered for adoption at the business meeting of Emsworth Borough Council to be held February 8, 2023, 6:30 p.m., prevailing time, at 171 Center Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15202.

All persons having an interest in this ordinance should be present at the above time and place and you will have an opportunity to be heard.



Sealed bids for Encaptured entrance redesign and SPO office at Rochester Area School District, as specified in RFP, will be received by the Superintendent at 540 Reno Street, Rochester, PA 15074, until 2:00 PM on Friday, March 10, 2023. Bids will be opened publicly and read aloud at the same time.

RFP specifications may be obtained from:

Lou Campisi, Director of Buildings & Grounds


540 Reno Street Rochester, PA (724) 775-7500, ext 1813

A mandatory pre-bid meeting must be made with the Director of Buildings and Grounds prior to bid submission.

The District reserves the right to reject any or all bids and to waive any irregularities therein.



The HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE COUNTY OF BEAVER will receive sealed bids, in duplicate, until 9:30 AM. (local time) on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at the office of the Housing Authority of the County of Beaver, James F. Tress Administration Building, 300 State Street (Vanport), Beaver, Pennsylvania at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read aloud at 10:00 A.M. for the Exterior Renovations and Roofing at Pleasantview Homes, 1400 17th Ave, Beaver Falls, PA 15010 at Francis Farmer Apartments, Community Room, 274 Friendship Circle, Beaver, PA 15009. A fifteen percent (15%) bid bond is required for this project.

Proposed forms of contract documents, including Plans and Specifications are being distributed, with twenty-four hour prior notice of pick-up by Ditto (www.dittoplanroom.com), 1020 Ridge Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233, phone (412) 231-7700. All prime bidders are REQUIRED to buy the full set of plans and specifications. No documents will be distributed until payment in full plus tax and shipping (non-refundable) payable to and received by Ditto. Free examination of said documents are available at the office of Canzian/ Johnston & Associates LLC and Pennsylvania Builders Exchange. Plans and specifications will be available on Thursday, January 26, 2023.


OPPORTUNITY and Section 3 Compliance are required

A MANDATORY Pre-Bid Conference will be held at 1:00 PM on Thursday, February 9, 2023 at Pleasantview Homes Community Building, 1400 17th Ave, Beaver Falls, PA 15010


The HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE COUNTY OF BEAVER will receive sealed bids, in duplicate, until 9:30 AM. (local time) on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at the office of the Housing Authority of the County of Beaver, James F. Tress Administration Building, 300 State Ave (Vanport), Beaver, Pennsylvania at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read aloud at 11:00 A.M. for the County-Wide Boiler Replacement at Francis Farmer Apartments, Community Room, 274 Friendship Circle, Beaver, PA 15009. A fifteen percent (15 %) bid bond is required for this project.

Proposed forms of contract documents, including Plans and Specifications may be obtained at the Housing Authority of the County of Beaver Central Office, James F. Tress Administration Building, 300 State Avenue, Beaver, PA 15009 by first mailing $125.00 in the form of a check made payable to the HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE COUNTY OF BEAVER for each set of documents so obtained. An additional $10.00 is required if you want it mailed. DEPOSITS ARE NOT REFUNDABLE. Plans and specifications will be available on Thursday, January 26, 2023.


OPPORTUNITY and Section 3 Compliance are required.

A MANDATORY Pre-Bid Conference will be held at 10:00 AM on Thursday, February 9, 2023 at George Werner Apartments, 599 8th Street, Freedom, PA 15042 .



Sealed proposals shall be deposited at the Administration Building, Bellefield Entrance Lobby, 341 South Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213, on February 14, 2023, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for:

Pgh Sterrett Classical Academy, Pgh Fulton PreK-5, Pgh. Lincoln PreK-5, Pgh. Dilworth K-5 and Pgh Linden K-5

Whiteboard Installations

General Primes

Pgh. Perry High School PA System Upgrades Electrical Primes

Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on January 23, 2022 , at Modern Reproductions (412-488-7700) 127 McKean Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219 between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. The cost of the Project Manual Documents is non-refundable.

Project details and dates are described in each project manual.




deposited at the Administration Building, Bellefield Entrance Lobby, 341 South Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213, on February 7, 2023, until 2:00 P.M.,

CLASSIFIED JANUARY 25-31, 2023 www.newpittsburghcourier.com New Pittsburgh Courier 6 2 9 4 7 1 0 3 SONNY BOY 8 B5 COURIER CLASSIFIEDS…THE ONLY WAY TO GO!
for: Various Buildings Water Cooler Replacement Phase 6 Plumbing and Electrical Primes Various Buildings Carbon Monoxide Detectors Phase V Mechanical and Electrical Primes Pgh. Schiller 6-8 Finish Floor Replacement and Miscellaneous Work (REBID) General Primes ONLY Pgh. Student Achievement Center Elevator Construction & Renovations (REBID) Electrical Primes ONLY Pgh. Carmalt PreK-8 Window Replacement and Envelope Repair (REBID) Electrical Primes ONLY Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on January 16, 2022, at Modern Reproductions (412-488-7700), 127 McKean Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219 between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. The cost of the Project Manual Documents is non-refundable. Project details and dates are described in each project manual. America’s Best Weekly 315 East Carson Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Classifieds 412-481-8302 Ext. 134 E-mail: ads@newpittsburghcourier.com Deadline/Closing/ Cancellation Schedule for copy, corrections, and cancellations: Friday noon preceding Wednesday publication NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER CLASSIFIEDS GET RESULTS!
PITTSBURGH Sealed proposals shall be


The work under the proposed Agreement(s) consists of providing executive search services for identifying and recruiting key members for the organization; outplacement services for executive and professional and/or middle management personnel employees who are affected by a reduction in staff (layoff); and professional and/or middle management personnel who are in need of coaching services.

While it is currently the PRT’s intention to enter into agreements with a pool of two firms for each category, this number may be adjusted up or down, at PRT’s sole discretion, based upon the number of proposals received and PRT’s evaluation of same in relation to its executive search, outplacement and coaching services needs in each of the categories. The required services will be issued on a work order basis as they are approved to proceed by PRT.

The Agreement will be for a three-year period with the option to extend the term of the Agreement up to two additional years at the sole discretion of PRT.

A copy of the Request for Proposal (RFP) will be available on or after January 19, 2023 and can be obtained by registering at the PRT’s ebusiness website: http://ebusiness.ridePRT.org and following the directions listed on the website. Please note that Proposers must register under the ebusiness category of PSESO – Pro Executive Search/ Outplacement for this RFP. Proposers may also register in other categories for any future RFPs issued by PRT. If you have specific questions regarding this RFP, please contact Catherine Terrill at (412) 566-5188 or via email CTerrill@ridePRT.org.

An Information Meeting for interested parties will be held at 9:30 a.m., prevailing time, February 2, 2023 via Microsoft Teams video conference and/or conference call to answer any questions regarding this RFP.

To join by Microsoft Team video conference: · https://bit.ly/InfoMtg2209

To join by Microsoft Teams call-in number: · (412) 927-0245 United State, Pittsburgh (Toll) · Conference ID: 125 596 690#

Electronic proposals must be both received, and time stamped by a representative of the Procurement Department through PRT’s Ebusiness website at or before 2:00 p.m., prevailing time, February 21, 2023, at http://ebusiness.ridePRT.org. Proposals received or time stamped by a Procurement Department representative through PRT’s Ebusiness website after the advertised time for the submission of proposals shall be non-responsive and therefore ineligible for award. Each Proposer shall be solely responsible for assuring that its proposal is timely received and time stamped in accordance with the requirements herein. This Contract Services may be funded, in part, by, and subject to certain requirements of, the County of Allegheny and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) . The proposal process and the performance of the requested services will be in accordance with guidelines and regulations of the FTA “Third Party Contracting Guidelines”, FTA Circular 4220.1F, as amended, and all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Port Authority of Allegheny County d/b/a Pittsburgh Regional Transit, in compliance with 49 C.F.R., Part 26, as amended, implements positive affirmative action procedures to ensure that all Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (“DBEs”) have the maximum opportunity to participate in the performance of contracts and subcontracts financed, in whole or in part, with federal funds, if any, provided under or for the proposed Agreement. In this regard, all recipients or contractors shall take all necessary and reasonable steps in accordance with 49 C.F.R., Part 26, to ensure that DBEs have the maximum opportunity to compete for, and perform contracts and subcontracts for, the Contract Services.

Port Authority of Allegheny County d/b/a Pittsburgh Regional Transit, in compliance with 74 Pa.C.S. § 303, as may be amended, also requires that certified Diverse Businesses, (“DBs”) have the maximum opportunity to compete for, and perform contracts and subcontract for, the Contract Services. In this regard, all Proposers, and the Contractor, shall make good faith efforts, in accordance with 74 Pa.C.S. § 303, to ensure that DBs have the maximum opportunity to compete for, and perform contracts and subcontracts for, the Contract Services.

Further, proposers and the Contractor shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, disability, national origin, sex, sexual origin, gender identity or status as a parent in the award and performance of contracts or subcontracts for these Contract Services

Port Authority of Allegheny County d/b/a Pittsburgh Regional Transit reserves the right to reject any or all proposals.



The Sports & Exhibition Authority will receive proposals for Diagramming Software for use at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The contract will be with the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Inquiries regarding the RFPs should be made to Jennifer Carter, Director of Event Services, E-mail: jcarter@pittsburghcc.com, Phone 412-325-6171.

This Advertisement applies to the following requests for proposals:

Project: DLCC Diagramming Software

RFP Available: Monday, January 23, 2023

Pre-proposal Meeting: 2:00 PM, Friday, January 27, 2023 (non-mandatory/virtual)

Proposals Due: 2:00 PM, Friday, February 17, 2023 David L. Lawrence Convention Center 1000 Fort Duquesne Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 15222


The Sports & Exhibition Authority will receive proposals for Moveable Partition Wall System Inspection, Maintenance, and Repairs at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center as identified below. The contracts for this work will be with the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The Request for Proposals may be obtained after the date identified below from Spencer Girman, Facility Manager, email: sgirman@pittsburghcc.com, Telephone: 412-325-6137.

This Advertisement applies to the following RFP:

Project: Moveable

RFP Available: Thursday, January 26, 2023

Pre-Proposal Meeting: 11:00 AM, Thursday, February 2, 2023 (non-mandatory) David L. Lawrence Convention Center 1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15222







IFB NO. 2023-39-General Construction

ALLIES & ROSS MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION will accept sealed bids for the installation of an underground water storage tank for the Northview Midrise. The construction work is estimated to begin in August 2023. The estimated value of the project ranges from: $455,240.17 - $640,402.62

Bid Documents will be available on or about Tuesday, January 17, 2023 and may be obtained from the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s webpage, www.hacp.org. Bidders may register on the website and download the bid documents free of charge.

A Virtual Pre-Bid Conference will be held on Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. virtually at the following link: Join Zoom Meeting https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89001884938?pwd=eGgrZHNwalRiOT


Meeting ID: 890 0188 4938 Passcode: 181374 One tap mobile +13017158592,,89001884938#,,,,*181374# US (Washington DC)

Bids will be received at: Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) Procurement Department 100 Ross Street, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Attn: Kim Detrick, Director of Procurement until 9:00 a.m. Thursday, February 9, 2023 at which time and place all bids will be received.

Bids will be received at: Allies & Ross Management and Development Corporation will only be accepting physical proposals dropped off in person from 8:00 AM until the closing of 9:00 AM on February 9, 2023 at the HACP Procurement Department, 100 Ross Street, Suite 200, Pittsburgh PA 15219 Attn: Kim Detrick, Chief Procurement Officer. Due to COVID, the bid opening on February 9, 2023 at 9:00AM will be conducted virtually via Zoom Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87935697074?pwd=TE0ySUx 2QWxOa0FMeXVzZ1lRN0hKUT09. Meeting ID: 879 3569 7074; Passcode: 160945 Copies of bid documents are not available for in person pickup. Bid Documents, including the Bid Forms, Project Manual, and Drawings, may be obtained from the Business Opportunities Section of the HACP website, www.hacp.org. Prospective Bidders may register as a vendor on the website and download the documents free of charge.

Allies & Ross Management and Development Corporation will only be accepting physical proposals dropped off in person on February 9, 2023 from 8:00 AM until the closing of 9:00 AM on February 9, 2023. Bids may still be submitted electronically at the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/wWhVn8RP8Nr4rcHgzXOL and can still be mailed via USPS at which time they will be Time and Date Stamped at 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

ALLIES & ROSS MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION reserves the right to waive any informality in, or reject any and all bids. No bid shall be withdrawn for a period of sixty (60) days subsequent to the opening of bids without the consent of ALLIES & ROSS MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

The Contractor will be required to comply with all applicable Equal Employment Opportunity requirements for Federally Assisted Construction Contracts. The Contractor must ensure that employees and applicants for employment are not discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sexual preference, handicap or national origin. The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh has revised its website. As part of those revisions, vendors must now register and log-in, in order to view and download IFB/RFP documentation.


Caster D. Binion, President & CEO

ALLIES & ROSS MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION Allies & Ross Management and Development Corporation conducts business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The PA Human Relations Act, etc. and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.

COURIER CLASSIFIEDS…THE ONLY WAY TO GO! CLASSIFIEDS B6 JANUARY 25-31, 2023 NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER SONNY BOY America’s Best Weekly 315 East Carson Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Classifieds 412-481-8302 Ext. 134 E-mail: ads@newpittsburghcourier.com Deadline/Closing/ Cancellation Schedule for copy, corrections, and cancellations: Friday noon preceding Wednesday publication LEGAL ADVERTISING Bids/Proposals LEGAL ADVERTISING Bids/Proposals LEGAL ADVERTISEMENT PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY D/B/A PITTSBURGH REGIONAL TRANSIT REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL NO. 22-09
Authority of Allegheny
County d/b/a Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) is requesting proposals
the performance of the following service (“Contract Services”):
Partition Wall System Inspection, Maintenance, & Repairs
Time/Date/Location for Proposals: 2:00 PM, Wednesday, February 15, 2023 David L. Lawrence Convention Center 1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Services and Exterior Building Cleaning as identified below for the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The contracts for this work will be with the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Inquiries regarding the projects should be made to Joseph Garcia, jgarcia@pittsburghcc.com, Phone: (412) 952-3956, Fax: (412) 325-6190. This Advertisement applies to the Waste Hauling Services Request for Proposal: RFP Available: Wednesday, January 25, 2023 Pre-Proposal Meeting: 10:00 AM, Monday, January 30, 2023 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Time/Date/Location for Proposal: 2:00 PM, Wednesday, February 15, 2023 David L. Lawrence Convention Center 1000 Fort Duquesne Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 15222 This Advertisement applies to the Exterior Building Cleaning Request for Proposals: RFP Available: Wednesday, January 25, 2023 Pre-Proposal Meeting: 1:00 PM, Monday, January 30, 2023 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Time/Date/Location for Proposal: 1:00 PM, Wednesday, February 15, 2023 David L. Lawrence Convention Center 1000 Fort Duquesne Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Subscribe to the Courier today by calling 412-481-8302, ext. 136. Support the publication that is ALWAYS focused on Pittsburgh’s African American community. NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER CLASSIFIEDS GET RESULTS! The Courier is THE VOICE of Black Pittsburgh.
The Sports & Exhibition Authority will receive proposals for Waste Hauling



This Advertisement applies to the following Request for Proposal: Project: Landscaping Services

RFP Available: Thursday, January 19, 2023 Pre-Proposal Meeting: 10:00 am, Friday, January 27, 2023 (Non-Mandatory)

David L. Lawrence Convention Center – East Lobby 1000 Ft Duquesne Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Time/Date/Location for Proposals: 2:00 pm, Tuesday, February 21, 2023

David L. Lawrence Convention Center – East Lobby 1000 Ft Duquesne Blvd Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Electronic Proposals will be received online at PRT’s Ebusiness website (http://ebusiness.portauthority.org).

Proposals/bid submittals will be due 11:00 AM on February 17, 2023 and will be read at 11:15 AM., the same day through your web browser via Microsoft Teams video conferencing, for the following: Electronic Proposal - Ebusiness website (http://ebusiness.portauthority.org)

Passcode: dTzbD6

Or call in (audio only)

412-927-0245 Phone Conference ID: 752 348 590#

No bidder may withdraw a submitted Proposal for a period of 75 days after the scheduled time for opening of the sealed bids. A Pre-Bid Conference will be held via tele-conference on each of the above items at 10:00 AM, February 2, 2023 as well as through your web browser via Microsoft Teams video conference.

To join the pre-bid meeting through Microsoft Teams on your computer, mobile app or room device Meeting ID: 211 559 046 258

Passcode: nSCcYg

Or call in (audio only)

412-927-0245 Phone Conference ID: 928 670 254#

Attendance at this meeting is not mandatory, but is strongly encouraged. Questions regarding any of the above bids will not be entertained by the PRT within five (5) business days of the scheduled bid opening. These contracts may be subject to a financial assistance contract between Port Authority of Allegheny County d.b.a. PRT and the United States Department of Transportation. The Contractor will be required to comply with all applicable Equal Employment Opportunity laws and regulations. Contractor is responsible for expenses related to acquiring a performance bond and insurance where applicable. All items are to be FOB delivered unless otherwise specified. Costs for delivery, bond, and insurance shall be included in bidder’s proposal pricing.

Port Authority of Allegheny County d.b.a. PRT hereby notifies all bidders that it will affirmatively insure that in regard to any contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement, disadvantaged business enterprise will be afforded full opportunity to submit bids in response to this invitation and will not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, or national origin in consideration for an award.

The Board of PRT reserves the right to reject any or all bids.




The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) is accepting Letters of Interest and Statements of Qualifications from Professional Companies who wish to be considered for the following:

Construction Management Services

Annual Interceptor Cleaning Contract O&M Project 690.7473

Interested Parties shall submit an electronic copy (pdf format) emailed to:


Attn: Candace Coston, Procurement Specialist

All questions should also be submitted, in writing, to Candace Coston.

ALCOSAN intends to award the services to one firm to perform all of the services. All submittals must be received no later than 2:00 p.m. February 24, 2023. It is Consultant’s responsibility to ensure the documents have been received. Late submittals will not be considered. Additional information and instructions may be obtained by visiting: https://www.alcosan.org/workwith-us/planned-and-active-bids

ALCOSAN encourages businesses owned and operated by minorities, disadvantaged and women’s business enterprises to submit qualification statements or to participate as subcontractors or suppliers to the selected Consultant/ Firm. The Party selected shall be required to utilize minority, disadvantaged, and women’s business enterprises to the fullest extent possible. The goals of the ALCOSAN’s Minority and Women Business Policy are listed on the ALCOSAN website at www.alcosan.org.





The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) is accepting Letters of Interest and Statements of Qualifications from Professional Companies who wish to be considered for the following:

CIPP Rehabilitation of The Upper Saw Mill Run And Lower Ohio Interceptors Capital Project S-491 Interested Parties shall submit an electronic copy (pdf format) emailed to:

All questions should also be submitted, in writing, to Candace Coston.

ALCOSAN intends to award the services to one firm to perform all of the services. All submittals must be received no later than 2:00 p.m. February 24, 2023. It is Consultant’s responsibility to ensure the documents have been received.

Late submittals will not be considered.

Additional information and instructions may be obtained by visiting: https://www.alcosan.org/workwith-us/planned-and-active-bids

ALCOSAN encourages businesses owned and operated by minorities, disadvantaged and women’s business enterprises to submit qualification statements or to participate as subcontractors or suppliers to the selected Consultant/ Firm. The Party selected shall be required to utilize minority, disadvantaged, and women’s business enterprises to the fullest extent possible. The goals of the ALCOSAN’s Minority and Women Business Policy are listed on the ALCOSAN website at www.alcosan.org.



Emco Lathe and Milling Machines, Up-Right UL38 Man Lift - 300lb Capacity, Kohler Electric Plant Model 10R22, Stratasys Dimension SST 768 3D Printer, Commercial Kitchen Equipment, Gym Equipment, Shop Equipment, Floor Scrubbers, Scaffolding, and other assorted tools and supplies.

Preview: February 3rd, 3:006:00 P.M. 324 Charles St. Pittsburgh, PA 15210

Bidding ends February 5th starting at 6:00 P.M. Bid Now at SHAuctions.com 15% Buyers Premium Applies 724-847-1887



Since 2007 Hilltop Alliance has worked collaboratively to preserve and create community assets across South Pittsburgh’s Hilltop (Allentown, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Beltzhoover, Carrick, Knoxville, Mt. Oliver Borough, Mt. Oliver City, Mt. Washington, South Side Slopes and St. Clair) The Executive Director is the chief executive of the Hilltop Alliance, reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives. The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker responsible for the day-to-day operations, relationships with stakeholders, and management of development projects, program design, financial management, and implementation of long-term plans.

For a full detailed position announcement and instructions to be considered for this position, please go to https://www.pittsburghhilltopalliance. org/our-people and click on “Job Description” under the Executive Director heading.

HM Health Solutions Inc. d/b/a enGen, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA has work-at-home Senior Release Manager position (w/ ability to telecommute w/approp. telecommuting sys.) responsible for serving as liaison btwn bus. units to guarantee timely delivery of sftwr prdcts or updates as well as overseeing envrnmnts req’d for dvlpmnt & testing of each release. Apply at https://careers.highmarkhealth.org, using keyword “J217857”.

Highmark Health, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA has work-at-home Finance Leadership Development Program Associate position (w/ ability to telecommute w/approp. telecommuting sys.; remote worksite must be w/in commuting distance of Pittsburgh, PA for weekly trips to corp. office) responsible for prfrmng financial analysis & accounting duties as well as leading short & medium-term duration prjcts. Apply at https://careers.highmarkhealth.org, using keyword “J217864”.

HM Health Solutions Inc. d/b/a enGen, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, has work-at-home Application Developer position (w/ability to telecommute w/approp. telecommuting sys.) to be responsible for analyzing, designing, coding, testing, & implementing app. enhancements w/limited supervision. Apply at https://careers.highmarkhealth.org, using keyword “J217505”


for fed govt law office in Pgh; some travel required. 3 yrs gen IT exp & 2 yrs specialized exp req’d. PC/ network hardware, MS Windows, Office365, user support, Windows AD, Access or SQL database, Outlook administration; exp with forensics or litigation support preferred. Starting salary range $63K-$85K based on exp and education. Submit application according to instructions in full ad at http://paw.fd.org/employment.htm. No phone calls. EOE.


American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.’s Pittsburgh, PA, office seeks a Sr. Data Engineer. This is a hybrid office-based/work-from-home position that requires the employee to be able to occasionally work in our Pittsburgh, PA, office. Will develop enterprise data solutions to be consumed by technology and business teams. Duties include: delivering HA and scalable data pipelines and solutions in the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) using SDLC and SCRUM methodologies; and building frameworks for data management, security, automation and optimization. Send CV with cover letter, references, and salary requirements to Jobsaeoinc@ae.com.



The University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA seeks an Assistant Teaching Professor – Statistics f/k/a Lecturer - Statistics to teach graduate and undergraduate courses in Statistics. This position is outside the tenure stream. The primary responsibility is teaching, but duties include student advising, supervision of graduate assistants, program administration, and service on departmental and University committees to further our academic mission. Apply at https://join. pitt.edu, #23000100. Applicants should upload a cover letter, CV, teaching portfolio with evaluations, teaching and diversity statements, and at least three letters of recommendation. The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity and diversity. EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled.


The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Neuroscience in Pittsburgh, PA, seeks a Research Associate to study cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying drug-induced neuroplasticity. Will conduct scholarly research on circuit mechanisms underlying drug craving and drug seeking using rodent model as well as participate in the scholarly activities of the research group. Apply at https://join.pitt.edu, #23000303 Applicants should upload a cover letter including a brief statement of research goals, a curriculum vitae, and the names of three references. The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity and diversity. EOE, including disability/vets.


Emsworth Borough is accepting applications for one full time worker and one part time summer help worker. Candidate must be able to perform manual work associated with upkeep in the borough. Candidate will need to pass a background check and pre-employment drug and physical test. Valid PA drivers license is required. Send letter of interest to Emsworth Borough, 171 Center Ave, Pittsburgh., PA 15202 or email emsworthborough@comcast.net.


Brentwood Borough Parks & Recreation is looking for seasonal employees for Park & Recreation attendants/assistants. Those who are energetic, strong communicators, dependable, and outgoing should apply. Brentwood Borough Parks & Recreation attendants/assistants can earn competitive pay working at the pool, concession stand, Borough events and activities.

Applicants must be at least 15 years of age.

To apply for the above positions please visit the Brentwood Borough website at www.brentwoodboro.com

On the home page click employment/ volunteers located in the home menu. Applications must be typed and emailed to stoth@brentwoodboro.com Apply early! Applications will only be accepted for a limited time. Additional information is available by contacting: Brentwood Borough Parks and Recreation Director Jim Attanucci at 412-884-1500 ext. 135 or 412 969-7535.


Applications are being accepted by the Borough of Brentwood for seasonal Public Works employees for the 2023 summer season. Applicants must be 18 years of age. The job will involve mowing grass, trimming shrubs, shoveling asphalt, installing signs, painting, and general labor work. The applicant is required to wear steel-toed shoes. Work hours are Monday through Friday 7:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. Preference will be given to borough residents. Rate of pay is $14.00 per hour.

Applications will be accepted until March 10, 2023 . This will be a seasonal position beginning in May.

Applications are available online at www.brentwoodboro.com. Please email application to Susan Toth, Finance/HR Director at stoth@brentwoodboro.com. Handwritten applications will not be accepted.


UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside seeks Respiratory Therapists, CRT to work in Pittsburgh, PA (Allegheny County) . Provide respiratory therapy services and life support to patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system, under the general direction of a physician and by prescription. Perform additional job-related duties as assigned. Must hold a Bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Care from a CoARC-accredited program, or equivalent. Must be Board Certified or Board Eligible by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Must hold a valid PA Respiratory Therapist license or eligibility, and BLS or CPR. Apply by following these steps; visit http://careers.upmc.com and enter 2300005I in the “Search Keyword/Job ID” field and click Go. EOE/Disability/Veteran.


Pittsburgh Regional Transit (Port Authority of Allegheny County Police Department) is seeking full-time Transit Police Officers. A Transit Police Officer is responsible for ensuring the safety of Port Authority customers, staff, and property throughout the areas it serves. Officers must enforce all local, state, and federal laws on and around our transit system. Our Police Department offers potential career opportunities with specialty units that include, investigations, K-9, video forensics and crash reconstruction. Leadership roles such as Sergeant and Lieutenant are promoted from within the department.

Police Department applicant testing is one three-hour session, the written police officer exam (POST) and the fitness exam will be administered on the same day. Testing dates: Friday, March 3, 2023 at 12:00 PM, and Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 8:00 AM.

Based upon the current contract, Police Officer wage progression schedule: year one - $48,644; year two - $55,130; year three$64,959.

Job requirements include:

• High School Diploma or GED.

• Valid PA Driver’s License.

• Current Act 120 certification or candidate must successfully pass the Act 120 certification test prior to employment.

• Successful completion of administered written police officer exam.

• Successful completion of administered fitness exam.

• Basic clerical skills.

• Ability to observe and analyze situations objectively and respond appropriately.

• Ability to handle emotionally charged situations.

• Ability to act quickly and calmly in emergency situations.

• Professional and effective communication skills to include:

• Ability to communicate orally and in writing in a clear and concise manner.

• Ability to understand and execute oral and written instructions.

• Successfully complete/maintain the following required training:

• Yearly firearm qualifications with a department-authorized firearm.

• Maintain Basic First Aid and CPR/ AED Certification.

• Yearly mandatory in-service training.

• Job-specific training, as required.

• Ability to work various shifts, pass days, weekends/holidays, as required.

• This is a Safety-Sensitive position subject to all testing provisions under the Drug and Alcohol Policy, including random drug and alcohol testing. The person selected for this position may be required to be tested prior to being awarded the job.

Pittsburgh Regional Transit offers a competitive compensation and benefits package including medical, dental, and vision. Transit Police Officers are eligible for a defined contribution plan which consists of two components: a 401(a) Money Purchase Plan and a 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. Tuition Reimbursement and comprehensive training opportunities are also available.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume https://careers.portauthority.org/ or directly to: Amy Giammanco

Pittsburgh Regional TransitEmployment Department 345 Sixth Avenue, 3rd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2527 agiammanco@rideprt.org EOE

To place a display ad in the New Pittsburgh Courier call 412-481-8302 ext. 128 To place a display ad in the New Pittsburgh Courier call 412-481-8302 ext. 128 LEGAL ADVERTISING Auction JOB OPPORTUNITIES Help Wanted CLASSIFIEDS NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER JANUARY 25-31, 2023 B7 COURIER CLASSIFIEDS COURIER CLASSIFIEDS
Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County (SEA) will receive proposals for Landscaping Services at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center as identified below. The contracts for this work will be with the Sports & Exhibition Authority. The Request for Proposals may be obtained after the date identified below from Lucas Kistler, Director of Facility Services, Email: lkistler@pittsburghcc.com, Telephone: 412.325.6179.
Bid Number Bid Name
1 B22-12-125A
2 B23-01-04A Meritor Drive Train Parts
To join the bid opening through Microsoft Teams meeting on your computer, mobile app or room device Meeting ID: 288 701 524 080
candace.coston@alcosan.org Attn: Candace Coston, Procurement Specialist

Ed Reed, Bethune-Cookman, and the plight of HBCUs

HBCU culture has always seemed grand on the outside. Homecoming Step Shows, Battle of the Bands, school pride, and all the glitz and glamor that we have seen on shows like “A Different World.” But recently, prominent NFL athletes Deion Sanders, Eddie George and Ed Reed have exposed the malfeasance of the administrators of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Misappropriation of funds and antiquated athletic facilities have always been a problem in most HBCUs; however, Reed ripped the lid off the real incompetence of these schools.

Last Sunday, Jan. 15, Reed, the Hall of Famer who starred with the Baltimore Ravens, went on a vulgar rant while riding a golf cart and spoke about how there was trash all over the Bethune-Cookman University athletic department. Furthermore, the school did not have his office clean when he arrived. As a result, the school had Reed’s contract to be the next head coach of the school rescinded.

In Reed’s defense, it takes about $20 to get a soap bucket, rags, and Windex to clean an office. Black Greek Letter Organizations are supposed to do community service on its campus to make

the experience better for students at-large by making sure the campus is presentable enough for Reed, but obviously, Bethune-Cookman just didn’t care.

The rift is between Reed and the athletic director. That athletic director is former NBA AllStar Reggie Theus, who also happens to be the men’s basketball coach for Bethune-Cookman. It

figures that they would clash because he was not only a former NBA player but a successful actor and broadcaster. However, he is not as successful as a coach as his college career college record at New Mexico State, Cal State Northridge and Bethune Cookman is 109162, and his career coaching record in the NBA is 44-62. Theus, as you would think, has a big ego mixed with an old-school personality that would not allow Reed to outshine him, especially if he made the changes to the program with donations from fellow Hall of Fame athletes Edgerrin James

and Shaquille O’Neal. My theory is that Theus may have sabotaged him, getting in the ear of Bethune Cookman interim president Dr. Lawrence M. Drake, who got his Ph.D. in media psychology, so when Reed went on his rant on Instagram, it made it all the easier to win the power struggle. I find it really funny that a contract would not be ratified for this long after Reed was announced as the head coach. It seems fishy, and here’s the kicker: Reed had 26 recruits waiting to commit to Bethune-Cookman on campus when he found out that he would not be coaching the team.

In my opinion, Bethune-Cookman is totally at fault here, and even if Reed went a little bit too far in his rant, he was correct. Not only about Bethune-Cookman but most other HBCUs, not only in athletic programs, but in student life in general. I have read reports that there had been mold, mice and roaches in dorm rooms and cafeterias on these campuses. And this was at Howard University, one of the most famous and most HBCUs in the world. A school that will gross over $300 million in revenue from student tuition and has over $900 million in endowments. How does this happen when you

have $1.2 billion in hand?

Now HBCUs are reaching for the next “celebrity coach” that will bring notoriety to bring revenue and eyes to its product to try to save its dying legacy. However, if administrators are doing corrupt things with the revenue and not helping the school, then why would they support it? Why would alumni donate? Tuition-paying college students should never be subjected to a disgusting

campus, terrible food, and other things that threaten their safety on its campus in trying to get an education.

College administrators from HBCUs, let me ask you a question: Who do Black celebrity athletes network with? Other Black celebrities, and if this trend keeps going then HBCUs will be all but extinct in 10 years, and they will have no one to blame but the “educated Blacks” that should be

the pillars of the Black communities. If these young men and women wanted to have this type of experience, they would have stayed in the hood with the Pookies and Ray-rays of the world. At least they would not have mold in their house, OR have their food cooked right. But for now, we just have to see if we as a people learn from this, so we can continue with the legacies of HBCUs.

Who should the Steelers keep? And who should get the boot?


Pittsburgh Regional Transit is seeking a Manager of Field Data to supervise the Service Development Associate (represented) positions and weekly work assignments. Ensures that all field data collection requirements for Federal and State auditing are met. Oversees the collection, computer entry, analysis, and monthly and annual summaries of field data related to transit service. Ensures all tasks have appropriate instructions and process guides for field assignments.

Essential Functions:


· Manages Service Development Associate personnel and work assignments in accordance with Collective Bargaining Agreement. Conducts quality assurance measures for collected data.

· Tasks of this group include Schedule pick document creation and support, F schedule development, field data collection and data entry for auditing of internal, state, and federal requirements, signage creation, deployment, and deconstruction, field surveying of passengers, observational data collection, office administrative support, assisting with the creation and accuracy of timetables and other public information.

· Aggregates, analyzes, and develops reports of various metrics related to the delivery of transit network services as collected by the SDA staff.

Job requirements include:

· Minimum of two (2) years of direct Supervisory experience, with demonstrated ability to manage multiple staff simultaneously.

· Minimum of five (5) years’ experience in transportation, customer service, business operations, information technology, or related field.

· Demonstrated ability in the use of Windows, Microsoft Word and Excel.

· Valid PA driver’s license must be obtained within 90 days of starting the position.

· Effective and professional communication skills.

· Effective data reporting or visualizing skills (creating graphs, tables, etc.)

· Strong organizational skills.

Preferred attributes:

· Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Accounting, Economics, Urban Planning or directly related field from an accredited school. Directly related experience may substitute for education on a yearfor-year basis.

· Experience in the field of public transit or multimodal transportation.

· Knowledge of Pittsburgh Regional Transit service areas and routes.

· Experience in operations, scheduling, or service planning. We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package. Interested candidates should forward a cover


As the NFL heads towards its conference championship weekend, the Steelers sit at home, two weeks into their offseason needing to begin to plan out their free agent priority list, specifically those that come from the current roster.

Who do they want to keep?

Who should they let walk?

Those are all questions they need to answer and ones I have answers for. The team has 18 unrestricted free agents pending, and here’s what they need to do with each one of them.

DT Larry Ogunjobi—I like Ogunjobi. I thought he played well and was a nice addition to the defense down the stretch. He had 48 total tackles on the year and was decent against the run. The team should try to re-up him to a two-year deal and either be a stop gap guy or a depth addition.

ILB Devin Bush—In a word: bye. He has to go. Bush may be the worst draft pick in Steelers history based on where they picked him and what he’s done for the team. He does have talent but he is awful in pass coverage and just can’t make a play in the run game consistently enough. He doesn’t want to be here and the Steelers don’t want him, either. He played a total of 10 snaps in his last two games, his last as a Steeler. He’ll sign elsewhere but will be out of the league in two years time.

CB Cameron Sutton— Sutton has been a very solid cornerback and while I don’t think he’s necessarily a number one corner, he is at a minimum a number two. He’s consistent, had 43 tackles, 15 passes broken up and three interceptions.

He came back to town on a team-friendly deal

two years ago and I don’t think the Steelers will be as lucky to get him at that rate again. That said, they need to sign him to a longer term extension as he’s still only 27. The team always has trouble developing corners; they did it with Sutton, they need to keep him. Give him a four-year deal.

FB Derek Watt—I like Watt and think he’s a good fullback. However, the Steelers just never used him right and he didn’t contribute enough on special teams to warrant his contract. I don’t see the team bringing him back and they shouldn’t.

QB Mason Rudolph— Rudolph is out of here. He doesn’t want to be here and the Steelers made it abundantly clear they don’t want him, either. I don’t think he ever got a fair shake and I think the team probably shouldn’t have signed Mitch Trubisky and let Rudolph play that role, but they didn’t. He only dressed for one game this season and he’ll be suiting up for someone else next year.

NT Tyson Alualu—Alualu was a good nose tackle for this team but he lost his way this past year. He’s in his mid 30s and his time in the league, let alone on the Steelers, may be done. Let him walk.

DT Chris Wormley— Wormley is a good, solid defensive tackle. His season-ending injury certainly complicates things but if the team can bring him back on a one- or twoyear deal, cheap, it would be worth it. He’s a veter-

an who provides leadership and he’s a good runstuffer.

WR Miles Boykin—Boykin had two receptions for 11 yards all season long.

With Calvin Austin expected to return and the team re-signing Anthony Miller already, Boykin will be gone, and should be.

ILB Marcus Allen—I think the team likes Allen. I don’t think he’s worth it. He makes stupid penalties at inopportune times and should have been cut in the middle of the season for it. I won’t even spend more time on it other than to say he should be let go.

ILB Robert Spillane— Spillane was elevated to starting inside linebacker by season’s end, largely because Bush is terrible, but Spillane played well enough to be brought back. I don’t like him as a starter but I do think he provides good depth at a position that truly needs it. Spillane should be offered a two-year deal to return and I think he will take that.

OLB Malik Reed—Reed had 25 tackles and one sack. He didn’t do much when T.J. Watt was out when he had his chance to sign. If the team decided they’d like to bring him back cheap on a oneor two-year deal, I think that would be fine, but if they let him walk, that’s fine, too. They can replace him with a vet or a rookie.

OL Jesse Davis—Who?


SS Terrell Edmunds— Edmunds may not be a splash player but he’s consistent. He’s been a starter for five years. He has the fundamentals and he’s a good, not great, piece in the secondary. I think he compliments Minkah Fitzpatrick well and while he only has five career interceptions, I think he can be brought

back rather cheaply. Give him a three-year deal for a few million per year and he’ll be back.

RB Benny Snell—I like Snell. He runs hard and has talent. He’s clearly number three on the depth chart at best, and while I think he could be brought back, the team can get a third guy for cheaper, so I believe they’ll let him walk and probably should.

TE Zach Gentry—Gentry is both a good blocking and receiving tight end. The Steelers ran a lot of two tight end sets this season and Gentry has value. I like him opposite Pat Friermuth and I think the team should bring him back on a short-term deal rather cheaply.

OT Trent Scott—Eh. The team needs offensive linemen; Scott isn’t one I’d bring back.

S Damontae Kazee—Kazee needs to come back. He provides depth and can make some splash plays. I don’t think he’s a starter but he’s a good guy to have and one I think the team will do what they can to re-sign.

SS Karl Joseph—Joseph found himself on IR this year and I think that will be it for him. He’ll be allowed to find a new team. These decisions will be made in the coming months and based on what happens, the Steelers will begin to pinpoint their April draft plans. I think the good news is, the Steelers could largely get away with losing every one of these guys and not be hurt too badly, but if they bring back the guys I suggest, Sutton being the main priority for me, with Edmunds being right behind him, I think they’ll be ready to add pieces through the draft that will make them a playoff contender in 2023.

letter (with salary requirements) and resume to:
AKumnik@RidePRT.org EOE
Employment Department 345 Sixth Avenue, 3rd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2527