The Issues


Economic development is great, but not if it doesn’t benefit the residents of the community in which it is occurring. The Hazelwood Green is a unique opportunity for growth in District 5, and the current residents need to be at the center of that growth. As City Councilperson, I will work with local community organizations such as the Hazelwood Initiative to promote homeownership, job creation, historical preservation and other infrastructure requirements to make sure current Hazelwood residents thrive from a changing neighborhood.

Environment & Labor

I am a firm believer that we can have both clean air and water and good union jobs, and that we are stronger when striving for both of those goals at the same time. A proud union advocate and environmentalist, I stand against those who try to divide these groups. As Councilperson, I plan to enforce clean construction legislation, which requires all county government construction projects that cost $2.5 million or more to use diesel emission control strategies on construction vehicles. I will also work closely with other council members to continue environmentally friendly policies such as lead reduction, implementing low-cost air quality monitors, and the reduction of single-use plastic bags. A strong public transit supporter, I also plan to continue the great work being done on bike safety and bus accessibility, and making sure that all jobs created in the environmental sector work with unions to promote union activity within that space. I also pledge to stand against any union-busting activities perpetuated by corporations or employers attempting to exploit Pittsburgh’s workers and work with local unions to promote maximum union membership in District 5 and in our great union town.

Women’s and LGBTQ Equality

As a queer woman, I know that Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ residents are the beating heart of our communities. As Councilperson, I will fight tirelessly against the wave of transgender discrimination sweeping our country and work with community organizations to promote equality and access to jobs, housing, and resources to all LGBTQ residents. I have also seen first-hand how seemingly gender-blind policy can disproportionately affect women. Everyday infrastructure concerns like broken sidewalks or a lack of ramps can present women – who are statistically more likely to be disabled, pregnant, or with small children – with undue burdens on their daily lives. As a Councilperson, I pledge to view all policy through the lens of gender and sexuality and make sure that all policy options are responsive to these identities.

Public Safety

The current conditions of the Allegheny County Jail are a threat to community safety in Pittsburgh. As Councilperson, I will work to limit the number of people subjected to those conditions, while also working to improve oversight of such facilities and make necessary improvements and bolster accountability. Other American cities have found success piloting 311 police diversion programs that allow residents to call non-emergency services on community disturbances that can allow the perpetrators to connect with community resources such as mental health or substance abuse services, rather than calling police to simply throw them in jail. As Councilperson I will advocate for such community-oriented solutions, as well as other resources to get residents the help they need. Additionally, I plan to improve community and government oversight of police to improve transparency and accountability and make sure the police are working to protect our community, not harm it.

Racial Equity

A few statistics from Pittsburgh’s 2019 Gender Equity Report:

  • Pittsburgh’s Black fetal mortality is higher than Black fetal mortality in 94 percent of similar cities.
  • Pittsburgh’s Black maternal mortality rate is higher than Black mortality rates in 97 percent of similar cities.
  • Black adult mortality rates are higher than 98% of similar cities.

This is a failure of policy. This is a failure to distribute resources fairly that spans across sectors. When I talk about the environment, it’s not just to leave a cleaner future for our children, it’s to address that unsafe water and air pollution occurs disproportionately in Black communities. When I talk about labor, it’s not just because everyone deserves good union jobs, but also because a lack of good jobs leads to a lack of treatment options when it comes to healthcare, and 85% of similar cities have higher levels of Black employment than Pittsburgh. Across all of the above issues, and all of my work, I plan to center racial equity to close the gaps across sectors that disadvantage our Black communities. Culturally-responsive policy is more than just diversity – it’s addressing the root causes that disadvantage our Black residents, and I plan to make that an explicit priority in leading District 5.


Learn more about Lita’s plans, values, and visions by reading all of her questionnaires here.