Shootings as an ongoing epidemic and the ravaged lives it leaves in its wake, continues to be a festering, untreated, disease in the Hill District. Despite the fact that the Surgeon General has declared gun violence a public health issue, and Pittsburgh, like almost all American cities, continues to have an epidemic of gun violence in predominantly African American neighborhoods, there is no mention in the Health Department section of the 2016 Comprehensive Fiscal Plan proposed by County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald, of preventing gun violence. Homicide is the leading cause of death for African American men and boys 15-34 and that doesn’t even begin to describe the trauma, and mental health, economic, educational destruction it is wreaking. And. There. Is. No. Mention. Of. Preventing. Gun. Violence. However, this is what is in the budget.
- Allegheny County Jail-$75,933,931
- Shuman Center-$10,514,615
- Public Defender-$9,572,773
- Juvenile Court Placement-$32,787,748
The Health Department’s budget is $17,790,632. Ice Cube’s character Dough Boy said in “Boys in the Hood” –“Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.” Of course Dough Boy knew what the budget makes explicit, they don’t care. Our communities do, though, deeply, and that needs to show up in the budget.