The Pittsburgh mayoral election will be held tomorrow, and the result will be historic regardless of which of the leading candidates wins: either Ed Gainey will be the city’s first Black mayor, or Tony Moreno will be the first Republican mayor since the 1930s. The endorsements, campaign ads, and mailers have been out in full force, and now I’ve even seen discourse around the election spilling out into the spaces of the street.
I took the above photograph at the bus stop last week. There are several things worth noting about the handwritten flyer, some maybe more trivial than others. For instance, the fact that Moreno’s name seems to be spelled as “Marino.” More troubling are the racist rhetoric and tropes, including the closing allusion to Chicago. While we could debate just what is intended by the term “safe” another passerby has already contributed a more pressing question: “Who is THEY?”
The Post-Gazette asked the mayoral candidates to select supporters who exemplified their respective visions for a recent article. The themes that emerge across the supporters’ comments have to do with expectations of community engagement and a desire to upend the status quo. The city’s approach to policing is another prevalent topic which has remained salient since last years’ protest movement and the broader conversations they engendered. Meanwhile at the City Paper Tereneh Idia has penned an open letter to Pittsburgh’s next mayor asking the incoming administration to foreground the experiences of Black women in the city.