Wilkinsburg Focus Group 2020
Engaging in conversation to identify the issues facing Wilkinsburg and to become part of the solution.
Focusing on the Future
Spring of 2020, the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation (WCDC) invited 350 Wilkinsburg stakeholders to participate in a visioning process from June to August 2020. Because large community gatherings could not be held during COVID-19, participants engaged in a series of surveys and zoom conferences to replicate the community meeting process. An executive summary and complete report are available below.
The Wilkinsburg Focus Group 2020
The Focus Group was facilitated by Ellen Ruddock, who was also the facilitator for the WCDC’s original Wilkinsburg Focus Group held in 2006 and Jordan Pallitto from The Hill Group. Over a hundred individuals were a part of the conversation to identify and increase awareness of the issues facing Wilkinsburg and to become part of the solution.
During the sessions participants agreed that Wilkinsburg has distinct strengths of:
- Community Ties
- Friendly and Positive People
- Prominent Churches
- Existing Racial and Economic Diversity
Despite Wilkinsburg’s tremendous progress, the group identified a number of challenges including:
- High Property Taxes
- Vacant Property and Blight
- The Visible State of the Business District
- Perceptions of Crime
- School District Performance
- Resistance to Change
The group also shared a vision for the future of Wilkinsburg as:
A regional destination that is diverse and welcoming for all with a vibrant business district, and visibly strong neighborhoods.
Participation and Next Steps
In order to bring about change in the community they love, participants volunteered to join existing committees and have formed two new committees: the Strong Neighborhoods Committee, focused on addressing vacancy and blight, and the Merger Analysis Committee, exploring the civic, economic, and cultural impacts of potentially merging the Borough of Wilkinsburg with the City of Pittsburgh. To participate in the final phase of the focus group, we invite you to share your thoughts, experiences, feelings and ideas on Wilkinsburg by filling out the survey below, or by joining the Strong Neighborhoods Committee or one of our other committees today!