1 Jun

PCRG hosted its annual Membership Meeting during the 2018 Community Development Summit; serving nearly 700,000 people of southwestern Pennsylvania’s urban core, PCRG membership is comprised of over 55 member organizations consisting of community development corporations, community based organizations and various tier two service groups.  Kicking off the meeting, PCRG provided a brief overview of organizational progress, difficulties and additions to staff.  This year’s agenda also included Pittsburgh’s community development leaders gathering to celebrate their shared successes, and discuss current & ongoing neighborhood and statewide opportunities and challenges presented throughout the community and economic development field.  Finally, attendees contributed to the modification and ratification of the 2018-2019 policy/advocacy agenda.  Membership organizations participated in a workshop where they provided input ultimately shaping and activating policy advocacy priorities for PCRG moving forward.    Membership ratified popular topics such as:

  • Defending against escalating attacks on the Community Reinvestment Act, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, HMDA reporting requirements expansion
  • Enhancing member capacity through programs like AmeriCorps VISTA, the Reimagining Communities Initiative (RCI), and continual technical assistance & training
  • Advancing  zoning/policy changes to encourage siting of affordable housing near frequent transit, in proximity to opportunities
  • Advocating for infrastructure/amenity improvements that create mobility equity

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While revisiting the policy charge during the annual membership meeting, PCRG expresses its excitement surrounding advocacy efforts regarding the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP).

The NAP is crucial to the revitalization efforts in underserved communities throughout Pennsylvania. The raising of the spending cap means that libraries, food banks, economic development initiatives, affordable housing efforts, business and workforce development, and other renewal efforts can continue to create meaningful, lasting change in our communities.

This past April, House Bill (HB) 645, which raised the allocation of funds for NAP from $18 million to $36 million passed the House with overwhelming support (188 – 7).  A special thanks goes out to our members and partner organizations for every phone call, email, social media post, and face-to-face interaction that has generated support and awareness for program.

In the face of this success, we must remember that our work is not yet finished. The Senate has yet to act, and the Governor has been relatively silent. We must make that NAP is expanded this year. While they both need to hear from you, a strong message was sent that NAP matters to communities and the state.

In hosting these annual meetings, PCRG hopes to harvest the energy of community development leaders across the spectrum who to know how to smartly effect change, in every area that impacts our communities and their people.  Therefore, PCRG serves to break the cycle of triage management in an effort to create true wealth and opportunity for Pittsburgh communities city and countywide.

Alyssa Lyon

Manager of Community Outreach and Member Engagement at Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG)
Alyssa P. Lyon is currently a part time Master of Public Management Candidate (2017) at Heinz College housed at Carnegie Mellon University.She’s also a Pitt alumna having received a BA in Communications and Africana Studies from the University in 2012.Originally hailing from The Bronx, New York, Alyssa’s undying love for the city of Pittsburgh has influenced and guided her into community and economic development where she now focuses her efforts towards community organizing and urban planning.

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