The Rev. Ricky Burgess today announce he is donating all of his City Council district's discretionary funds to a philanthropic agency founded by African Americans.
Councilman Burgess, who represents his Homewood neighborhood and other eastern communities, announced at a press conference today that $146,000 is being given toward a "Hope Fund" to be administered by the POISE Foundation. (P-G, Jim McKinnon)
Wait -- how will he be able to buy votes?
"For more than 27 years, the POISE Foundation has been supporting programs that add value to the quality of life of black Pittsburgh and the region as a whole," the Rev. Burgess said at the press conference.
"To our knowledge, this is the first time this has ever occurred. I'm excited about the possibilities and what it can mean for this community."
We suppose one could take shots at the POISE Foundation. Is it as reputable as the Rev. is making it out to be?
He said he will introduce legislation in council tomorrow to establish the Hope Fund with the leftover discretionary money from District 9's Neighborhood Needs Account. The $146,000 is what remains of a $1 million allocation 12 years ago by former Mayor Tom Murphy to each council district.
Each council district also gets $75,000 a year in Community Development Block Grants. The Rev. Burgess said his district's annual $75,000 allocation will be given to the Hope Fund.
If only all the city's CDBG money was apportioned so non-politically. The URA derives a great deal of its funding from CDBG grants, and the correlation between "neighborhood needs" and "URA board member needs" do not always perfectly overlap.