Board Candidate Bio for Emily Howe (2024)

/ Board Candidate Bio for Emily Howe (2024)

Name: Emily Howe

Neighborhood: Upper Lawrenceville (10th Ward)

What years have you lived in Lawrenceville? 2018-current

Why did you move to Lawrenceville? I bought a home in the 10th ward/Upper Lawrenceville thanks to City of Bridges CLT

Current job title (if employed): Manager of Special Projects and Research at the PA State System of Higher Ed

Why do you want to be on the LU Board? What would you like to work on within the neighborhood? I’m excited to continue LU’s work of developing community and systems of support between residents. There’s so much great work that LU does in providing services for existing residents (e.g., mutual aid, home repairs), building community power, and advocating for more equitable policies both locally and city-wide. One major struggle is that Lawrenceville has experienced extreme displacement of low-income residents, long-term residents, and residents of color. I had the great luck and opportunity to be a homeowner in Lawrenceville because of the City of Bridges land trust, so I want to pay it forward and make Lawrenceville a neighborhood where people of all backgrounds and incomes are valued and can thrive.

Volunteer, Non-Profit, or Board Experience: LU volunteer (2020-current); LU Board Member (2022-current); Homeowner Board Member of City of Bridges Land Trust (2020-current); Research committee volunteer with Pittsburghers for Public Transit (June 2021-current); Volunteer ESL tutor with Literacy Pittsburgh (2019-2022)

What makes Lawrenceville unique? Why? Lawrenceville has a rich history and complicated present. Until recently, it was an affordable working class neighborhood. Now, it is *the* story of gentrification and displacement in Pittsburgh. Home and rental prices continue to rise; many long-term residents have been displaced because of it. Because of this, Lawrenceville community orgs like LU organize to support low-income residents and promote policies that support affordable housing. To me, the community organizing to try to address and repair the harms of gentrification makes Lawrenceville unique and an important model for the rest of the city as home prices and displacement continues to rise across more and more neighborhoods. I’m excited to continue the strategic planning that LU has been engaging in to strategize how LU can continue to lead and support local organizing and advocacy to promote more accessibility and equity, both in Lawrenceville and across the city.

One of LU’s core values is equity and the organization has recently embraced anti-oppression trainings to support our work in this area. What’s one idea you have for how LU should live out its commitment to equity? I think allocating program resources (time, money, people, etc.) in a way that addresses the expressed needs and desires of historically marginalized residents is one key way to exemplify a commitment to equity. This is easier said than done of course, and will also require exerting time, effort, and money to support developing relationships and the trust necessary to do collaborative planning and decision-making. This work should also empower and support individuals and groups to take on future leadership roles. I also think being explicit about accountability systems for different projects and programs is really important–asking how will we know if this program/project lived out our values? How will we know if we had a meaningful positive impact for historically marginalized groups?–and then creating and using measures to assess that, whether quantitative or qualitative.

How are you involved in the Lawrenceville community? I’ve been a part of the City of Bridges Community Land Trust since 2018 (which used to be part of Lawrenceville Corporation). I began volunteering with LU in 2020 with the Friday food distributions and also participated in organizing related to the proposed Amazon distribution center. I’ve served on the City of Bridges Board since 2021 and the LU Board since 2022.

What would you bring to the LU Board (e.g. experience, skills, perspective, network, etc.)? I have a lot of experience in education, research, and project planning. I was a public school teacher in NYC for 5 years and then came to Pittsburgh in 2016 to get a doctorate in learning sciences and policy from Pitt. I currently do applied research, project management, and event planning for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in PA’s State System of Higher Ed. I’m passionate about building relationships and coalitions to ensure public services and institutions are responsive and accountable to the public.

What’s one fun fact that others might be surprised to know about you? My favorite MarioKart driver is Wario and I’m really good at running backwards.