Survey to understand how welcoming and inclusive Lawrenceville is

Lawrenceville United has recently contracted with Just Collaboration to help us develop goals and hold us accountable to our values of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Please read our purpose statement for why we’re doing this work here. As the first part of this multi-year effort, we’re engaging our membership and the larger Lawrenceville community through a survey to understand how welcoming and inclusive the neighborhood is. If you are a resident, we invite you to complete the brief survey below about your experiences living in Lawrenceville by April 12, 2018. You can also follow a link here. Paper copies of the survey will also be available at our office (inside Goodwill of Southwestern PA’s Workforce Development Center at 118 52nd Street), at Block Watches in March, and at the following locations: 52nd Street Market, Lawrenceville Family Care Connection, Espresso a Mano, Stephen Foster Community Center, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Lawrenceville branch).

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LU Statement on Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

Lawrenceville United has recently contracted with Just Collaboration to help us develop goals and hold us accountable to our values of diversity, inclusion, and equity. As the first part of this multi-year effort, we are engaging our membership and the larger Lawrenceville community and collecting feedback through a survey. Please read our purpose statement for why we’re doing this work below:


As an inclusive, non-profit organization whose mission is to improve and protect quality of life for all Lawrenceville residents, Lawrenceville United must face the many ways that our city, our community, and our organization have failed to build opportunities for all.


We acknowledge that while Lawrenceville receives accolades as one of the “coolest neighborhoods in America” and a “poster child for urban renewal,” many residents have not benefited from reinvestment in Lawrenceville. Many residents have been displaced, disproportionately affecting residents of color. Poverty continues to affect our neighborhood residents and we must address these disparities if we are to make our community a more equitable place.


 We acknowledge the history of institutional racism within our country and our community, and its continued existence today.


We recognize that Lawrenceville has been, and continues to be, a neighborhood of residents with diverse cultural, economic, and racial backgrounds that are integral to our community and have contributed much to its well-being, often without proper recognition and attention.


We face the fact that our organization has not been adequately representative or inclusive of this diversity in its Board, staff, and membership, especially residents of color. We further acknowledge that historically Lawrenceville United has perpetuated and failed to address racial disparities and discrimination.


Consistent with our newly adopted organizational values, we commit to working intentionally to eliminate these disparities and to actively build a more inclusive organization and neighborhood, where all residents are welcome, valued, and have access to opportunity. We commit to beginning this work with a specific focus on racial inequity, for the reasons described above; we recognize that there are many different forms of discrimination that affect Lawrenceville residents and we approach this work as part of our larger commitment to remove barriers to opportunity in all their many forms. Over the next two years we are undertaking a multi-year initiative to build a more diverse and inclusive organization. We ask that you join us in this work, support us in these efforts, and continue to hold us accountable.

Update on Lawrenceville Nomination to the National Registry of Historic Places

Representatives from Michael Baker International, the City of Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office attended the 10th Ward Block Watch on 2/13/2018 to provide an update on efforts to nominate Lawrenceville to the National Registry of Historic Places through the National Park Service. For more information, please see the presentation below. Presentations will also be provided at the 9th Ward Block Watch on 2/20/2018 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Lyceum, and at the 6th Ward Block Watch on 2/26/2018 at 7 p.m. at St. Augustine’s Church, Lower Room.

Notes from 12/07/2017 Community Meeting on Washington VoTech Building

Lawrenceville United facilitated a community meeting on Thursday 12/7/2017 with Josh Aderholt of Century Equities to provide an update on construction at the former Washington VoTech. Please see below for meeting notes and an updated site plan/renderings:

This community meeting was focused on construction and its potential impacts on the residential community. In 2015, a community process was held about this project in advance of their zoning process. More information on this process is available at or below:


Now hiring: Community Organizer for PEP Rally

Announcement of Open Position

Community Organizer


Lawrenceville United is seeking a highly passionate, productive, strategic individual to join our team of dedicated community advocates and professionals to staff the PEP Rally program, which works with families and community partners to strengthen and support Lawrenceville’s neighborhood public schools.


About Lawrenceville United

Lawrenceville United (LU) is an inclusive, resident-driven community-based non-profit organization that works to improve and protect the quality of life of all Lawrenceville residents and stakeholders. LU envisions a safe, clean, green, healthy and diverse community where residents work together to shape the neighborhood’s future, while honoring Lawrenceville’s past. For more information on LU, please visit

Summary of Position

The community organizer position is responsible for leading all aspects of the PEP Rally program, which began in 2013 as a pilot program and has since grown to be a key program of Lawrenceville United, in collaboration with school leaders and other community partners. PEP Rally aims to support and strengthen target neighborhood public schools by engaging parents as agents of positive change within the schools and community, and by facilitating partnerships to fuel community-supported initiatives that address student, school, family, and community needs. Goals of the program include:

  1. Build meaningful parent engagement at target schools.
  2. Create conditions within schools and the community to retain and attract families by fostering community-supported initiatives.
  3. Educate families on the school choices and resources available, guiding parents through the navigation process, and building collective trust in the neighborhood schools.
  4. Develop leadership of families to share in decision making and affect positive change in Pittsburgh Public Schools and in the community.

This position requires a learning mindset, outstanding relationship-building abilities, and a strong generalist skill set. The ideal candidate has high energy, time management skills, patience, listening skills, and experience working with diverse communities and managing partnerships. To achieve program outcomes, the community organizer works closely with LU staff, school staff, community organizations and partners, and families.


Reporting Relationship

The community organizer reports to and is evaluated by the Executive Director of Lawrenceville United.


Essential Functions

Community Organizing:

  • Building and managing an engaged base of parent and community stakeholders and  members by building relationships with individuals in the community, engaging and recruiting parents and community members to serve as leaders, and to participate in events, projects, and campaigns.
  • Initiating and leading project: strategic thinking and planning, issue identification, coalition building, building mobilization plan with community contacts and leaders, mobilizing parents and community members, identifying recommendations for moving forward


Community Engagement:

  • Delivering information to the community that is accurate, grounded in data, and easy to understand
  • Being familiar and able to discuss current community and educational issues
  • Recruiting community members to participate in projects in meaningful ways
  • Facilitating conversations with, and presenting to, community groups and families
  • Developing and maintaining community relationships and partnerships to achieve outcomes
  • Engaging with school staff and administrators to build meaningful engagement with the community and supporting school initiatives



  • Completing monthly reports and timesheets
  • Updating contacts and records regularly in LU database
  • Participating in the development and execution of other complimentary community programs
  • Managing budgets
  • Reporting on outcomes and completing grant updates
  • Other duties as required to support LU’s mission



  • Managing and coaching three part-time parents to lead campaign focused on improving school climate and educational equity
  • Program management of specific projects (e.g. after school and community programs)
  • Overseeing interns and volunteers



  • A bachelor’s degree or at least three years of relevant experience
  • Track record of leadership
  • Experience working with diverse populations and underserved groups
  • A passion for educational equity and social justice
  • Successful experience working with groups through processes such as facilitation and consensus building
  • A comfort level with being in the spotlight, but not having the spotlight be about them; rather it being about the larger education issues and relevant concerns
  • A respect for and comfort level with rigorous and healthy debate about issues
  • A desire to continually learn, and an ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to work flexible schedule



  • Demonstrated organizational skills with project management
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships with diverse populations
  • Analysis and synthesis skills, including the ability to collect information, determine key objectives, and act strategically and decisively
  • Excellent communication skills, including verbal, written and public speaking
  • Coalition building skills, including the ability to motivate, negotiate, and persuade stakeholders into a course of action
  • Demonstrated skills in community organizing such as identifying actionable issues within a larger problem, building the leadership of others, mobilizing groups of people and choosing when to follow
  • Experience working with (or ability to learn) Microsoft Office suite, social media, SalesForce, Google Drive.
  • Foreign language skills and knowledge of Pittsburgh educational landscape preferred


A starting salary of $40,000-45,000 (commensurate with experience) and full benefits package will be provided. LU is an equal opportunity employer, committed to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. Qualified individuals who bring diverse perspectives and represent marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply.


Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to Dave Breingan at by December 29, 2017. Please use your cover letter to describe what aspects of the job interest you most.

Joint Comments from LU and LC on Draft Operating Permit for McConway and Torley

Joint Comments from Lawrenceville United and Lawrenceville Corporation

Regarding Draft Operating Permit for McConway and Torley

On behalf of Lawrenceville United and Lawrenceville Corporation, thank you for the opportunity to provide comments to the draft operating permit for McConway and Torley. Lawrenceville United’s (LU) mission is to improve and protect the quality of life for all Lawrenceville residents. Lawrenceville Corporation (LC) serves as the catalyst and conduit for responsible growth and reinvestment in the Lawrenceville community.

Since around the time of Allegheny County Health Department’s 2015 draft operating permit for McConway and Torley, LU and LC have organized a number of community meetings related to the steel foundry and the air quality permit process. We thank the Health Department for working with us to provide presentations to the community about the details of this draft operating permit. Special thanks is owed to David Good and JoAnn Truchan for making time to come out to multiple community meetings.

Based on the feedback we’ve received from residents and stakeholders throughout this community process, LU and LC respectfully request the following from the Health Department:

  1. Fence-line monitoring should continue and be a requirement of the final operating permit. Residents have every right to be concerned about emissions of toxic metals into a dense residential neighborhood, based on the documented health risks associated with these pollutants. Over the course of the fence-line monitoring timeline, the general trend of the monitored results has been a decrease in the average concentrations, which is reassuring. However, of stationary air pollution sources in Allegheny County, McConway and Torley was still the 5th largest source of manganese emissions in 2016, and the 8th largest source of chromium emissions, according to the DEP. Furthermore, the monitor continues to show spikes in manganese levels on certain days well above the 12-month average. The monitor also showed a significant and sustained year-long increase in chromium levels between March 2016 and April 2017, more than tripling the 12-month average. It doesn’t appear that analysis has been done by the Health Department on the potential causes of this variability, or on comparing spikes in emissions to production levels at McConway and Torley. Additionally, residents have expressed concerns about the monitor’s location with respect to prevailing winds, as well as questions about how representative the monitor’s results are, since it only runs 1/3 of the time and on a regular schedule that can be easily anticipated. In the interest of protecting the health of residents and providing transparency to the community, the Health Department should at minimum require the continuation of the fence-line monitor as part of the operating permit for McConway and Torley until these questions can be adequately answered by the Health Department.
  2. Emissions testing in the operating permit should be more frequent than every five years. Again, given the foundry’s location within a dense residential community and the known health risks of the pollutants involved, it is entirely reasonable for the Lawrenceville community to want timely and transparent access to reliable emissions testing results. Requiring emissions testing only every five years is too infrequent for the community to have confidence that the terms of the operating permit are being met. The Health Department should require emissions testing on a more frequent basis as part of the operating permit.
  3. Odor complaints need to be addressed. While the draft operating permit prohibits McConway and Torley from emitting malodors beyond its property line, we are concerned about the Health Department’s history of enforcing this. According to data from the Smell Pittsburgh app, 15201 had the 7th highest number of smell complaints out of 85 zip codes last year – 316 total complaints. 58 of those complaints specifically mention McConway and Torley, and the vast majority (86%) of those complaints were marked “definitely noticeable”, “it’s getting pretty bad”, or “about as bad as it gets.” 91 additional smell complaints noted an “industrial” smell or specifically mentioned “foundry.” LU has received reports from nearby residents noting that in addition to the smell, residents have experienced a bad taste from the air and stinging/watering of the eyes. Despite the quantity and intensity of these complaints, the Health Department reports that no notices of violation have been issued to McConway and Torley regarding odors, and it appears that no analysis has been done to compare odor complaints to the foundry’s production levels. Consequently, LU and LC implore the Health Department to mandate better odor control technology as part of this permit, or else to better investigate and enforce the complaints it receives; otherwise, the site level condition around odor emissions is meaningless.
  4. More communication and study is needed by the Health Department on the potential health effects of air pollutants to Lawrenceville residents. We know that Allegheny County is home to some of the worst air quality in the nation, that poor air quality creates significant health risks (particularly for more vulnerable populations), and that industrial sources are one of the largest contributors to local particle pollution in the County. Residents have reasonably asked the Health Department for more information and analysis on incident rates within the Lawrenceville neighborhood of health risks associated with the pollutants that McConway and Torley emits. Despite these requests, no communication from the Health Department’s epidemiology team has been received, and the Health Department declined Lawrenceville United’s request to extend the public comment period to provide time for residents to hear from a medical expert at the Health Department and have their questions answered. The Health Department should not have this disconnect between its air quality permitting and epidemiology programs. The potential health effects of air pollutant emissions should be central to the permitting process. Residents want to understand how the Health Department not only applies federal regulatory standards through its air quality permits, but is actively working to improve the air quality of the County. Lawrenceville is home to over 10,000 residents, including significant populations of older adults, children, and individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds, who are placed at greater risk by pollutants and poor air quality. The community deserves further study by the Health Department to understand how Lawrenceville residents—particularly the most vulnerable—may be affected by air quality. Cancer rates among adults in Central Lawrenceville exceed city averages by considerable margins, and residents have asked for further inquiry.

In closing, we ask that these requests be reflected in the final operating permit for McConway and Torley. We believe that these requests not only protect the health and quality of life of Lawrenceville residents, but would also serve to strengthen the ongoing relationship between McConway and Torley and the residential neighborhood.

Thank you for your consideration and for the Health Department’s engagement throughout this process. We look forward to receiving correspondence on these matters.




David Breingan                                                           Matt Galluzzo

Executive Director                                                      Executive Director

Lawrenceville United                                                 Lawrenceville Corporation

118 52nd Street, Suite 2026                                       100 43rd Street, Suite 106

Pittsburgh, PA 15201                                                  Pittsburgh, PA 15201

(412) 802-7220                                                           (412) 621-1616                                           

Notes from Community Meeting on McConway and Torley’s Draft Operating Permit

A new draft operating permit has been issued by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) for McConway and Torley, a steel foundry in Central Lawrenceville. The public comment period began on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 and ends on Monday, December 4th.

On November 16th, Lawrenceville United and Lawrenceville Corporation hosted a community meeting with ACHD to provide information on the specifics of the draft operating permit. Please see below for meeting notes and the presentations from ACHD and Lawrenceville United:

For a quick 1-page summary of the draft operating permit and the community meeting, please also check out this summary document that LU compiled with key information.

For additional information about the air quality permit and the public process, please see below:

How can the community have a voice in this process? ACHD is currently accepting comments from the public through December 4, 2017 in one of the following ways

  1. Speak at the public hearing on Monday 12/4 at 6 p.m. at Arsenal Middle School (220 40th Street). Must register with Karen Sagel at 412-578-8115 no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, 12/1.
  2. Email to
  3. Mail to 301 39th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

If you want help preparing your testimony/comments, PennEnvironment has offered to be a resource. Contact Zach Barber at 412-521-0943 or

Lawrenceville United also encourages residents to reach out to us with comments or questions at 412-802-7220 or

McConway and Torley Draft Operating Permit

A new draft operating permit has been issued by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) for McConway and Torley, a steel foundry in Central Lawrenceville. The public comment period begins on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 and ends on Monday, December 4th. Please join us for an important community meeting with ACHD about this permit on Thursday, November 16th at 6:30 p.m. at Pittsburgh Arsenal 6-8 (220 40th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201). For more information about the air quality permit and the public process, please see below:

  • Draft operating permit, technical support document, and test results summary and evaluation
  • Recap from community meeting with ACHD in October 2017 on the air quality permit process
  • A public hearing will be held by ACHD on Monday, December 4th, 6 p.m. at Pittsburgh Arsenal 6-8 (220 40th Street). Testimony can be provided then.
  • ACHD is also accepting written testimony on the draft operating permit now through December 4th by emailing