Fragmented local government a challenge in addressing pockets of high child poverty in Allegheny County

Kate Giammarise | Wednesday, January 16, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Allegheny County’s patchwork of highly fragmented municipal governments, combined with a reliance on local property taxes for services, is an obstacle to tackling concentrated pockets of high child poverty and need, officials said this week.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week launched a series, Growing up through the Cracks, focused on how poverty impacts children, families and communities. There are seven Allegheny County municipalities in which half or more of the children live in poverty: North Braddock, Mount Oliver, Rankin, Duquesne, McKeesport, Clairton and Wilmerding.

“You’ve got real haves and have nots in this county,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald in a December interview, after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette presented him with the data used as the basis for Growing up through the Cracks, a series which started this week.

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