Pittsburgh: One of America’s New Laboratories of Democracy

Stephen Herzenberg |


My colleague Diana Polson brought my attention to Harold Meyerson’s new story in The American Prospect highlighting Pittsburgh as a city with exciting young progressive political leadership and labor-community alliances (e.g., Pittsburgh United). Pittsburgh deserves the credit as do councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, Mayor Peduto, and SEIU 32BJ, which received shout outs in the story.

Meyerson does not have the space to go into everything that’s going on in “The Steel…” I mean “The Eds and Meds City” such as

Put together these initiatives and Meyerson’s examples and you sense that inequality isn’t inevitable—we can get back to shared prosperity. As Meyerson concludes, Pittsburgh and other “…new urban regimes are seeking to diminish the inequality so apparent in cities and so pervasive nationwide. They are mapping the future of liberalism until the day when the national government can bring it to scale.” Or to paraphrase Justice Brandeis, today Pittsburgh is one of America’s laboratories of democracy.