Ellis junior Mary Almah Davis used her voice to advocate on behalf of East Liberty residents at a Pittsburgh City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 7. Alongside other local students on the 25-member Youth Participatory Budget Council, Mary Almah presented a plan to fight gentrification throughout Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods.
The group proposed that $125,000 of the city’s 2020 capital budget be put into a community land trust to keep at least one home in the city at an affordable price. During their 20-minute presentation, Mary Almah was one of four student representatives who sat at the council table citing study findings and figures, highlighting the city-convened Affordable Housing Task Force.
The Youth Participatory Budget Council, run by Councilman Corey O’Connor’s office, has been meeting since summer to discuss issues that face the city and is charged with coming up with a proposal for spending a small portion of the city budget, set at $125,000. City Council will ultimately have the option of adopting or ignoring the group’s proposal.
Mary Almah embodies how Ellis girls grow remarkable confidence in themselves and their beliefs, develop strong voices to speak up for others, and bring about positive change in their communities.