Patricia A. O'Malley
Social Policy & Programs Consulting ~ Community Matters
P.O. Box 97803 ~ Pittsburgh, PA 15227 ~ 412-310-4886 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright Patricia A. O'Malley ~ All rights reserved
Brentwood Community Celebration Was a Great Success
But the town has one major flaw.
May 26, 2017
Last weekend, I attended an event in Brentwood PA, my home community. Billed as We're All Neighbors: A Multicultural Community Celebration, it was hosted by the Baldwin, Brentwood, and Whitehall public libraries. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope it becomes an annual event. But one thing was noticeably absent.
The celebration included music, dancing, food, fashions, art, stories, games, and languages from the Latina, Bhutanese, Nepali, African, Irish, Scottish, and Polish communities in the area. The U.S. Customs and Immigration Service and Allegheny County Immigrant Services and Connections also attended. People of all ages, faiths, cultures, and nationalities shared smiles and fun throughout the day, which ended with many children chicken dancing to Polish accordion music.
Brentwood is a small suburb, bordering Pittsburgh. It’s about one square
mile with about 10,000 residents. Due to the murder of a young black man by police in
1995, and a few other widely-publicized racial incidents, it has a reputation for being a
violent, racist town. That’s not accurate.
I’ve lived here for 25 years. It has all of the good, and bad, qualities of a small town – in 1950s Mississippi. It’s much more diverse than it used to be, but it is still mostly white. We have our share of racists, as all communities do, but they are the minority. Most of the people are honest, decent, and kind. The local power structure is the exception to that rule.
It was the kind of event that most politicians attend so they can be seen shaking hands and conversing with their neighbors. But ours didn’t show up. I couldn’t find Mayor Dennis Troy or any of the seven council members. I didn’t take the time to look under all of the rocks, but then, we were better off without them.
In 2011, I saw two Brentwood cops committing felonies in the middle of the street, in the middle of the night, in front of my house. The borough establishment is covering them up. They falsified borough council meeting minutes. When I reported the crimes, the cops retaliated against me. They ignored that too. I gave all of the information to Troy when he was elected; he promised to “look into it”. He lied.
They never investigated any of it. That’s conspiracy. And it’s a crime.
I'm not the only resident with this type of experience. And I know they’ll continue ignoring me, because they have no common decency. They’re all too busy contriving honors for our criminal cops to bother with genuine community events. Meanwhile, the town is declining in population, economy, and quality. Brentwood could be so much more than it is, but their arrogance, ignorance, and xenophobia keeps Brentwood in the 1950s. We need new, diverse blood in borough government.
I hope that some of the great people I met on Saturday will one day run for Brentwood council, school board, or mayor. I’d love to have some decent choices in local elections. For 20 years, I’ve been writing in “None of the Above” or “Jonny Gammage”. Yeah, guys. That’s me.
But I’ll keep living here because I like my neighbors, and it’s easy to avoid public officials who shun public events.
For More Information
Death of Jonny Gammage
Brentwood Officials are Still Covering Up Police Crimes
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Training and Services for agencies working toward social and economic justice