Squirrel Hill: Mr Rogers’ neighborhood comes together to mourn

Members of the Squirrel Hill community come together for a student-organized candle-light vigil. (Photograph: Dustin Franz/AFP/Getty Images)

Writing a dispatch for the Guardian, Mike Elk looks at Squirrel Hill, a neighborhood, where he grew up:

“We gotta make this moment about how to organize people,” said Smalls, a Greek American who grew up in the neighborhood and is married to a Jewish woman. “I don’t think this is a leftwing or rightwing thing. I think it’s about the gap between the rich and poor is getting wider and wider and people are pissed and looking for people to point the finger at.”

Small’s neighbor Judy Chang, whose kids attend school with his kids, called across the street. She came to give him a hug.

“The neighborhood is really close-knit and when you live here, you go to the same restaurant and the same stores and everybody gets to know one another, everybody knows who their kids are,” said Chang, a Californian who moved here 17 years ago.

She struggled to hold back tears. “Knowing how this is impacting the whole neighborhood, I just wanted to go by and see if everybody was OK,” she said.


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is the founder of Payday Report and also covers labor and immigration for The Guardian. In 2015, he was illegally fired for union organizing as Politico’s senior labor reporter and used his $70,000 NLRB settlement to start Payday. The son of United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and has dinner with his folks regularly. He can be reached at Melk@PaydayReport.com A Sidney Award winner and proud graduate of Woodland Hills, Elk lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh.

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