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 an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered everything from Lula & the Brazilian labor movement to major league baseball. He spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian and was labeled by the New York Times as an "abrasive gadfly" for exposing within the labor movement. Raised in a UE union family in Pittsburgh, Elk was illegally for union organizing at Politico in 2015 and used his NLRB settlement to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and is fluent in both Pittsburghese and Portuguese, which he learned when attending journalism school at PUC-Rio de Janerio. Email: [email protected]

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