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 and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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