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Sept. 13-19 Explained: $500 A Month, The Final Civil Saturdays & A Ruling Against Wolf

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
A young person rides down Fifth Avenue during the final Civil Saturdays demonstration on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020.

An extra $500 per month will soon arrive for 200 Pittsburgh households. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said the city will start to make the payments later this year as part of a universal income pilot program. The initiative is funded by philanthropic donors and will go to very low-income families with an emphasis on homes run by Black women.

Every weekend for nearly four months, activists with the group Black, Young, and Educated lead a series of protests dubbed Civil Saturdays. Hundreds if not thousands of Pittsburghers have participated in the demonstrations, which aimed to call attention to the state’s police use of force statute. The group recently stopped organizing, citing work, school and fatigue.

This week, a federal judge ruled that Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown orders and limits on in-person gatherings in response to the coronavirus pandemic were unconstitutional. Back in March, Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses to close and residents to stay home as much as possible. Butler County government, the main plaintiff in the case, said those restrictions violated the First and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and Judge William Stickman IV agreed.

Helping explain the headlines this week:

Pittsburgh Explainer is hosted by Liz Reid and produced by Katie Blackley. New episodes come out every Friday. Subscribe on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher and Spotify.

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community.