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Sept. 19-25 Explained: Election Lawsuits, PGH's Columbus Statue & PPS Policing Data

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Matt Rourke
/
AP

The coronavirus pandemic caused more than one million Pennsylvanians to vote by mail in the June primary, and state officials expect that number to roughly triple in November. With a little over a month until the election, the rules around voting by mail are still in flux, as several lawsuits make their way through the courts.

Police across the country have come under intense scrutiny in recent months. According to the National Institutes of Health, Black people continue to die at the hands of law enforcement at nearly three times the rate of white people, even though they’re less likely to be armed.

That scrutiny has also extended to schools, and many districts have severed ties with law enforcement. While Pittsburgh Public Schools currently has no plans to do so, the board of directors voted this week to begin gathering more data about arrests, in an effort to disrupt the “school to prison pipeline” that disproportionately affects Black students.

More than 5,000 people submitted comments to Pittsburgh’s Art Commission, about the Christopher Columbus statue in Schenley Park. Nearly two-thirds were in favor of removing it, and this week, the commission voted unanimously to do just that.

Helping explain the headlines:

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 of Pittsburgh Explainer and our Good Question! series. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community. kblackley@wesa.fm
Liz Reid oversees newsroom operations at WESA. She began working at WESA in 2013 as a general assignment reporter and weekend host. Since then, she’s worked as the Morning Edition producer, health & science reporter and as an editor. You can reach her at lreid@wesa.fm.