Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Protest Organizers Worry Their Message Is Getting Lost

Margaret J. Krauss
90.5 WESA
People hold their hands up while gathering outside of Eastminster Presbyterian Church in East Liberty for a prayer vigil Sunday, May 31, 2020.


On today's program: While protests continue across the country, organizers worry some may be losing sight of the goal; how Pennsylvania chooses to reopen could sway voters in the next election; and voters get ready for Pennsylvania’s primary elections today. 

Pittsburgh organizers urge focus on police brutality as protests continue
(00:00 — 4:59)

City of Pittsburgh officials have imposed another overnight curfew after a protest that began peacefully in East Liberty Monday evening ended with a confrontation between police and a splinter group of some protesters. Police arrested at least 20 individuals.


Marches have been held across the country over the past week in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolis policeman used his knee to pin Floyd by the neck to the pavement.

In Pittsburgh, a protest against police misconduct toward African Americans turned violent on Saturday, and as 90.5 WESA’sMargaret J. Krauss reports,organizers worry the public at large will lose sight of why marchers took to the streets.

Could reopening the economy impact voter’s ballot box decisions?
(5:12 — 9:44)

Reopening the economy has become a polarizing issue in Pennsylvania and across the country. How elected leaders handle the task could sway voters’ decisions at the ballot box in November.

As part of theSplit Ticket series, 90.5 WESA’sLucy Perkinsasked four western Pennsylvania voters about how they view reopening strategies, and she reports they’re divided on what’s best for the country.

On election day, a preview of what’s to come
(9:56 — 17:59)

Five weeks after primaries were originally scheduled to take place, Pennsylvania voters will finally get a chance to go to the polls—or at least cast their ballots for the primary election.

Most Pennsylvanians are expected to vote by mail-in ballot rather than in-person at a precinct, says 90.5 WESA’s government and accountability editorChris Potter. Allegheny County has reduced the number of polling places in the county from 1,300 to less than 200 in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus and to protect both voters and poll workers.

As Pennsylvania Democrats battle it out in a few key races—includingone of the most contentious primaries for the state House between incumbent Democratic state Rep. Summer Lee and her challenger, North Braddock borough councilor Chris Roland, Potter says the big question for state Democrats is if they can continue to build on the progressive wins they built up in 2018 and 2019.

Voters who have not requested a mail-in ballot may vote in person at theirlocal polling place before 8 p.m. Tuesday. Voters who have requested a mail-in ballot can still get it postmarked June 2 and send mail it, as long as it's received by June 9. You can also bring your ballot to the County Office Building in downtown Pittsburgh, or cast a provisional ballot at your local polling place. 

 The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Doug Shugarts is a 23-year veteran of broadcast news. Doug began his career at WBUR in Boston, where he worked on the nationally-syndicated programs “The Connection” and “Here and Now.” He won awards for best use of sound, coverage of the 2003 war in Iraq, and helped launch the station’s local news program, “Radio Boston.” In 2014 Doug moved across town to GBH and helped reboot morning news programming and launch other broadcast and web projects. Doug studied Composition at Berklee College of Music and Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of California. A resident of Pittsburgh’s Southside, Doug enjoys feasting on arepas and yucca fries at Cilantro and Ajo and meeting his canine neighbors at Big Dog Coffee.
Julia Zenkevich is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at
Recent Episodes Of The Confluence