What Comes Next
While there are several important factors to consider in a merger between Wilkinsburg and the City of Pittsburgh, the overarching goal is to improve our community through better public services, lower property taxes, more affordable home ownership, and a reinvigorated business district. Below is a timeline of events leading to passage of a referendum to merge with the City of Pittsburgh.
- Collect signatures: A Wilkinsburg voter initiative will be introduced and a petition for a referendum will be circulated by resident volunteers among Borough voters. At least 652 petition signatures will be needed for the referendum to advance to Pittsburgh City Council for consideration under Pennsylvania’s 1903 Annexation Law.
- Communications and community outreach: Resident volunteers and WCDC staff will facilitate a series of public community meetings to share what we’ve learned about the potential impact of a merger. Additional polling will be conducted. Fact Sheets that answer frequently asked questions about the most critical merger issues will be available for residents and business owners.
- Awareness and education: WCDC staff and our coalition of resident volunteers are available to answer questions about the merger. As we learn more and hear questions from the community, we’ll update the information on this site. Check back often for new information, and for updates about the merger process.
- City of Pittsburgh Council vote: Pittsburgh City Council will approve or disapprove the proposed annexation (merger) after receiving the petition signatures. If approved and a Court of Common Pleas public hearing determines that the petition process has been followed appropriately, the annexation question will be added to the next Wilkinsburg election cycle ballot.
- Wilkinsburg residents vote: Merger voting options on the Wilkinsburg ballot will appear as “for annexation” and “against annexation.”
- Merger negotiations and logistics: If the referendum passes, negotiations and logistics will proceed. The Merger would take effect January 1, of the following year.
To learn more about the community challenges and opportunities in Wilkinsburg and other Pittsburgh neighborhoods, read the WCDC’s Wilkinsburg Focus Group 2020 Report.