Understanding Pittsburgh's unelected power structure

In the spotlight: 60 panels that make decisions for Pittsburgh, Allegheny County


Aster Teclay

“I have friends that are teachers, friends that are working the service industry, that can’t afford most of the places that they’re living in and then have a whole bunch of student debt.”

Justin Leavitt Pearl

“I have confidence that there are members of this board that I am going to see very much eye-to-eye with despite coming from different generations.”

Felicity Williams

“Pittsburgh has often been labeled as this bastion of progressivism. And in some ways, I think that has been more rhetoric than policy or action.”

About this project

The Pittsburgh region is run in large part by around 500 unelected members of boards, commissions and other public agencies.

Board members usually don’t get headlines. Those go to the mayor, the county executive, council members, controllers and directors. But boards often push for new policies, award contracts and grants, address demands for inclusion and equity, and more.

The board structure is more diverse than it was 15 years ago, but gaps remain. It’s time for deeper exploration.

PublicSource’s new Board Explorer sheds light on these panels and their roles, providing information about each member and inviting analysis of this important part of the region’s power structure.

We have included 56 county, city and joint boards and commissions. As more panels form and membership changes, we'll periodically update.

Explore with us, and, if you have a story idea or something you think we should investigate, please let us know.

How diverse are the city and county boards and commissions?

Filter the charts by jurisdiction:

Note: PublicSource was able to determine the ages of 438 of 464 active board members.

Source: Publicly available information including voter registration records.

Note: PublicSource was able to determine the race or ethnicity of 436 of 464 active board members.

Sources: Publicly available records including social media, resumes and records of public appearances.

Note: PublicSource was able to determine the gender of 463 of 464 active board members.

Sources: Voter registration records and social media.

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