"For decades, it was an unwritten rule that many minorities, including African Americans and Jews, could not buy houses in certain neighborhoods, according to Ruth Reidbord, one of the first community relations board members in Mt. Lebanon. Even real estate brokers said that, if they showed homes to minorities, they were threatened, said Elaine Wittlin, who believes she was one of the first to ignore such threats."
"So, in 1966, town convened a Community Relations Board to promote a feeling of openness.
'Community groups and residents can work together to reduce the barriers that sometimes separate population groups,' Mt. Lebanon Manager Stephen Feller said.
Has it worked?"
"[i]n the municipality of 33,017 people, 31,766 are listed as Caucasians, 202 as black, 767 as Asians and 263 people are of Hispanic or Latino background, according to the 2000 census."Check my math, but I think that means that fewer than 1% of the town's population is African-American. Just over 2% is Asian, and it looks like that figure includes both south Asian and east Asian populations. The Hispanic/Latino figure is consistent with Pittsburgh's small overall Hispanic/Latino population, but its size relative to the African-American community is striking.
"[A]at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the municipal building, 710 Washington Road, at a forum titled "Where Are We Going? Where Have We Been?" Five people will address quality of life issues for mixed-race families, people with disabilities, lesbians and gays, teens and people who practice less common religions."
Still to be appointed: A community-based board of people charged with reaching out to members of under-represented communities who don't live in Mt. Lebanon, but whose addition to the community would make it a more accepting and much more truly diverse place.
And more relevant background, also from the Post-Gazette:
[Cross-posted at Blog-Lebo]