Benham, delegation address increased violence on Carson Street

Letter sent to Wolf, other state agencies requesting meeting

State Rep. Jessica Benham, along with members of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation, sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf requesting a meeting with the Liquor Control Board and the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement regarding the recent upsurge of violence on Carson Street in the South Side neighborhood of the city. 

“As the escalation of violence continues in the Carson Street corridor, my office is committed to working with city, county and state officials to explore all avenues to restoring peace and public safety to District 36 and the region as a whole,” Benham said. “We have an obligation to those living in the neighborhood and must continue our work to seek out and address the root causes of this violence. It’s vital we seek resolutions within the state’s capacity, providing the necessary resources and oversight to best assist county and local leaders with this ongoing issue.” 

Over the past several months, Benham has worked with state Sen. Jay Costa, city officials and community members to confront these issues head on. In May, Benham introduced legislation that would provide more local control over liquor license saturation. She also secured a grant for the South Pittsburgh Coalition for Peace, an organization that puts “peacemakers” on the ground and in communities to help prevent violence before it starts. 

“Responsible business owners are paying the price for reckless and destructive behavior created in part by underage drinking, the serving of intoxicated patrons and other liquor law violations by a small number of nuisance bars,” Benham said. “By partnering together, we can bring PennDOT, the LCB and local officials together to best utilize state resources to end this violence.”