Khari Mosley launches bid for Pittsburgh City Council

click to enlarge Khari Mosley launches bid for Pittsburgh City Council (2)
CP Photo: Brian Cook
Khari Mosley
Khari Mosley says he's running for Pittsburgh City Council to set a new tone in local politics.

"My guiding principle is compassion, empathy, and grace," he tells Pittsburgh City Paper. "I think this is something that has been missing from the local political environment."

Mosley, director of 1Hood Media, says after working for years on other campaigns, the time is now right for him to step forward. Mosley is also married to Chelsa Wagner, who was elected to the common pleas court among a wave of progressive reformers in 2021.

He formally launched his campaign for District 9 on Thursday after declaring his plans to run in December.

"Over the last 20 years I've worked in a lot of different areas, from progressive policy, to electoral policy, to environmental work, and I feel as though it all kind of culminated in this moment," he tells CP.

Mosley says affordable housing, infrastructure, and public safety are his top three campaign priorities, and he believes the solutions will come from tackling these collectively and holistically.

On public safety, for instance, he says standard conversations about policing alone have failed to bring results,

"I think it's extremely important for us to start to think outside the box and not just kind of look at from the perspective of just law enforcement," Mosley says. "We need to get a comprehensive approach with a whole variety of stakeholders from workforce development groups, to community organizations that do violence prevention, to the county health department... and other even the private sector."

1Hood has highlighted and challenged instances of racism and brutality in local law enforcement, and Mosley's campaign manager, Brandi Fisher, heads to Alliance for Police Accountability.

Mosley says a similarly comprehensive approach is needed to tackle issues like the environment and housing insecurity.

"We need to have reliable, resilient infrastructure that can support economic growth, but then also be resilient in the face of climate change and extreme weather events," he says.

Longtime District 9 incumbent, Rev. Ricky Burgess, has not yet announced whether he will run for another term. He did not return a request for comment.

Mosley says he met with Burgess before launching his campaign to discuss his bid.

"I told him that, you know, if he decides to run, I don't look at it personally, like I'm running against him," Mosley says. "I've been telling people if I'm running against anything, I'm running against the forces of negativity, pessimism, and division that are holding us back from progress."