By Alex Meins
Propaganda outlining the crimes of developer Keith Key appeared early Friday morning at Key’s rental office in the Larimer neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
Posters plastered across the window of the office called on Key to stop retaliatory evictions and labelled him an exploiter of his own people, a fake progressive, and a friend to gentrifiers. Two hammer and sickles were painted in red across the double doors of the rental office.
The retaliatory evictions referred to in the posters include the eviction of a community activist expelled from her home for reporting unsafe conditions to the Health Department and for agitating against bourgeois city councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess. Key is friends with Burgess, the councilman working with the mayor to gentrify the working-class neighborhoods of Garfield, East Liberty, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington, and Homewood.
Key sent his private security force Rhino Security to harass and threaten with eviction another community activist for allegedly giving shelter to the evicted activist. The community and Serve the People-Pittsburgh mobilized to shut down this attempted eviction.
KBK Enterprises, which Key owns, includes Rhino Security, Key Property Management Services, KBK Real Estate Development, Alliance Construction, and a charity organization called the KBK Foundation. The latter serves to give cover to his crimes against the people.
Using his security force to harass and evict tenants, Key is hated for failing to upkeep his properties and for his development deals with the city, the latest of which is the luxury redevelopment project with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
Key manages or owns properties in multiple Pittsburgh neighborhoods, in Harlem, New York, in Columbus, Ohio, Philadelphia, PA, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Wichita, Kansas.
A community activist called Key’s properties “plantations for Black women.” In an interview with Incendiary, a Serve the People-Pittsburgh activist said, “Wherever Keith Key’s tentacles touch, the people rebel. They see through his false progressive veneer and are organizing to stop his evictions and other predatory practices. The anti-eviction mobilization in Larimer was just the beginning.”