The mayor called the promise "a college access program ... as well as a revitalization strategy for us in the city of Pittsburgh." He predicted that it would encourage parents already living in the city to stay.
"Not only will they not move out," he said, "I'm confident that families, middle-income families, and families that value education will move into the city of Pittsburgh when we have this up and running."
The idea for this anti-brain drain initiative comes from Kalamazoo, MI and is also part of the fight against a shrinking city. The plan to keep residents from fleeing to the suburbs while attracting newcomers to the city is intriguing. I think requiring students to attend college instate is a mistake, but that's a minor quibble at this point. Pennsylvania has an impressive range of post-secondary opportunities.
My vision for the Burgh Diaspora network is aligned with the mayor's "promise." If you reside in the region, you would have access to the human capital scattered around the country and the world. You might choose to stay in Pittsburgh, particularly if you wanted your children to benefit from the same leg up you received. However, your career interest may take you elsewhere, to a place where your talents can find full expression. Once there, you should spread the word about Pittsburgh's Promise.