Wednesday, April 11, 2007

'Border Guard Bob' Lives

Mayor forms group to keep young people here

On the heels of news that only hurricane-struck New Orleans lost more people this decade than the Pittsburgh region did, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl yesterday announced something new: The Propel Pittsburgh Commission.

Amazing how politicians can successfully recycle a ploy such as Border Guard Bob:

The focus on retaining vs. attracting workers is pervasive in local policies. One marketing character thought of by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, whose mission is to promote Pittsburgh, was the genial "Border Guard Bob." The image was of an older, uniformed sentinel on Pittsburgh's borders keeping our citizens, in particular the younger workers, from leaving the region. This is the same logic that inspired the East Germans to build a wall around Berlin and is likely to have as much success in the long-run. An advertising campaign with Bob or any of his relatives is focused on selling Pittsburgh to Pittsburghers. Why money or time is spent on selling the region to the people who know it best is a mystery.

Somebody, please explain to me how Mayor Luke's bold plan is somehow different than the lame political gambit that Chris Briem so rightfully mocks.

Edit: I notice that Chris Briem is already on top of Mayor Luke's bold, new plan. Regardless, I needed to vent.

1 comment:

Mark Rauterkus said...

PUMP, Pgh Urban Magnet Program, was formed by Tom Murphy, years ago, as a group of professional young people. It was nothing more than a booster group for Tom Murphy. As time passed, the group became more vibrant and could think for itself.

Hence, when Luke created his group, PUMP wasn't even pulled into the discussions. There are a lot of young people groups -- all ignored by Luke.

We don't need bigger government. We need cooperation among the groups and citizens that are already here.

This new group is a ploy -- just as PUMP was when it was created.

And, we still don't have those ultimate frisbee fields that Murphy promised. That came just a month or so before he closed all the Rec Centers.