Monday, July 30, 2007

The Pittsburgh Promise

Since flattery will get you everywhere, at least with the Burgh Diaspora blog, I'll riff today off of Burgher Jon's post about Mayor Luke. The first note about Pittsburgh's mayor concerns The Pittsburgh Promise, free higher education for graduates of the city's high schools:

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.

1 comment:

Burgher Jon said...

I appreciate the reference. I was careful not to comment to extensively on the Pittsburgh Project. I saw it mentioned many times, but have yet to see a clear explanation of exactly what aid would be available and how it would be funded.

I am a huge fan of your blog. As a Pittsburgher, I take enormous pride (and a healthy curiosity) in the size and strength of our disporia. I hope in the near future to be as proud of our city as I am of our disporia and to know that it has a home (and good job) for any disporiats (usable term?) who want to return.