From my mouth...
This is what I've been talking about:
Pittsburgh hasn't been choked by smoke for decades.
But the local civic-minded, again as they have for, uh, decades, proclaim the region can grow once we disabuse folks of misperceptions that discourage businesses from locating here.
Chief among them: Pittsburgh is the "smoky city."
Was it the nonexistent smoke that has halved the population of Pittsburgh in the last 45 years? Just as the smoke disappeared, so did the jobs and the people. And this was all because, for 45 years, we didn't get the brand right?
Might there be other reasons the region has not grown like the rest of the country -- or do top companies bypass Pittsburgh because it is not properly "branded"?
Gery Steighner, who wrote this editorial in the Trib, ticked off some of those reasons, which include "a business-unfriendly tax-and-regulatory climate exists..that the region's central city -- Pittsburgh -- is in state receivership because of its captivity to labor unions..."
And while we're on the subject, can we dispense with the nonsense that it is Pittsburghers' own pessimism that drags the city down? Yes, Pittsburgh is a great place to live. But it is not without problems--real, substantive problems that have nothing to do with whether people do or do not cling to outdated stereotypes. All the sunny talk and public relations in the world aren't going to help us get back on track unless we also address the real conditions that hobble our growth.
Yes, we should love our city. But not blindly.