Monday, August 13, 2007

They come, they go.....

This is just to give a place for people who want to vent about my piece in the PG's Sunday Next Page section on migration and Pittsburgh. It always amazes me just how emotional people get over the issue of migration here. Over the years I have received some very eloquent yet strident letters from people on the topic. The odd thing is that comments I get cut both ways. Some of the most positive letters, positive about the region that is, come from people who have moved here and settled in... some of the most negative letters are people who moved away because they said they were forced to by lack of opportunities here. Those who are from Pittsburgh and have stayed here? We're all just our normal morose selves.

So here is something that I put up in the past... it goes along with the piece in the paper, but that does not work with ink. The image below should animate with a year by year picture of migration out of Pittsburgh. It works for some, but not for others. Clicking on the image may get it started.
update (August 15): a reporter at the PG has a follow-up on the migration piece interviewing one Pittsburgher who has moved to DC. :-)

Destinations of Outmigrants from Pittsburgh 1995-200

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in the category of people who are from here and stayed. I feel like I'm one of the few in that group who isn't, as you say, morose. I tend to be very positive about the city's future and am always arguing on the internet with people who left, or with natives who think the grass is greener elsewhere.

Not sure why I'm saying this, except to let you know that you aren't alone :)

Monday, August 13, 2007 9:58:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Russell said...

Chris,

Would you make the year-by-year numbers available in tabular form? I'd like to take a closer look at the numbers.

Do you have the in-migration data as well?

I think a gravity map that controls for population and distance from the region would be useful. Less populous regions that are far from Pittsburgh that attract and/or send a disproportionate number of people might make for a few interesting case studies.

Monday, August 13, 2007 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

Glad to see your piece in the paper. Nothing will kill the myth that nobody moves to Pittsburgh, but perhaps this will help.

It was hard to tell exactly the size of all the circles but two observations:

1) There are some Sunbelt places where it looks like as many people have come to Pittsburgh as have left Pittsburgh.

2) I get the impression that the Northeast is just a big mess of people moving around. Having moved from Philadelphia to Boston to Pittsburgh during the time-frame you looked at, I guess I'm part of the crowd.

Monday, August 13, 2007 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

It's a little like a sledgehammer to make such a simple point... but it was neat to see the big images. I think Mike made a more direct point the other day with his post on "outsiders" and his message to native Pittsburghers.. what was his line: "we come in peace".

am not in town this week... will put some of the data onlne next week.

sunbelt places are impacted more by elderly migration. Even a lot of elderly come back eventually, but after years... but it still is a more one-way a flow than vis a vis a lot of other regions.

Monday, August 13, 2007 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous John said...

As one of those outsiders who "come in peace," I believe that migration opinions in this town are driven by two things. One, I read a famous quote once--attributed allegedly to a CMU professor--that in-migration to Pittsburgh was heavy until the 20s, then it stopped. Two, the region saw 100s of thousands of jobs evaporate followed by heavy out-migration in the 80s. So, there was a relatively stable and homogenous population for decades, followed by devastating, wrenching change in the span of one decade, that still haunts the region. Families that had been tight and close knit were suddenly far-flug--and even the DC metro is far-flug if your family has been living in the same communities for two or three generations. So, even though there is significant in-migration, natives tend not to see it because all of their close relatives or neighbors' relatives are still in DC or Charlotte or Denver.
Well, those two and the fact that SWPA has a huge industry called higher education. When we graduate so many young, bring individuals every year (the widgets of that industry), there is going to be significant out-migration (called exports) that has little to do with the health of the region's economy. I often wonder what Boston's out-migration looks like--given that it has a large student population as well.

Monday, August 13, 2007 12:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark Stroup said...

Some thoughts here on the P-G "Backpage" map:

We're losing people to the Sunbelt (Arizona and Florida). Mostly people are moving around regionally, no net gains or losses. Atlanta's gain is our loss. We're fairly even with the Midwest. I thought we'd be losing to Memphis, but it doesn't look like it. Looks like a blip of an outmigration to Cleveland in 1995 (from the time lapse map).

Monday, August 13, 2007 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

As one of several people in the region I know of who were subjected to election related violence carried out by Kerry/Edwards campaign workers and the brown shirt thugs of the city's political machine ... the whole "we come in peace" comment is more than a bit distasteful.

I'm sure to all the radicals lefties who've come to Pittsburgh to be part of the socialist enclave that the city has become it's just an oasis of like minded folk, even if it is shrinking daily.

To the working class, tax paying, "church" going, freedom seeking types that have been driven out by the hateful, violent, our way of the highway, anti-democratic ways of the local political machine, it's not such a great place.

It continues to amaze me having watch this unfold for several decades that people can't see a connection between the attitudes and political beliefs of the types who've migrated in and the trends that have resulted. Hmmmm, let's see now, what feature is common in all the urban areas that have been losing population over the last few decades...

Hey Chris, why don't you guys get your group together and gerrymander out the last remaining non-Democrats on County Council and extend the one party soviet style political machine that has gripped the city, county wide? I mean it's worked so well in the past and I'm certain the drift to the left in the region's politics and the population numbers have nothing to do with each other.

Vote Ravensthal, Onorato and Burns because 60 years of failure don't mean a thing!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 9:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post, John. Very well said.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 9:30:00 AM  
Blogger Mike Madison said...

Paul's comment is so over the top that it can't really be taken seriously, but it's worth wasting a little time on a Tuesday morning:

Anyone suffering from the delusion that Pittsburgh is a "socialist" enclave (and/or a fascist one -- Paul pretty much covers the whole spectrum there) clearly has never lived in a community that really does take pride in correct-thinking collectivism -- such as the PRB (People's Republic of Berkeley) or the PRC (People's Republic of Cambridge. When I moved out of California, if I'd been thinking "where can I find my like-minded radical though polices colleagues?" (just kidding, of course!), Pittsburgh would never have been on my list of likely destinations. Now that I'm here, I'm like many "outsiders," waiting for much of the Pittsburgh politico-economic system to wake up from the *19th century.* It's not that Karl Marx has taken over. Pittsburgh is still waiting for him to arrive.

A little more seriously: Pittsburgh politics represent many things, most of them dysfunctional and retrograde, but they are not really ideological. "The drift in the region's politics and the population numbers" really do have nothing to do with each other. The industrial decline of the region during the 20th century had nothing to do with "leftish" politics and everything to do with the refusal of government and business elites to acknowledge the impending demise of Big Steel and to plan accordingly. In ideological terms (though it wasn't really an ideological progression), the decline of Steel and the resulting population implosion was a failure of Big Business (some of whom happened to be Democrats, and some of whom happened to be Republicans), not a failure of left wing radicalism. The budget crisis that grips the City today is the product of a combination of things, none of them ideological: capture of the political process by certain unions; political inertia typical of most urban politics; structural limits on local government's willingness to plan for the long term; and the relatively small size of the city's population and tax base, relative both their historic size and to the growth of Allegheny County suburbs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 9:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Unfortunately John's post, while certainly relying on some truths, does what Chris does in most of his writing, which is to fail to consider other more easily recognizable explanations.

The fact is Pittsburgh and its natives were/are, predominately blue-collar, religious (Catholic), and for lack of a better term conservative people. People who were more likely to spend time at a sportsman's club, VFW, church event or some other traditional community functions - not an anti-war rally or an "art" fair in the park.

To the extent that there is any in-migration, it's simply not reflected in the community of the native Pittsburgher. The native Pittsburgher goes to church every week and sees the attendance continuing to drop and the age of those who remain increasing - their kids having moved on, but are rarely being replaced by people who move into the area. They see the attendance at their bingos and ethnic festivals declining if they even hold them anymore and if people are showing up at the newest chic vegan restraint in a part of town native Pittsburghers go out of their way to avoid, they don't see it.

Even when the new comers do the trendy thing by buying an old house in their neighborhood to renovate they often throw up barriers to integrating with public displays of their politics and opinions that encourage divisions within the communities. They don't shop in the same stores, attend the same gathering and are generally not part of the community beyond a geographical context.

Native Pittsburghers don't see the in-migration because it's not happening in a place or way where they can see it. Many, if most of those who move to Pittsburgh exist in "communities" that are separate and apart from those of native Pittsburghers by choice. If it does exist in a statistical way, it doesn't in a way that impacts the community that the native Pittsburgher is a part of.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Sorry Mark but you're just flat out wrong.

The difference between Pittsburgh and a place like Berkeley is only how the issues are presented to the voting public. In Berkeley they wear their socialist/progressive ideology on their sleeves because it appeals to the granola crowd there. If Pittsburgh leaders ever did the same the elder population that belongs to the Democratic Party that was once openly anti-communist/socialist, there would be a revolt.

From eschewing private development and pushing publicly funded, government planned construction of everything from stadiums/arenas to office buildings, condos and housing plans for the wealthy... transit systems that fail to address the needs of the existing community and instead attempt to direct residents to the government planned developments... right on down the efforts to block military recruiters from schools and encourage growth of the so-called creative class with taxpayer money as a viable substitute for real jobs...

There is very little actual difference between Pittsburgh and Berkeley. Some difference no doubt as selling soft socialism to the blue-collar elderly natives who are pre-disposed to reject it is more difficult and fraught with pitfalls, but at the end of the day though no matter how it's presented the fact is Pittsburgh has adopted policies that are clearly socialist and far, far to the left of where they were thirty years ago.

Chris and others would like fool themselves into believing that the people who are retiring use warm weather as the deciding factor in where to retire to or that people such as myself who left the city after twenty eight years did so simply because of taxes... but I know that's not the case for myself, friends who moved before us, those in the process of following us and the numerous retires I've had conversations with all of which considered the political and social environments of our destinations before anything else. Yes the Sunbelt is warmer and than the North Hills has lower taxes, but failing to recognize that it's also the case that there are more American flags, American cars, traditional American values and opportunities to participate in the American political process than there are in the city of Pittsburgh is one reason the region is doomed to never get a handle on it's population issue.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

Paul,

Why am I not surprised that all the people you know move to a region because of its conservative politics? That's hardly a scientific survey.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 11:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Jonathan,

Why am I not surprised you want to keep your head buried along with others in the region.

My personal experience isn't scientific, but it doesn't change the facts... the fact that at one time the city was more politically diverse than it is today and you can clearly see that not only has the migration out of the city been along racial lines, but along political lines as well.

And it's not unique to Pittsburgh - the exodus out of Democrat controlled urban and increasingly leftist areas to more rural, southern and traditionally conservative areas by working families over the past few decades is a fact.

You can crunch it by numbers alone all you want and you'll never figure out what's going on. Until the far left wakes up and realizes that the very people moving to cities like Pittsburgh are creating the political and social environment that even more people want to escape and do when they have the opportunity, the trends will not reverse.

I hate to break it to the "progressives" and "creative classes," but the vision you have for the city Pittsburgh and the path you're helping it along on is one that many people find quite repugnant and will do whatever it takes to eventually get their families and children away from.

Choose not to believe that if you wish, no skin off the noses of those who've already left and those who will in the future.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 1:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously, you are making this a political thing? Only a warped wingnut would make such a claim. I guess that's what happening with the dumbing down of 'merica thanks to President Fredo, and the great inspiring leaders of Delay, Dr Strangelove Cheney and let's not forget the entertaining likes of O'Reilly, Hannity and Rush.

Yeah keep being a good little wingnut like they tell. No need to actually think in your world.

I bet when you stroll through your nice park in the burbs, you say "this is sooo nice, it's almost as nice as an Iraqi market"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 3:01:00 PM  
Anonymous AZMike said...

Paul does seem to be a bit of a right-wing extremist, but he may have a point. Chris Briem has written in previous posts that the immigrants coming to Pittsburgh from foreign countries tend to be highly educated. It's quite possible that Americans who move in to the city from other states are also highly educated.

If the sort of people who have been leaving Pittsburgh since the the '80s match Paul's decription - working class, Catholic, socially conservative, etc., - then the character of the city would change quite a bit over time.

It would also lead to the culture clash that he describes. It's sad in a way that these two cultures can't get along better. I've seen that problem in a number of states.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 9:37:00 PM  
Blogger Burgher Jon said...

I think the reason that people lament over what sometimes seems to be a constant outward migration is not that we're losing total population or even prestige but that friends and loved ones who want to stay simply can't.

I graduated Penn State with a degree in Information Sciences in 2005 with several friends who also hailed from Pittsburgh. I'm back, but only because I begged both of my serious offering companies to let me stay in the Burgh, finally the one that wanted me to move to NYC (the other one wanted me in San Francisco) agreed to let me stay and I became a "Location-Neutral Migrant." We all wanted to come back, several of us (not myself) even accepted scholarships that were contingent on our staying in Pennsylvania or Allegheny County. Unfortunately, all those scholarships are being paid back now; I only have one other friend from college who was able to stay in the Burgh, he was so adamant he didn't even look for a job nationally, and now he's making little more then half of what the rest of us are with the same degree.

One thought that crossed my mind as a potential contributing factor is the fact that we all wanted to come back so badly, we all would have taken less money to return. Do you think there is any potential that this region loyalty drives salaries down (and consequently people out)?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 11:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Yeah we're all "right wing extremists" those of us who have the audacity to want to have real elections to participate in, with more than one candidate from more one party, that want our tax money spent on infrastructure and services instead of ghost employees and do-nothing jobs for political family members, want our children to be educated in math, science and history instead of political propaganda by teachers who teach instead of indoctrinate and ridicule our faith and beliefs on a daily basis, have representatives who respond to us without having to pay a bribe *ahem* give a "contribution" or put their campaign signs in our yards just to be heard, want to live our lives and use our property without having to answer to every do-gooder control-freak busy busy-body and not be subjected to violence simply because we refuse to join the one true and pure approved party of the city elite...

It really illuminates my point that desiring these things makes one a member of the vast right conspiracy and underscores why the county's governments have shaken out over the last 35 years the way they have.

How dare us "right wingers" in the North and South Hill have multi-party elections, paved roads and good schools when bowing to the superior intellects of the city's progressives and leftists is clearly the better way.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 8:38:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I would take your rants more seriously if you could back them up with specific examples. How did the city school teachers attempt to indoctrinate your children? How were they mocked for their beliefs?

There is definitely a culture clash going on in Pittsburgh, though not on the terms our friend Paul describes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 8:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

"Seriously, you are making this a political thing?"

To suggest that it is anything but a political thing shows how disconnected from reality you are.

It's ALL about politics! It's the politics that sets tax and regulatory policies that have driven companies and jobs to other states, the politics of patronage, nepotism, corruption and sixty years of one party rule that has driven those who remain in the area out of the city and the county. When someone says they're moving out of the city to the North Hills because of the schools, that's a result of the politics in the city that has created a school system so many people feel the need to flee for the sake f their children. When a company consolidates it facilities and moves to a neighboring county after looking to other states that's a result of the politics that set tax and regulatory policies that made it beneficial for them to do so. When a steel plant gets built in Alabama instead of Pittsburgh and unemployed steel workers take jobs and move their families there... POLITICS is the reason.

The only real difference between Pittsburgh and the regions that have been eating our lunch, taking our jobs and gaining our population for the past thirty years is the political environments that exist - and "theirs" is clearly more desirable to many than "ours." Anyone who believes that anything other than politics is the driving force behind the trends being observed and described or that the physical environment is a major factor is living in a self induced delusion.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 9:02:00 AM  
Blogger Mike Madison said...

He's not my friend. Extremist or no, he's stuck in the 1920s and willfully ignorant of the economic history of the 20th century. Anyone who can't distinguish Berkeley and Pittsburgh doesn't know much about either place.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 9:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Give me a break Jonathan, do you not read or listen to news?

I could start typing now and go on for a month non-stop listing examples of my son and daughter's educational abuse at the hands of city school teachers... math and science teachers using class time during election cycles to rail against evil Republicans, the villainous George Bush and the virtues of voting for Democrats, history and social studies promoting 911 conspiracy theories with out fear of repercussions. School curriculum infused with the most radical environmental misinformation, promotion of vegetarian, vegan and alternative lifestyles, afro-centric history to the point that entering high school they knew every detail of Martin Luther King's life but not even a cursory understanding of early American history.

Have not heard the numerous reports of children in Northwest communities coming home in tears after being taught that their parent who work in the logging industry are evil villains intent on destroying the environment? Accounts of school assignments that require student to adopt and advocate a political position or students being used as props in protest and rallies? Class time used to force the viewing ofAl Gore and Michael Moore's propaganda films.

I can't even count the number of times I had to calm my young kids down after a day at school and explain why Christopher Columbus wasn't a mass murder, their father, grandfather and uncles aren't murders for hunting and deer aren't just like people, there's no reason they have to feel guilty for being white, Christian or having a nicer house and car because we work for it and there's value in working hard and welfare is not just another lifestyle choice.

Quite literally nearly every school day in the city's public school system and every attempt at help with homework required a deprogramming session to make sure my kids understood who was trying to get into their heads and why.

And I guarantee you someone who's reading this is contemplating responding as to why it's proper and acceptable to infuse public education with their political and personal beliefs...

... and never once considering that doing so is a prime reason that city school students fair so poorly on standardized math, science and reading test and have such difficulty getting into better colleges despite having one of the highest per-student expenditures of school districts in the region... and why so many parents are pulling their kids out.

Every story you've ever heard about proselytizing of students by leftist I've seen it first hand in the PPS and many, many more.

Since leaving, not even once in the current school system.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 9:50:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I don't want you to waste a month of your time, but I would appreciate a few concrete examples. Funny how this started as a discussion of the city schools, and then suddenly veered off into a discussion of schools in logging communities. I suspect your beef is with public education in general, and not merely with the city schools.

As to whether I pay attention to the news, I can assure you that I do. In fact, I covered the Pittsburgh Public Schools for three years for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a rather conservative newspaper. And yet not once did I receive a phone call from a parent angry that their child was being brainwashed into hating Jesus and becoming a vegan. I'm sure I would have remembered that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe if the wingnuts in the N and S Hills didn't bolt from the city and destroy its tax base over the second half of the 20th century, they could have helped shape the city (and region). Of course the folks in the burbs cringe about merging the entities for a streamlined government as well.

That's right, you want it both ways. You leave the city to rot, then complain about it. When the idea of consolidating (which no doubt would create a Republican voice, if not leadership) Republicans in the burbs still say not in their lifetime.

Please spare us the contrived BS about change and leadership, until the burbs truly want to be a part of the core that makes the suburban life possible.

Please spare us the contrived BS until the Republican state representatives get Harrisburg (who would be the entity who can do this) work on consolidating government.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

While this has gotten out of hand a bit and it has been suggested I cut this off, I really think there is some value in airing this out.

I feel I should respond in some way Paul though I am not sure how. I would argue that Paul’s views.. while clearly extreme and often ad hominum, nonetheless represent a very real constituency locally and across the state. It is worth being mindful of his arguments. It is hard to deny that he clearly believes in what he is saying and you have to give him some credit for being direct… I would bet that a lot of arguments being made in Harrisburg sound more like his than we like to admit. Better to deal with it head on than pretend it does not exist.

I agree there is a point coming out about change in the city: who has moved in, and who has moved out. Though it's not the point Paul may think it is. Consider the debt of the city, and the dire fiscal condition of the city both go back many decades, not just one or two.

Think about it. Many Pittsburghers moved out of the city over decades. The people who moved out are the people who had supported the policies that left the city in this fiscal state. Put another way, they are also the ones who benefited the most from structurally deficit spending. Yet when the situation came closer to when those benefits had to be paid for, they moved out. Now the ‘city’ is being expected to pay up for all those accrued deficits. But the city is now more made up of students and other newcomers who have nothing to do with the extant debt.

Thus the debt that is soon to bury the city was mostly accrued by people who have long since moved out of the city. If there was a way to apportion that debt to those who incurred it, the city could be free and clear of its fiscal miasma. It all gets to an almost philosophical question of what is a ‘city’ in our federal republic. Paul treats the city as an entity unto itself.

for Burgher Jon.. I think you have hit upon the very essence of labor supply in the region. There is little doubt the 'production' of so many highly educated younger workers each year depresses wages across a wide range of occupations.

but for Paul...would it be too much to ask that this isnt the place for general rantings (feel free to start your own blog for that), but I would appreciate hearing specific points.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Jonathan...

It certainly would be a waste of time since you obviously didn't read what I already wrote. All the examples I gave you were from personal experience, with the exception of the logging example, stretched out over many years with two different children at half a dozen different schools within PPS.

And it those don't even begin to scratch the surface of the first hand experiences of teachers misusing and abusing their positions to further their politcal agendas.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Oh yes of course we all left and THEN things went badly... it's not really the case that things went badly and that caused people to leave.

So tell us, was it the first 5% of public school students that left with their families in the late seventies or the last 5% that left in 2006 that did the most damage?

It's always easier to blame someone else than to face the possibility that your own failed policies, discredited theories and skewed view of the world that is responsible for the difficulties that surround you.

Which is exactly where the discussion began; you keep on believing that those who left caused the problems rather than accept the truth that the problems are what drove them away in the first place and see where the city is 10 years from now.

Now run along and pull that D lever, re-elect the same failed "leaders" with the same failed policies of the past 60 years and keep blaming those who've chosen a different direction, one that is working, for your mistakes. Us wing nuts will just have to suffer through with our freshly paved streets, high performing schools AND lower taxes.

And rest assured, when you do get consolidated government and finally spread your "progressive" poison to the rest of Allegheny County and destroy the communities in the North and South Hills, there's three more counties we can move to... I'm already looking for property in Armstrong in anticipation.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 1:06:00 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Wow! Just for the record--I hadn't checked this for two days--this newcomer and his family (and Chris Briem, for that matter) are church-going regulars. In fact, I am both a lector and an extra-ordinary minister of the eucharist (though I bet that Paul thinks that's an abomination and wants a complete return to the Latin Mass). And I enjoy and partake in local events like the Forest Hills Community Days. So watch out, Paul, some of us might be sitting next to you at church next Sunday. Or throwing the softballs at the dunk tank. Or volunteering with the Boy Scouts (yep, I do that too). You might even offer the sign of peace to me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 1:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Yes John, that's great and just like Mister anonymous did you sort of underscored my point.

New comer, church goer, family man, choosing not to live in the city ... for reasons you don't do into ... how many like yourself do you think you could identify withing the city? You're an of why people in the city only see people leaving and never see people such as yourself moving back.

Forest Hills you say, well you'll likely never have the opportunity to offer me the sign of peace but here's a piece of advice; should you ever extend your hand and find Representative Costa on the receiving end, quickly very quickly, reach back with your other hand and cover your wallet.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 2:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still waiting on the agreement to expand Pgh beyond 55 square miles so it can have a tax base to run properly and then all the wingnuts can run it and lower all taxes.

Of course, our schools would have replaced science books with the Bible and history wouldn't be required....

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 4:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

"Still waiting on the agreement to expand Pgh beyond 55 square miles so it can have a tax base to run properly and then all the wingnuts can run it and lower all taxes."

Which again only underscores how desperately out of touch you and other proponents of consolidation are with the situation.

You actually expect people with no political representation, no opportunity to participate in a legitimate democratic process, no voice in government, people who've been subjected to all manner of violence, discrimination and corruption because of their political affiliations to sit idly by and continue handing over the money they earn to feed a political machine they already moved once to escape from.

You really don't understand that the day after you get the expansion you desire that the very same people who moved out of the city to the suburbs are going to began moving again to the surrounding counties and in very, very short time the new expanded city will be right back where it started with an even smaller population, fewer businesses and jobs and less of a tax base to support an even bigger government.

Nearly everyone outside the city sees your suggestion as nothing less than a power grasp by a dieing political machine desperately reaching out beyond its self-dug grave to try and extend its grip to those who've already escaped. We will not allow the city to put their shackles on us again, not ever.

Thursday, August 16, 2007 8:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You actually expect people with no political representation, no opportunity to participate in a legitimate democratic process, no voice in government, people who've been subjected to all manner of violence, discrimination and corruption because of their political affiliations to sit idly by and continue handing over the money they earn to feed a political machine they already moved once to escape from."

How dense are you? This would create representation which is badly needed. On a local level it's not the party anyway. I really don't think of Mayor Luke when I think of Democrats, but I do think that he is an idiot and would welcome a qualified mayor with any letter after their name.

Regardless of that, cities have to grow, and Pittsburgh has been prohibited from that for decades. In cities that are growing in land area, they can make up for the mature core with newer neighborhoods. Houston is 100’s of square miles, so is Jacksonville, Memphis, Phoenix, and a host of others. Even Columbus is at least 200. But recent condo boom aside, their cores would be suffering too, if not for realistic city boundaries that they have. The North Hills and South Hills are Pittsburgh in reality, but not political and for that case, we ALL suffer. You apparently have no clue on what it means to be sustainable, but that’s ok. Why bother to understand cites and regions, when you can go the Hannity route of uneducated fast food thought. Now go ahead and preach the virtues of the pure GOP, and maybe you can tell us how Jack Abramoff can help Pittsburgh.

Thursday, August 16, 2007 9:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

"How dense are you? This would create representation which is badly needed."

Paaaa-lease! More representation like there was after the group that Chris Briem was part of that gerrymandered into existence County Council seats for James Burn, Michael Finnerty and almost succeeded in doing the same in District 1.

You must think everyone in the county is as stupid and/or blind as the dopes in the city.

Consolidation of government has one and only one primary purpose and that is to wipe out what's left of the Allegheny County's Republican Party and give absolute control once and for all to the Democrats. The day the city's police, fire, teachers and other public services unions extend their reach county wide the ONLY people who will have representation in government will be their membership and a handful of wealthy developers and sports team owners who keep funneling money to certain campaigns.

Even Ravensthal admitted in a careless slip of the tongue after his trip to Lexington that they were told that promised cost savings never materialized and consolidation would be just consolidation for consolidation's sake. Or in the case of this region consolidation for the sake of expanding Dan Onorato and James Burn's power and returning that which the city has lost.

We're not going to be suckered in again by false promises.

Monday, August 20, 2007 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Paul, I would suggest that this thread is pretty much done unless you really feel a need to get in the last word.. I doubt its being read any more...

but to anyone else who comes by.. there is a lot to be learned from all that. Many seem to think that consolidation efforts are mostly foiled by city-based opposition.. There is some real suburban opposition that may be the real opposition. but everyone fights their own battles.

Monday, August 20, 2007 3:57:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home