I got asked to submit a testimonial for inclusion in a website under development by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. The solicitation started off:
The Allegheny Conference on Community Development (ACCD) is requesting the help of Pittsburghers, past and present, to tell us why they love their hometown. On so many levels, Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities are a great place to live, work, and play. We simply want to get the word out. That’s where you come in.
You can be part of the Pittsburgh story! All you have to do is submit your photo (in electronic format) and a brief testimonial, and it will be posted on our Web site so we can showcase the real Pittsburgh through real Pittsburghers. The testimonials will go live this fall.
And the details:
We are looking for people who can showcase Pittsburgh in the following categories:
Doing Business Here – If you are a local entrepreneur or instrumental in running a business based in Pittsburgh, tell us why it’s a great place to launch and build a company. Your personal story will make it real.
Quality of Life – As a safe, affordable, and vibrant city, Pittsburgh is a wonderful place to live. The “Burgh” provides a work/life balance not found just anywhere and we want your story.
World-Class Talent – With world-renowned universities and colleges, Pittsburgh is bursting with top-notch talent. If you are a hiring manager – tell us about the success you’ve had recruiting talent here. If you are a student or a recent hire – tell us why you are looking forward to staying in Pittsburgh.
Peak Experiences – Pittsburgh is a magnificent tourism destination. Tell us your favorite local attractions and why you recommend them to others.
Innovation & Technology –We’re looking for people who are on the cutting-edge, doing research, solving problems and innovating. If you are (or know someone) who is a thought-leader in science and technology and want to showcase that work – this is a great way to do it.
Historical Perspective – Pittsburgh has a storied past and rich heritage. Give us your unique and personal take on Pittsburgh’s history.
Return & Reunite – We are encouraging people to come back to Pittsburgh to reunite with family and friends. Family and class reunions, as well as other group get-togethers and conventions abound in Pittsburgh. Tell us your recent reunion stories – or how you plan to come back!
Interesting, no? Lists like this always invite deconstruction: The assumptions and presumptions that leap out at you (Pittsburgh is a magnificent tourist destination? I'm a real Pittsburgher?); the things that are missing (hey, did anyone remember that Pittsburgh has a pretty decent arts community?); the things that, hmmm, maybe are best left unaddressed (how about that tiny Latino population, anyway, or those high business and school taxes?). Gives you a little insight into the upcoming cheerleading campaign. What are we selling? "Pittburgh" When are we selling it? "Now."
The image is Ethel "Everything's Coming Up Roses" Merman, from the original production of "Gypsy."