Comment 36144

By getmoving (registered) | Posted December 09, 2009 at 10:59:10

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for offereing your comments and feedback to my article. I'm glad that it's promoted healthy debate, as this is a good thing. When people feel passionately about an issue, whatever side they take, means that they are engaged, involved and concerned. That indeed is the point of my article. To get people involved.

I'd like to comment specifically to "geoff's two cents" comments. Geoff, your points are well taken. I fully understand how, based on what I wrote, you would conclude that I'm placing the burden of downtown's problems on the backs of the underserved and disenfranchised. So, if I can address that issue here:

1) If you look at the top of the comment section, I included an addendum to my article that highlights my career background in working with people in need - from men and women living on the streets, to people on social assistance. I do care about helping people from underserved backgrounds. If I didn't, I would not have made a career out of it.

What I omitted in my article was a point that you articulated well, and I'm sorry I forgot to include it. That being, the downtown is for EVERYONE, from every class, from every background. I agree that diversity downtown means not just seeing diversity of well healed people downtown, but diversity across the economic spectrum.

Toronto is a good example in this respect. There are people from across all walks of life, all income brackets, all socio-economic backgrounds, all cultures, who populate the downtown. It's an example of how a healthy downtown accomodates ALL people. And that's what I would like to see in Hamilton - a downtown that is healthy enough to accomodate ALL people.

Perhaps the reason why I focused so much on the types of people I see downtown, is that I don't see enough diversity, and that is what I would like to see (a.k.a like Toronto). It's not that I want to see less of one segment of the population, but I would like to see more segments (without displacing those that already frequent downtown). Again, that's what it's like in Toronto, and t hat's one reason why Toronto is so successful in creating a vibrant downtown. EVERYONE is represented downtown.

My intention, in no way, was to imply that downtown Hamilton should limit who frequents its streets. Heaven forbid. I can understand how the omission of this point in my article, can leave people thinking that I am an elitist, classist, bigoted snob. Please let me disabuse readers of this.

I appreciate "geoff's two cents" response to my article, as he's given me the opportunity to clarify and qualify my points. I hope that these thoughts will bring a better understanding of my intentions to write this article.

Thanks again for reading.

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