Comment 68655

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 30, 2011 at 11:00:40 in reply to Comment 68646

Tell me, what civilian-led successes have we had in Hamilton?

First off, allow me to point out that as noted by the final point in your comment, apathy has long ruled. Secondly, what I'm talking about is not based on 'reactivity'. It's based on being 'pro-active'. So I'm willing to bet that most civilian-led successes in the case of re-activity have been akin to getting a park built, or a stoplight/crossing put in. So what? 'Past is prologue'? Just because we don't have a past where people are involved and participate within their local governance, we're supposed to just shrug and say 'Oh, well'? Please don't forget how much has changed just in this century regarding social media and the other resources of the Internet. 'We're not in our past anymore, Toto.'

Getting a stoplight added is a monumental task. Getting people talking about LRT was a herculean effort (now, probably wasted).

I guess I have to point out here that applying effort in the wrong way...no matter how well-intentioned...is the downfall of many endeavours. And here, on this site, fervor and fomentation gets many drunk.

So what beacons of hope can you hold up to show citizens that they aren't wasting their time in coming out to these town halls, and that they can accomplish something?

My goodness, you want guarantees? You're starting from an understandable place of cynicism...but let me turn the question around (and I'm not being defensive; I'm up for meeting at any time and discussing, or you could join the regular group of us for a coffee sometime...): What do you believe is a way to make things better, if you're not happy with how things are in Hamilton in terms of local governance?

The truth is that the residents' side of the equation...with the Councillors and Mayor on the other side...has been untapped...since time immemorial, and certainly within the past half-century. Why on earth wouldn't we want to tap into this massive resource? 'I've seen the answer...and the answer is us.'

How are you going to do to convince the average citizen of Hamilton that civic engagement will make any difference at all?

It's a slow process. Especially battling apathy. But I'll tell ya; I have faith in the ripple-effect, that if we were to begin meetings this autumn and continue having them regularly in every ward across the city, we'd see a gradual sea-change so that by the next election, we'd see an entirely different landscape...and an entirely different campaign unfolding.

And Hamiltonians would be the beneficiaries.

(Anyone so inclined can see more of what I have to say here: http://mystoneycreek.blogspot.com/ by searching via the label 'Civic Engagement'.)

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-08-30 11:01:04

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