Comment 95500

By JasonAAllen (registered) - website | Posted December 04, 2013 at 11:20:43

It's been noted by many over the years, and on this thread, but in the Training world, we always ask "Is it a skill problem, or a will problem?" It's not like we don't know WHAT to do to fix downtown, it's that we don't consider fixing downtown as important as getting through downtown quickly on our way to wherever we're going. (That's the collective, Hamilton-wide 'we')

Kelly's suggestion of taking the information to the naysayers is a great one: Only we can NOT go armed with stats and figures and graphs, we need to go armed with a narrative - we need to tell a story about how a great downtown will be great for everyone, or more precisely how a struggling downtown hurts everyone.

I also liked Jennifer's comment about how we're subsidizing sprawl still, and how much that's hurting the entire city. In the last municipal election in Calgary, progressive candidates calculated how much money suburban sprawl was costing each existing home-owner in the city (something like $440 a year in extra property taxes to cover charges that were unfunded by development fees) and hammered away at the message. As a result, the shape of Calgary's city council is beginning to change dramatically away from sprawl-supporting Aldermen who are 'owned' lock, stock, and barrel by developers, to more progressive voices that are beginning to make real change.

It's a tactic that progressive candidates in the next election (myself included) would do well to emulate in Hamilton.

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