Presentation at Mohawk Active Citizenship Talk

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 29, 2009

Yesterday, I had the honour of giving a talk on the role of community media at Mohawk College as part of their speaker series for the Active Citizenship program. (Nothing like a mandatory course to drum up attendance. :)

For anyone interested, here's a copy of my presentation slides. It's in HTML + Javascript rather than Powerpoint, and it should work in any reasonably modern browser.


Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 29, 2009 at 16:18:14

Can't believe you used our little gardening project as an example! Now I feel all pressured to make sure it's all fabulous and transformative.

When I get my act together, I'll blog about the Churchill Park Master Plan process, a truly citizen-driven approach to planning public space. The only reason I mention it now is because one of the pieces missing from your talk I feel, is the role our elected officials have to play in fostering citizen initiatives. The Churchill Park process is happening because we have the good fortune to have a ward councillor who actively supports and fosters citizen engagement and activism. We need to demand the same level of trust and responsiveness from the rest of our representatives.

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By @LL (anonymous) | Posted January 30, 2009 at 13:49:02

Hey, great work with Churchill Park. I don't live in the area, but I visit often and have always thought it would be a great place for a community garden. Some of that area should also be naturalized, if my opinion counts for anything.

Ryan: presentation sounds pretty relevant. Have you or any RTH folks looked at the issue of internet neutrality and how it might affect the alternative media? I'd imagine you'd have the technical background to write a pretty informative article on that issue.

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted February 01, 2009 at 09:36:34

Great initiative Ryan and raisethehammer is still the greatest blog in all of metro-media land.

If y'all want to build something inspirational in this village, you've got to get the tail waggin' wagerers together once in awhile. The Internet is great for an arm chair arms length, GO GEO Utopian preach, but shuffling feet upon red carpet greet sparks and forearms the people we reach shake hands and meet ...

Clears newsroom Cheers puppies

Before you find a leader, you've got to have a pack Playground not say ground is the thing that ye lack

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 01, 2009 at 22:17:10

Hi LL,

Pro-naturalization opinions always count in my book, in fact the RBG may be looking at that.

If you're interested in Churchill Park plans, contact me via Ryan.

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By MohawkMike (anonymous) | Posted February 02, 2009 at 19:03:13

Hi Ryan..
Enjoyed your discourse on Thursday and some of us were discussing your comments during Sooper Bole. Really !!! The beer maybe?
I finally am recognizing that students and young people have to get involved in their communities and the politics / governance/media etc. I don't know how to transfer a newspaper article to this forum but the Mountain News ( JAN 30)had a great guest column by a Mac student,, Maybe , Ryan , you could do that. Besides going to Mohawk, we live off Paradise on the Mountain and I have watched how a few rich folks on Scenic have tried to slow down what I think is great for the mountain,,ie utilizing the vacant Chedoke hospital lands for residential condos.
My pal in the planning course here tells me that will save over 100 acres of farm land and use the existing sewers and hydro etc.. A bunch of the students got involved in a class project last year, on this re-development to bring their ideas forward . They thought it was great because they were actually doing something that was in our immediate area and addressing sprawl. Not sure of the results.
We ( students )will and can get involved but sometimes you have to find our "ON" buttons,
Keep the spirit!

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted February 03, 2009 at 06:08:26

This one also comes to mind...

Open-source politics breathe fresh air into the Big Smoke 'Un-conferences' like ChangeCamp are applying 'the long tail' to public policy – and the powers that be are listening

That prevalence of social networks is starting to have unexpected real-world results. Just before Christmas, a spontaneous party for technology types, organized over Twitter in a matter of days, took over the Mod Club and raised a surprising $25,000 for the Daily Bread Food Bank — one of their biggest private donations of the year.

"It's transparency, whether it's a government or a piece of software. You can understand how it works, and look into it, and watch it in action."

"When you open up the data, there's no limit to what people can do," said Mayor David Miller this week. "It engages the imagination of citizens in building the city."

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By Grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 07, 2009 at 19:28:39

WRCU2: While I agree that networking is important and the connections between groups is essential, I wonder if you are missing an important part of the process.

While the donation to foodbank is nice, how are these groups actually benefitting those who struggle when they are only raising funds for foodbanks and not advocating for sustainable wages or amounts from social services?

Would not their voices be more beneficial if they were actually speaking out against the system that puts people into dire straits, instead of the feel good, pat on back, raising funds? Just asking!!!!

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