Comment 77945

By CouldaWouldaShoulda (anonymous) | Posted June 04, 2012 at 16:19:37 in reply to Comment 77932

If you could see me right now, you'd be witnessing a pretty sizeable smile. Not of the 'I told you so!' variety, but more one rooted in wanting things to change in Hamilton, and believing that the most profound aspect of this change must from from the residents' side of the 'Great Governance Formula'.

This morning I sent Ryan off an op-ed piece that was clearly on the same wavelength as Jonathan's. It has to do with the effects of increased engagement, specifally the cause-and-effect that results at City Hall. It's called 'A Proposition Towards a More Livable City', and I'm still hopeful Ryan decides to publish it.

I've yammered on about increased engagment, it's why I began the Town Halls Hamilton effort. And as an organic extension of this, I began the Hamilton Neighbourhood Associations site. Here's what I posted earlier this year:

"Mostly because it's our belief that the most profound changes towards better local governance can occur as a result of Hamilton's citizenry changing its role. Because we believe the most potent aspect of the 'great governance formula' is the untapped energies of community and neighbourhood associations. As it's clear that so many situations unfold where a lack of communication with, transparency to and consideration for the very people whose lives are being affected by decisions made by others, we imagine a better way, where people are heard, where dialogue is mandated, where local residents are not ignored, where bad decisions can be avoided.

'There's strength in numbers.'

There's much to be hopeful for in this city's future. Banding together, generating better understanding, deeper cohesion and a unified voice will surely help those hopes be realized."

So to read Jonathan's article was a real shot in the arm. Yes, those five NAs *should* be commiserating, getting everything lined-up, working towards a consensus. And the other NAs in the downtown should certainly be there, too. Kirkendall, Strathcona, should *all* neighbourhoods in the Lower City.

I first began talking about a 'congress' of NAs last year. With some very well known –and well respected– community activists. The idea was to (eventually) get NAs in one place to network, to workshop, to get more accustomed to the idea of creating a mechanism by which major issues can be championed at City Hall. Maybe this 'walkable streets' issue in combination with the HWDSB imbroglio will help kick-start the much needed change.

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