A few thoughts on community engagement in politics

Dear friends,

-Phew- It feels like summer is already upon us doesn’t it? The weather is warmer, the sun is shining, plants are blooming and the bitter cold seems like a long way off. April was a busy month for council with London’s Downtown planning guidelines being approved, approving Rock the Park’s extra day, discussing the regional rideshare program, approving the construction contract for the Normal School, and many more things. I am also very much looking forward to the festivals held in London starting in June.

I would like to extend my congratulations to the election winners in the provincial election in Alberta this past week. This election is note-worthy in the amount of women elected including: Kathleen Ganley, Nicole Goehring, Sarah Hoffman, Heather Sweet, Shannon Phillips, and Rachel Notley as the future Premier of Alberta. I would also like to congratulate the winners in the P.E.I. provincial elections.

The turnout in Alberta’s election recently was the highest seen in 22 years and P.E.I.’s turnout was 10.5% higher than 4 years ago. This suggests a turnaround in the voter apathy our country has been seeing in recent years. Some analysts commenting on the Alberta election have said that this turnout was the result of voters feeling that their votes would make a difference. The greater the sense that your government is engaged in your life, interested in your well-being and will make a difference the more likely voters will come to the polls.

I want to make certain that I am part of a local government which engages with the public in an open and accountable manner. It is one of the reasons I chose run for city council. I wanted to become more involved because I believe in a government where every resident’s voice matters and is heard. I believe that our elected representatives are supposed to embody their community’s interests in the policies they support and decisions they make, which is what I strive to do as your councillor.

In order to engage with my community I have taken to using various forms of social media such as this blog. I also have a Twitter account and a Facebook page which I use to keep you, my constituents, informed about what is happening in London and Ward 10. I also use my various social media platforms to inform you all what services are offered by the City of London, the goings on of committees I am part of and the results of council meetings.   I also hold town hall style meetings in Ward 10, during which I make sure that I hear your voices and concerns for our community and city. Finally, I have a standing commitment to respond to communications I receive from my constituents (that’s you) within 48 hours.

As always, please feel free to share your opinion or ask questions about a specific issue at any time via e-mail or phone.

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