Thursday, January 27, 2011

Civic Engagement: What Can Councillors Do? Part Three

As stated previously, I believe that the only authentic way to improve local governance on a long-term basis is to 'increase the relationship of engagement between the residents and their Councillors'.

The direction of the engagement is paramount. It has to come from the citizenry to be authentic and longstanding. The primary impetus has to come from us.

However, I also believe that Councillors must do what they can do to help build this new relationship of engagement. Here's my third suggestion towards this end.

A Councillor should encourage neighbourhoods within the ward to establish their own blogs or sites and Facebook pages.

Gone are the days when a sense of community grew organically. Life has become too fast-paced, too fragmented for that to happen, by-and-large. People live their lives in ways that their ancestors couldn't have imagined.

And so the traditional 'ties that bind' have to be augmented, if not nurtured from the ground up. And online mechanisms are great ways to organize, to foster bonds, to engage neighbours. Which can only lead to better engagement within local governance.

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I'm always interested in feedback, differing opinions, even contrarian long as they're delivered with decorum...with panache and flair always helping.