Sunday, May 27, 2012
Lauren McCrawley: Penetration
May 2, 2022
In the decade since the formation of the Hamilton Federation of Neighbourhood Associations in 2012, how things happen in the city has changed so much that were it possible to venture back in time and present to that year's Council the implications of organizing, energizing and empowering Hamilton residents by way of NAs...chances are that 'gobsmacked' would have been the consensus reaction.
Here's yet another excerpt from the interview with Federation Chair Ms McCrawley featured on 'This is Our Hamilton'.
TIOH: What did you, or anyone associated with the HFNA, see as the best possible outcome at the neighbourhood level, involvement-wise?
McCrawley: I'm assuming you're not talking about the establishment of NAs, that you're talking about the penetration of 'participation'.
McCrawley: Well, it's kind of like unemployment rates. While it would be nice to have zero unemployment, that's just not a realistic goal. The same for voter turnout; one hundred percent turnout would be lovely, but that's just not going to happen...short of everyone being marched at gunpoint to the polling stations.
TIOH: Just out of curiosity, do you have any feelings on what the ceilings are for those areas? Unemployment and voter turnout?
McCrawley: I'm no Economics or Political Scientist... But my understanding is about 4% for the former and maybe 80% for the latter.
TIOH: Fair enough.
McCrawley: So in regards to the question 'What percentage of residents are active in their NAs, and therefore, in HFNA efforts?' the answer is about 65%. This means that we have roughly 65% of residents in each neighbourhood signed up and at least receptive to being engaged.
But of course, I do have to say that there will always be a core of residents who are more energized, who get things started, who are momentum-creators. This is about 15% of our membership. Then you've got those people who will respond to calls to attend meetings, etc. That's about 30%. The rest are those who may not attend meetings that often, but who can be counted on to occasionally come to festivals, to town halls, and regularly signing petitions.
Everyone has a role to play. And we've been fortunate in creating an environment where residents can define that role themselves out of their own 'comfort level'. But I'll tell you this: because of how NAs are encouraged to run their shows, people are constantly going from a passive place to getting more involved. And this happens mostly out of inspiration.