What suggestions does Mayor Nenshi have for community associations to engage community residents, and what could the city do to help those of us who volunteer for those community associations?
This is a great question. In September, my office co-sponsored a meeting with the Federation of Calgary Communities. At that meeting, we asked these exact questions and we received a lot of feedback about how both community associations engage communities, particularly on issues of planning, and how the City can help them do that. As for the best solution, we’re still working on that and the City needs to continue to work with the FCC on this.
Of course, no community association is the same. That have different needs and different populations they must represent. We need to acknowledge this difference as we come up with tools to help the dedicated volunteers of each community association engage their fellow citizens. But I do know that this begins with representation of the broad community, and it’s a challenge every community organizer faces.
The more citizens we have volunteering to make their street, neighbourhood, and city better, the better Calgary will become. That is the basis behind the recent launch of 3 Things for Calgary, which asks all Calgarians to:
- Think about what three things they can do to make Calgary better
- Do those three things
- Encourage at least three more people to do the same
Naturally, volunteering as part of a community association can be one of those three things. And as dedicated volunteers who already do this, the next step is to get even more people involved in doing the same.