Today's 'Opinion' section in The Spec has an essay by yours-truly focusing on the concept of entrenched neighbourhood associations across the city and how they could make tremendous change possible.
I wrote it partially because of a previous essay by Graham Crawford focusing on the need for an external 'hero', but mostly because over at My Stoney Creek, I've been engaging in some quality 'What if?' time.
'What if we had a massive penetration of NAs in wards?'
'What if we saw a paradigm shift in how people tended to see their place in local governance?'
'What if communities were far more involved in not only the decision-making process, but in re-imagining their city?'
And so I went into the future. To 2022. When an entity known as the 'Federation of Hamilton Neighbourhood Associations' exists, as chaired by Ms Lauren McCrawley.
In this version of our future, we have well over a hundred NAs in the city. And they don't exist in name-only; they're active, they're productive, they reflect an evolved view of engagement by residents.
I've created an 'interview' with Ms McCrawley, and have been publishing 'excerpts'. Here are a few links: