Don’t let the summer quiet fool you, there are still a lot of ways to give some feedback on important Edmonton issues. Here are a few on our radar.
The downtown bike network
Edmonton’s new bike lanes are certainly the talk of the town. But don’t let the initial excitement lull you into thinking the planning is done. The downtown bike network is intended to be flexible and change as problems pop up or better design options are found. And the City needs to hear from people on what they think (outside of all the love on Twitter).
As a reward for doing the survey, clear your calendar for the bike party on Saturday, August 26. Even if you don’t own a bike, there will be rentals available so you can ride the new bike lanes too!
Edmonton continues to pick up the expansion of our LRT system after years of little action. We’ve got new lines coming to Mill Woods in the southeast, heading west down Stony Plain Road to West Edmonton Mall and crossing the old airport lands in the new Blatchford neighbourhood. But where do we go next?!
While some of our more immediate next steps will get really interesting after the election, there are plans thinking even further out about potential connections between the downtown, Old Strathcona and Whyte Avenue (hopefully to Sherwood Park to build out better regional connections). This “Centre LRT” is just a line on a map right now, so make sure you let the City know what you think should, or shouldn’t, happen.
The provincial government is also looking for feedback right now (including on the Municipal Government Act), with a deadline speeding at us to make age-based discrimination illegal. While this stems from a challenge related to seniors, many have seized upon the opportunity to banish an odd bit of segregation that Alberta stands alone with. We don’t allow children to live in a lot of types of housing.
The problems with this kind of discrimination are easy to think of, including: limiting a city like Edmonton’s ability to truly bring back people to older neighbourhoods (think about all those new towers we’re building that won’t allow kids); it pushes people with children to certain neighbourhoods or kinds of housing.
If you want to let the Alberta government know what you think about the changes they’ll need to make related to ageism, and let them know that people with children don’t deserve to be banned from any part of the city, you’ll want to fill out the discussion guide and email it in.
If this is something you’re really feeling passionate about, you can also grab a petition from the Child Friendly Housing Coalition and collect some signatures.
Connect with candidates
Edmonton’s municipal elections are this October, and most of the people who are going to run for city council and our two school boards have likely declared their intentions. If you want to stretch your civic engagement muscles, helping a candidate with their campaign is a great way to do that.
Over at Daveberta, you’ll be able to find links to the websites and social media of just about every single candidate. That should help you figure out who lines up with your values, and how you’ll be able to get in touch with them. Whether it’s working phones, dropping pamphlets, delivering signs or hitting the doors, every candidate can use some more help (or just give them money, they like that too).
If you have the time this summer, and some comfy shoes, door-knocking with a candidate is a great way to explore parts of Edmonton, including neighbourhoods you’ve never been to.
— Miranda Jimmy (@ElectMirandaYEG) August 2, 2017
Are there are other public engagement opportunities on your summer radar? Let us know!
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