Ideas for change or improvement, whether brought forward by a councillor, other community leader-or yourself...are more powerful with the support of many from the community. I'll always remember what was told to me years ago, while I was working on a huge community advocacy project: "People make the waves...politicians ride them." Effective advocacy in a positive democracy starts with citizenship-residents caring about their community and for all the people who live in it. A great councillor will not only represent but will also encourage citizenship and effectively engage community in creating generational change. I want to be that kind of councillor. I want District 4 to be that kind of community!
Citizenship/civic engagement will empower residents with knowledge about how different government levels work and what they are responsible for. Citizenship efforts include education about government and advocacy that result in the empower residents with of ownership of projects dedicated to improving their own and their community's well-being. The positive outcome of citizenship focused initiatives include the area's improved social capacity. Social capacity/capital includes:
Working with a positive mindset is crucial in developing ideas and action plans that work towards successful implementation. Working from an asset based paradigm as opposed to a needs based outlook, requires the bottom up approach to development: which includes the voices and the participation of the residents the decision making affects directly.
Below is the difference between a needs based/top down (agency led) approach, and one that is asset based/bottom up (citizen/community led)...
The new paradigm in community development-a positive focus on what we have in our community that works and/or is great-and how we can build on that!
Let's face it - we often see that top down approaches are ineffective. This is because there is not enough civic engagement and thus ownership for the initiatives necessary for development, is not enabled.
Left: How we go from community member to active citizen...as a community we will identify/expose the issues, deliberate on the why/how and act! The social capacity factors below; we will work on these to develop our community's resources to enable resilience for every District 4 resident!