Windsor Votes 301 – No Big Surprises
At least six different Wards were represented by the twenty-five or so people who came out to the last educational Windsor Votes session – 301, “Local Issues that Matter to You.” We encouraged participants to keep in mind that the people who were sitting at their table were not necessarily living in the same Ward, and – even if they were in the same Ward – not in the same neighbourhood.
The big question was – Did the local concerns change across Wards or neighbourhoods, or were they the same? Were there any surprises?
Well no, there weren’t any surprises. At least that was what they told us.
To be fair, the people who were at this session – and indeed others who came out to Windsor Votes 101 and 201 – are generally people who are fairly active citizens already, but there was a consistency between Wards that has continuously been drawing residents together, whether they are surprised about it or not.
We watched videos that CBC Windsor produced where people from each Ward discussed their local concerns – flooding, parking, construction.
We discussed affordable housing, people experiencing homelessness, access to health care, vacant buildings, and resources needed for an aging population – to name a few – but, in the context of an upcoming municipal election, most conversations came back to one idea: residents feeling like they are being listened to. The italics imply that the listening is meaningful and acted upon by Councillors, City employees, and administration. Consistent communication and transparency certainly helps this process.
To be fair to our Councilors, getting upset and saying “change this now!” (angry face) is often not very effective. As the residents and neighbourhood strategy staff of the West End, Glengarry, Downtown, and Ford City have discovered, mobilizing groups of people and developing well-informed arguments can be much more effective. Turn that frustration and anger into a shared passion for change with your neighbours and fellow Windsorites. When you do reach out to your Councilor they will know that your well-informed arguments are echoed by many other people across Windsor.
The challenges may appear to be “Ward-specific,” but often they manifest in many different ways. A great example of this is our successful advocacy around the Vacant Building Strategy. We broke down our arguments of support in terms of economic, social, and safety factors, and how these in fact impact the whole City. Read more about it here.
Right now you and your neighbours can turn these arguments into questions that gauge how well any given candidate knows about the challenge you are asking them about, what they plan to do about it, and how they will include you in the process through communication and participation. See the attached presentation below for further explanation of this.
While Windsor Votes 301 is the final “educational session” in our series, there are still many opportunities to get involved and learn more about the municipal elections that are happening soon – October 22nd, 2018. Below we are going to include links to news media and events where you can learn more about the candidate who you think will represent you best – or indeed work with the candidate who you may not agree with, but is still voted in. But Windsor Votes has never just been about getting more people out to vote, though that is something that we hoped to encourage. We want more people getting involved in the advocacy that will strengthen their neighbourhoods, Wards, and Windsor as a whole.
Here is the presentation from Windsor Votes 301. It includes links to the CBC videos mentioned above. Windsor Votes 301 FINAL COPY
The CBC showed up to cover Windsor Votes 301. Check out the article.
The advocacy movement in Windsor is being noticed beyond local media. Check out this Case Study prepared by the Tamarack Institute, a learning institute based in Waterloo, ON that supports community change-makers.
Ford City Renewal is hosting a Ward 5 All Candidates Night, Wednesday Oct. 3rd at the Gino & Liz Marcus Community Complex 1168 Drouillard Road, starting at 6:15PM. Click here to navigate to the facebook event page.
The Windsor Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Mayoral Debate at the Fogolar Furlan Club on Wednesday Oct. 10th, from 11:15 until 1:30PM.
The CBC has provided lots of great information about candidates across Windsor – Essex. You may need to do a little more reading to get a good impression of your candidates, but it is a good way to find the information all in one spot. Click here.
For another list of candidates access the City of Windsor’s Municipal Elections page here.
There is even a Facebook page for Elections Windsor with a video for your viewing convenience. Access it here.
It isn’t just the neighbourhood strategies that are trying to get people out to vote. Check out Promote the Vote 2018 set up by one of your fellow Windsorites.
For all things local politics, check out Rose City Politics. The podcast hosts are doing weekly ward debates between candidates.