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Talk Vancouver: Tell City Hall What You Think

What do you do when democracy fails? What do you do when a city holds an election and two-thirds of the people eligible to vote don’t bother showing up to the polls? Can the successful candidates really claim a mandate to govern? And if they can’t, is it their fault citizens didn’t do their duty to vote?

These were the tough questions faced by the City of Vancouver after the 2011 municipal election only drew 35 per cent voter turnout. It spawned Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Engaged City Task Force, which was put to work on creating a city that is more connected, where people are interested and excited about speaking up for what’s important to us, and where local government demonstrates that it is, indeed, listening to all of its important communities: newcomers, immigrants, businesses, developers and social justice groups.

Often, cities are faced with only hearing a slice of feedback from groups that want to hijack a process. Often, citizens genuinely don’t have the time to attend council meetings or town halls or open houses. It doesn’t mean they don’t have something to say.

Read the full post from Shachi Kurl featured in HuffPost British Columbia