By: Susie Turner, Project Coordinator in Kitchener-Waterloo, Evergreen
The April 10th Kitchener roundtable crew may have been small, but with 6 participants our group combined perspectives of concerned community member, student, city employee, and parent to understand some of the strengths, challenges and opportunities in Kitchener-Waterloo from diverse experiences living in the region.
The group brought forward passionate concerns, shared ways they personal involve themselves in the community, and explored ideas for change that might act as tools to build a better KW. Thank you to everyone who came out-- let this be the start of a great conversation!
Empower citizens by connecting them to the information/people/resources in the city that they need to tackle important issues (this may include a space to work in, a direct link to a city councillor who can act as a connector or avenue to provide the city feedback)
Create more cohesive, engaged communities by building neighbourhood networks/associations
Increase communication lines between residents, decision makers and local leaders to build trust, empower and engage neighbourhoods
One other idea that was driven home a few times was to encourage the results and ideas generated at these forums to be put into motion in the community. In addition to passing roundtable feedback on to the We Are Cities team, creating a delegation to present concrete/strategic ideas to local MPPs or council members would be beneficial. This would encourage a stronger follow-through on ideas locally so as to ensure they are not discussed and dismissed on the ground.