Vancouver, this is your city! Those who voted in the last civic election (2011) elected the 11 officials now in council. It was a democratic process in which people voted for individual candidates, but it produced an absolute majority of one sole “party” (or “elector organization”). Those who voted gave them absolute power during that election. But what really makes our city work is the day-to-day decisions made at City Hall under the advice of the public servants working for the City. Citizens regularly get opportunities to provide input to the city, at committee meetings, Council meetings, and public hearings.
Write or call your elected officials:
You can write and phone, but speaking to Council IN PERSON is an important way to get your issues and needs across. This web page is dedicated to supporting active citizen involvement, and (one hopes) constructive input. Read on for info and tips to be more clear, concise, and effective.
Citizens who consider themselves affected by proposed, rezonings, policies, and by-law amendments can speak at a committee meeting or Public Hearing (click here for agendas). Please register individually by telephone or by e-mail before the meeting you’re interested in. Contact info is provided on the agenda webpage for each meeting. You may also register in person at the door before the Hearing. Provide your name, contact phone number, and mention the agenda number and item for the specified date. The chair should also make a last call for speakers after the last registered speaker at the meeting.
- If you’re busy and cannot afford to wait hours for your chance to speak, before going to City Hall, Call 311 and ask for the City Clerk’s Office, then ask where the meeting is on the agenda. You could time your arrival accordingly. Citizens have been known to wait for 8 hours or more for a chance to speak for 5 minutes, so this one little phone call could save you a LOT of time.
- When you arrive for an evening meeting, you must push the unmarked button on the left at the front door of City Hall for the security guard to let you enter, and then go to the Council Chambers on the third floor. (Don’t let the large “closed” signs fool you.)
- Anyone who cannot attend can watch live by Internet. You can also replay the recorded video the next day on your computer. Or watch by Shaw cable on later days. Click here for more info.
West End Neighbours has some excellent materials and tips on speaking to City Council. Please click here.