Vancouver is a great city. Yet it can still be improved — particularly the systems of decision-making that affect us all. Since 2010, CityHallWatch has continued to put a spotlight on key components of the civic system. Our pledge is to continue in 2015. Our city and local society are a microcosm of the world. Many aspects of what we see here in Vancouver have gone on through the ages and still go on today in many cities and countries of the world — some places are better, and some are worse. In that sense, let’s look at our city as a test case for planet Earth. We aim to test and improve the trust and integrity of the civic system.
The figure above depicts some of the key players and aspects in the civic system. In sequence, here is what we will continue to pay attention to this year (from “Start here”):
- Advocate for strict controls on donations to politicians — through better legislation, bylaws, standards and practices.
- Promote better representation of the populace — in the local government.
- Push for more transparency.
- Expose and challenge bloc voting.
- Report where it looks like political donors are getting rewarded.
- For neighbourhoods, provide analysis, networking, encouragement, support, and a megaphone.
- Cut through the “doublespeak.”
- Cover important stories that mainstream media seem to be overlooking. Challenge them where they seem to be biased.
- Encourage public awareness, empowerment, engagement, and participation in the civic system.