It should be no surprise that I am big on using your right to free speech, among other things, to become engaged in the political process. I’m not talking about running for elections, but maintaining a level of accountability from your government – and that includes libraries, police force, politicians and other public servants.
On my part, I am one of the many people tasked with getting as many people out to the public consultations for the central library as ever I possibly can. I really don’t care if you like the idea or not – the reality is that it belongs to Halifax and so Haligonians not only deserve to have a say, but at some level have a responsibility to use their say. If you cannot make it out physically, why not view past ones from u-stream? Here is a Wordle for some of the things said so far. You can also use #hfxnewlib Twitter tag to send a message out to the architects as well. (PS. The next consultation is on August 25th, 2010 from 7 to 9 pm (doors open at 6:15) at Pier 21.
There are a few other efforts that I’ve noticed on the web, looking to get the community more engaged in the political world.
- The Trade Centre has created a website to promote discussion of the new convention centre proposed for downtown.
- Peter Kelly has initiated a WordPress blog where he plans to share ‘ideas about our community.’ I found this little post on HRM’s sister cities, Hakodate and Norfolk, VA to be pretty interesting.
- Among others, Mayor Peter Kelly, & Councillor Dawn Sloane seem to be pretty engaged on Twitter, while Twitcoast offers a fun approach to getting the gyst of council meetings. (Note: if you are a councillor and want me to mention you, just let me know and I’ll add you to this list).
- Capital Health (HRM’s hospital) has done a great job of increasing public engagement efforts as well. Including a presence on Twitter and the opening of a social capital venture called the Mindful Mango.
What initiatives are you seeing from the public sector that are working to get people more engaged in the political process?