Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council voted today to move forward with a comprehensive array of recommendations from the final report of the Mayor’s Engaged City Task Force, building on 11 months of community input and feedback.
Council referred the recommendations to staff for review and a report back on implementation, with proposed steps outlining ways that Vancouver City Hall can improve voter turnout, enhance consultation, and better engage with newcomers and new immigrants across the city. The report also included a variety of suggestions on how local residents and community groups can help make Vancouver a more engaged and interconnected city.
“The recommendations of the Engaged City Task Force offer a strong vision and plan for how we can enhance civic involvement in Vancouver and build stronger engagement in communities throughout our city,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “I want to thank the Task Force again for their thorough work to include such a strong depth of ideas about how to achieve that goal. Making progress on important challenges like housing affordability and becoming the world’s greenest city requires active participation from a broad cross section of our community, and I look forward to continuing our work to improve how City Hall engages with Vancouver residents.”
The Task Force consisted of 22 members from a diversity of backgrounds, ages, and neighbourhoods in Vancouver, with extensive experience in civic engagement and community involvement.
The 19 Priority Actions recommended by the Task Force included:
- Pilot a neighbourhood liaison position to assist communities with a high proportion of newcomers and new immigrants, to help familiarize them with city programs;
- Create a Charter of Roles, Rights and Responsibilities for the Planning Process, so that all stakeholders clearly know what is expected of them;
- Develop an aggressive strategy to increase voter registration, including partnering with post-secondary institutions to increase awareness to first-time voters;
- Increase promotion of 3-1-1, with a focus on non-English-speaking communities.
The Task Force also proposed six “Recommended Ideas” for community action. These are steps that residents can take on themselves to make Vancouver a more inclusive, engaged city. These included:
- Encouraging restaurants to support long-table dinners and conversation tables where strangers can come together to share meals, such as Alfresco;
- Neighbourhoods hosting Winter Potlucks, which would provide neighbourhood gathering opportunities outside of block party events in the summer.
The presentation of the Engaged City Task Force recommendations at Council followed the final report being made available to the public six weeks in advance. Members of the public who are interested in providing feedback can continue to email their comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Mayor at Gregor.Robertson@vancouver.ca
The final report can be viewed here:
http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/final-report-engaged-city-task-force-2014.pdf Engaged City Task Force - Final Report