During the last municipal election as part of my platform on public engagement I committed to starting a Mayors blog. After 9 months in office, I am probably little overdue in giving this whole blogging thing a try, but here we go. In New Westminster we are very fortunate to have a great blogging community, with a number of excellent blogs covering our city and its local politics ( 10th to the Fraser, Councillor Patrick Johnstone & Canspice to name a few). A few months ago, I had another regional Mayor comment to me about the great blogging culture that we have here in New West, something I think we should be proud of. I am not sure how well I will be able to contribute to our blogging community, but I am looking forward to giving it a try.
I have two main objectives that I am hoping to accomplish with this blog:
- Let people know what the city and its local government are up to: As someone who lives and breathes local government here in New Westminster I am often caught off guard when I find out people are only faintly aware of some of the major initiatives the city is working on. Although I think our council meetings are pretty darn exciting, I suspect the vast majority of residents do not regularly watch our Monday council sessions. If this blog can help provide residents with another venue to stay in touch with their local government, I will consider it a success.
- Humanize local politics: Having been a local politician for almost 10 years now, I find that politicians are often perceived in two ways, 1.They are placed up on a pedestal 2. They are viewed with great cynicism. The majority of the time these two perceptions are not warranted and I think they actually contribute to the disconnect people feel with our democracy. I am hoping my blog can help show some of the personal side of my position and the work that I am doing in the community.
At this point, I am really not sure how this blog is going to turn out. I suspect there will be no shortage of interesting topics to write about in our great city. The only limiting factor for me could be the lack of minutes in the day. So wish me luck in my entry into the world of blogging.