Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Naheed Nenshi - Mayor of Calgary

Naheed Nenshi is the Mayor of Calgary.  He’s young, just over 40, and he’s innovative.  Mayor Nenshi spoke at Memorial University last week and in St. John’s.  His hour long talk and question and answer session is a fascinating look on how we can renew municipal government and engage citizens in the process.  It’s well worth the watch – see it here

Key discussion themes that Mayor Nenshi raised in his discussion.  I reflect on them as LESSONS FOR CLARENVILLE:
  1. On Involvement - people will be involved in their community if they are asked to be involved.
  2. On being open as a country  - Nenshi noted that in order to continue our growth we are going to need imported talent.  We have to be more open.  Nobody should care where you are from - be concerned about what you can bring to the table
  3. On Transparency - People want honesty and transparency. Transparency breeds honesty and citizen engagement
  4. On the importance of Municipal Government - If the federal or provincial governments disappeared it would take a while to notice.  If municipal governments disappeared you would notice almost immediately - We underrate its importance and value.
  5. The Three Things for Calgary project - This is an engagement project launched in Calgary where citizens were asked to do three things to make their city a better place and then tell someone about it. http://www.3thingsforcalgary.ca/
  6. On taxes – If there is a clear link between services and the community and if people perceive value for what they are paying they will pay more gladly pay taxes.  A town's/city's job is to show vale for the taxes being collected.
  7. On Engagement:  Using a novel process, Calgary engaged 24,000 citizens in their  consultation process.  They used many techniques including social media.  This proved that it's not the people that's the problem (as we are told), it's the process used. 
  8. On the importance of Immigration -  Immigration is the promise of our community - embrace it.
  9. On why governments fear social media - Social media is hard to manage, and as a result politicians tend to fear it.  but the fear is the reason to embrace it.
  10. On Homelessness: Calgary has a successful anti-homelessness plan that we can learn from - http://calgaryhomeless.com/assets/research/Social-Policy-Frmwk-July2012.pdf

1 comment:

  1. You have a well-written article , very informative. I will be bookmarking this blog and subscribing to your feed so i can regularly read more articles.
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