It’s not all doom and gloom for Hamilton.
I had the rather enjoyable experience of attending the Citizen’s Levee on the front steps of City Hall, New Year’s Day. I was surrounded by people who, regardless of whether or not they tend to be called “dissidents’” by our Mayor’s office, contribute significantly to our community. Whether through business, public service or otherwise, these persons lend to the strong sense of community we have.
From the perspective of a Toronto ex-pat of 18 yrs, I can honestly say Hamiltonians tend to underestimate our city’s worth. Where Toronto strives to be a liveable city, we are one. We take this for granted.
Hamilton is of a size that individual effort still makes a profound impact. Arts, natural habitats, innovative enterprise, research and most importantly community support abound. Only in Hamilton can you sit down for a coffee and strike up a discussion with a total stranger that leads to firm plans to incite change.
Community engagement and discussion is alive and well. And where we still have challenges and room to grow, we can and will persevere. The caring and compassion of our citizens will ensure things like pollution, poverty and social exclusion, be resolved. It is our attitude that will determine our destiny.
I too am guilty in my striving of focusing on the negative without valuing the positives along side of it. The positives are my resources, you.
In a stirring and apt statement from Christopher Cutler, I was reminded that City Hall’s most important member was its citizen. Our political process at all levels is dependent on the will of the people. We never abdicate that role. We can only fail to fulfill it. We are the change we wish to see.
Happy New Year!