ECoB announces Inform Series of events: Mayor will be the kick-off speaker.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The grass roots group that got trashed by every member of city council that didn’t get re-elected has invited the Mayor to be the inaugural speaker for their “Inform Series” event.

ECOB founding Nov 25 back of heads

The founding meeting – people showed up with cheques in their hands to get it off the ground.

They first met in a basement condo room to in December of 2017 to form what became the strongest force during the 2018 election.

They names themselves ECoB: Engaged Citizens of Burlington, a take off on the city’s claim that Burlington was a fully engaged city.

The purpose of the “Inform Series” is to inform, explain and discuss the important issues affecting Burlington, development, citizen engagement and local democracy.

Mayor Meed Ward will be speaking about the impact of the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) on the ability of municipalities to defend their Official Plans and implement a democratically based development vision.

Red jacket at city hallThe kick-off event will happen this spring (June 13th – the date has yet to be confirmed) in the Community Room at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. The event will be free to attend, but membership of ECoB or a small donation would be appreciated to defray the costs. As an incorporated not-for-profit organization, your help would be most appreciated.

ECoB intends to be a paid membership organization. Membership is $10 a year.

How did ECoB get to the point where it survived an at times cynical onslaught from then Councillors Dennison and Lancaster? Councillor Sharman was just as cynical – but he managed to get re-elected due to the number of people running against him.

Sharman seat at ward 5

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman chose not to take part in the ward 5 ECoB debate. He did send some of his people to hand out literature.

The 2018 election proved to the citizens that if you want to defeat an incumbent make the race a one on one event, unless your profile is so bad that a field of more than one candidate going after the seat BETTER HERE.
In ward 6 Angelo Bxx had worked diligently to build the profile he needed to take down Lancaster – and even then he won by less than 50 votes.

Penny Hersh and Roland Tanner have worked hard since the election to create an organization that will have groups in each ward – those groups will be independent but able to work with the ECoB core for support, guidance and direction.

There are now teams in each ward; some much healthier and more active than others. While development issues tend to bring people out ECoB wants to ensure that it is not an anti-development group. Expect to see them create a get out the vote drive in in 2022.

The 2018 election bought out much less than 50% of the population – anything less than 65% isn’t really acceptable for a community as wealthy and as educated as Burlington.

ECoB feels it now has a mayor they can work with – however they don’t expect to become the clapping – booster crowd for the Mayor. They have created a forum where voices can be heard – something Burlington didn’t have as far back as 2006.

ECoB debate at Baptist on New

ECoB fille the Baptist church for one of the ward debates. The city had never experienced anything like that before.

What ECoB has taught the city is that – if you want change you have to get out on the street and create it.
ECoB sponsored debates in every ward in the city. They were able to raise close to $12,000 to pay for the space they needed and hire a videographer who filmed every debate. Those debates can be found in the Gazette archives – they will make interesting viewing when the time comes to elect the next city council in 2022.

ECoB Crowd Feb 22During the 2018 election ECoB drew a crowd that filled the Baptist church on New Street. Rick Goldring, running for re-election had his campaign manager inside listening while the Mayor stayed outside. He had chosen not to be “engaged”.

ECoB put on classes for people who were interested in running for office or taking part in a campaign. That level of grassroots involvement was something the city just didn’t have in the past – and it showed at the polls.

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1 comment to ECoB announces Inform Series of events: Mayor will be the kick-off speaker.

  • Penny Hersh

    I want to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers that helped in making the debates possible, and the residents who attended them. I have said before “It Takes a Village” to make things happen.

    ECoB is always looking for interested residents to get involved. Please visit our website engagedburlington.ca for upcoming events and information.

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