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How Have You Made a Change?

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How Have You Made a Change?

This week, it’s all about standing up for a cause you believe in. alive staff share their experiences with activism.

This week, we’re using the information that we learned about our communities earlier in August to get political and make a positive change.  Activism can come in a wide variety of shapes and forms—check out how alive staff members are getting involved with things that they care about.  

Leah Payne, Editor: I like using email to tell political leaders and companies what I think about their practices. It’s not only when I disagree with something that I send an email—sometimes I’ll let them know if I really like a new policy change. Another really simple way to make a difference is by signing online petitions created by organizations, which the organizations then pass along to political parties. It doesn’t take a long time to do, but every name on a petition counts!

Sandi Gauvin, Senior Editor:  I’m attending a Public Hearing this very evening at the Delta Municipal Hall. The meeting will hear an application from a property owner and developer who proposes to build on property that borders the waterway where we row. The proposal includes 11 family homes on the shores of Deas Slough as well as 11 float homes on the slough.

Because of the nature of the waterway—it’s sheltered and very safe for all kinds of water sports—it’s a widely used recreation area. Along with our rowing club (100+ members) who use the waterway at least five times a week, there are recreational boaters, water skiers, canoeists, kayakers, dragon boaters, outrigger canoeists, paddleboarders, and others who share the waterway. Because the float homes and their water leases will extend into the waterway, they may significantly reduce the area in which the recreational users can operate, and
they may also affect the ability of motorized boats to operate because of wake restrictions.

Members of our club as well as the other clubs that use the waterway have been using their respective networks to communicate with each other as well as with the various government departments who will have a say in the development’s approval. We’ve also been spreading the word through social media, through news stories and letters to the editor, and on our respective websites.

The hearing this evening is an opportunity for us all to show up and express our concerns for the record in a public venue.

Colleen Grant, Editor: A few years ago, my townhouse complex was planning to discuss cutting down my family’s out-of-control tree at our monthly strata meeting. I was not happy, as this autumn-coloured Japanese maple provided the perfect amount of shade for backyard-lounging. I’d never attended one of these meetings before, but I marched in to defend my favourite flora (with my parents along for moral support). And we saved the tree! (Or some of it at least—we agreed to the compromise that its glorious red leaves would be trimmed back.)

Whether you’re defending a tree, a waterway, or even commending a policy change well done, getting into the activist spirit can really make a difference.

 How will you get your voice out there? Send us a Tweet using the #2013alive hashtag to
let us know! You can also follow us on Twitterand Facebook, and follow our blog posts to see how we’re doing with our goals.

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