(2 minute read)
Building communities can seem like it’s a big job for one person. When I speak with residents they ask me how they can make a difference in their neighbourhood. After thinking about it, here are three things that aren’t hard, expensive, or time-consuming to do.
1. If you see something, say something
The squeaky wheel always gets the grease.
Apathy kills neighbourhood pride. Too often, we let things slide and get out of hand. The best way to make sure your neighbourhood thrives is to use the resources that The City of Calgary has. For example, if you see a pothole, a neighbours yard or park space that isn’t kept up you can call Calgary 311 or use their website or mobile app and report it. If there’s been a crime, call the Calgary Police Services non-emergency line at 403-266-1234. If you see a crime in progress, call 911. Also, don’t forget to call me, your City Councillor, to talk about what we can do together to make things even better in your neighbourhood. Remember, these services and people are here to help. You’re NEVER bothering us.
2. Join your community association
Your time volunteering for your community association can be as much or as little as you can afford to give. The most important thing is getting involved!
Joining is the next best thing you can do to make a neighbourhood better. There is a link between activity in the community association and the level of service that those communities get from The City of Calgary. Community associations in Calgary have a lot of influence with the City of Calgary and with the City Councillor. You may know community associations put on events, rent hall space, and provide space for sports activities. What you may not know is that community associations have the support of a dedicated City of Calgary Neighbourhood Partnership Coordinator, has a Community Resource Officer from the Calgary Police Service who attends meetings, along with your City Councillor, and makes comments on land use, traffic, and parking changes.
Unsightly yards and park space? A Beautification Committee can be started to address them.
Traffic problems? A Traffic & Parking committee can look into how to fix those problems.
No community garden? A Community Garden committee can work towards starting one.
The strength of community associations and their activity in a neighbourhood depends on the ideas that residents have.
3. Get to know your neighbours
The easiest thing that you can do to make your communities more vibrant, safer, and full of community pride is getting to know your neighbours.
It’s a simple thing, but something that has gotten lost in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. Knowing your neighbours goes a long way in making sure that your community is safe. Being able to know when something or somebody is suspicious in your neighbourhood is directly linked to whether or not you know your neighbours and their friends.
By saying hello, going to community, Stampede and Neighbour Day events goes a long way in fostering that small-town and village feel that we love in our communities.
These are a few of my thoughts. If you have other ideas on how we can make neighbourhoods better, I encourage you to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter or Facebook (www.twitter.com/gccarra and www.facebook.com/gccarra) or call my office at 403-268-5330.
Let’s continue the tradition of making sure that the best neighbourhoods in Calgary are found in East Calgary.