Vancouver selects participants for Grandview-Woodland citizens’ assembly

Comments6

The city has selected 48 people to participate in a citizens’ assembly as part of the Grandview-Woodland planning process.

According to the city, a random, automated selection process was used to determine the members of the assembly.

The members include an equal number of men and women, representation from all adult age groups, and seven self-identified aboriginal members, a news release from the city stated. Selected participants also include local business owners, and renters, owners, and co-op residents.

The group is expected to convene for its first session in September. Its recommendations will be presented to city council in a final report by June 30, 2015.

The citizens’ assembly will be overseen by an advisory committee, consisting of “respected practicing professionals, academics and community engagement specialists”, the city indicated.

City council voted in September 2013 to delay the Grandview-Woodland planning process and establish a citizens’ assembly, following public outcry to initial development proposals for the neighbourhood.

A group called Our Community, Our Plan has criticized the citizens’ assembly process and advocated for an open process that would include any community members that want to participate.

Comments (6) Add New Comment
Resident
I was "randomly selected" for the committee, but couldn't participate due to the truly heinous time commitment: what working person could commit to so many all-day sessions, including "training" to be able to take part in the committee? Real working people are going to be left out of this daunting, red-tape-strangled process.
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Vancouver Watcher
How many of the "selected" citizens are members and/or supporters of Vision?
Just asking!!!!
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Lisa
I agree. I live in the area and have spoken to my neighbours and friends in GW. People as you say, who work full time and have the usual weekly commitments - all felt they could not meet city requirements to participate. A shame really, as there must be many people who would like to participate.
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Amazed100
This is a standard Vision Vancouver tactic. When faced with a neighborhood that puts up aggressive and united opposition to unwanted development, the developments are put "on hold" and an unelected assembly of Vision supporters is anointed. These kangaroo democratic representatives will meet a few times, then shortly after the next election, they will bless all the proposed towers as green, progressive, and deeply desired by the community. The wrecking balls will show up the following week and Commercial Drive will begin its unwilling transition into Metrotown. This was exactly the experience of the West End with their own Citizen's Assembly (WEMAC).

Of course the option exists of removing Vision (and the NPA) from power in the next election to retain Commercial Drive's unique character and heritage. But it will require a visit to the voting booth in November.
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Mike
These kinds of CAs can be quite democratic if done properly. Some info on it can be found at wikipedia under sortition. Also a recent essay on it: http://summit.sfu.ca/item/12579 . For people who don't have the time to participate, that is unfortunate. But, if you are so time constrained, then you will have trouble under any model of participatory democracy.

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Local Guy
I was selected but could not commit.
I would loved to have represented my demographic.
I think its great and democratic. Love my hood.
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