Ward 1 Meet and Greet abuzz with soon-to-be voters

22 Sep

I stand corrected.

In last week’s post-Meet & Greet rant, I lamented about the lack of interest and effort of many residents, and even candidates, prior and during the first Meet and Greet.

Well, Ward 1, you ‘done good’.

Last night’s Meet and Greet session at Maple Community Centre saw a pretty steady stream of interested residents wandering through. Some arrived with specific questions for specific candidates (ie. “I want to start a business. What do I do? My neighbour told me to ask Peter Meffe.”). Some arrived because they are new to the neighbourhood and to voting (ie. “I became a Canadian citizen in 2006, so I could vote, but I didn’t know who to vote for. So this time I want to know who is running.) Some arrived clad in workout gear and holding yoga mats, only to find their class moved to another spot in the community centre. They promised to come back after their class. I doubted them. But they did!

One visitor, after completing the whole circuit (and I saw her talking to most everyone), stopped at the Vaughan Today table to give us some feedback.

“I am so glad you made this happen,” she wrote on her exit survey and reiterated to me. “Please write to people that if they do not vote, they should never complain.”

That sentiment was echoed by some of her neighbours.

“It’s important to vote because we need strong teams to make Vaughan better,” wrote another visitor on the survey.

“Local politics affect people lives,” wrote another.

“Council provides the immediate services and affect our quality of life,” another wrote.

There were still some reluctant passerby who declined my encouragement to come inside. An example of how disconnected people feel from politicians and politics, perhaps?

“Do you live in Vaughan?” I asked one fellow who’d heard the noise and wandered over after dropping his daughter off at swimming lessons.

“Yes,” he replied.

“There are 32 people at tables in this room,” I said. “After Oct. 25, nine of them will make decisions that actually affect your life.”

I rhymed off some services that city council (and/or regional) are in charge of: roads, community centres, fire, water, police, parks … (See the October VT for more about this. It’s on stands next week. Or visit VaughanToday.ca)

And, I added, don’t forget the school trustees, too. (Sadly, he stood outside the door for nearly an hour. I couldn’t convince him!)

Again, I encourage anyone who has the right (and arguably, the responsibility) to vote to do so on Oct. 25. Check out one of the two remaining Meet and Greet sessions. Look at your candidates’ websites. Give them a call. Ask them their ideas, their plans, their track record. Make sure they deserve to represent you and your city.

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One Response to “Ward 1 Meet and Greet abuzz with soon-to-be voters”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ward 2 Meet and Greet and debate in Woodbridge tonight! « Vaughan Today: Election 2010 - September 29, 2010

    […] seems the momentum for the Meet and Greet sessions is building. Last week’s Ward 1 session was bustling and I hear the Ward 5 one Monday night was busy as […]

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