Happy Election Day!


Today we choose who will be leading the significant public institutions who have a significant hand in shaping our city.  Today, we choose who will run city hall and our school boards. If you haven’t already done so, here’s a link to a site full of links to candidates so you can make an informed choice (thank you Dave Cournoyer).

As a citizen, you are an evolutionary agent when you make your choice and cast your vote.

Fuel the electoral energy in the city and cast your vote.

You have a say. Use it.




Electoral energy

North Glenora Q3

I have been moderating a series of election forums across my city and I am in awe of the energy candidates for civic office put into their campaigns. Last night was the third evening I have spent with Ward 6 candidates, and they have come a long way since I first saw them in action a month ago.

In my last post, I asked:  In what ways are you an evolutionary agent for your city?

Running for office is one way to be an evolutionary agent for your city. Each candidate plays a critical role in how the city speaks for itself. As I reflect on last night’s forum, I recognize the candidates that are tired and just want the marathon to be over. There are others that clearly have more energy to spend. Some are less clear in what they have to say, while others have honed their pitch. For some, this has been a huge learning experience and you can see it on the stage in their newfound comfort speaking to a crowd.

More importantly, as the differences between the candidates become more distinct, the choices for the city become more distinct. Perhaps this is the real energy the city receives from election season. It fuels our sense of how we see ourselves because we have to make a choice.

And we need candidates with different points of view enable the choice. All candidates, all views, all perspectives, are part of our collective movement.

Elections fuel what we imagine our city needs to be to serve us well.

Electoral energy helps each of us – and our city – learn about who we want to be.

North Glenora Q2

North Glenora Q1


_____ _____ _____

This post concludes a series of posts on Chapter 9 – Be the Best Citizen You Can Be. Here are some plot helpers of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities, the book I am sharing here while I search for a publisher:

Next up – Chapter 10 – The Emerging City

_____ _____ _____


Citizen as evolutionary agent


The questions put to candidates in the election forums I have been moderating for the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues this fall are about what city hall can do for citizens. No one is asking what citizens – as communities – contribute to the city as a whole.

While moderating a Ward 10 forum, hosted by Blue Quill Community League, the South West Area Council and the Central Area Council of Community Leagues and the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues, the audience was asked to write questions down on index cards, to be drawn at random and put to the candidates. This question was not drawn and put to the candidates, but it stands out:

a rare question

What do we owe to the city as a whole?

A number of trade-offs immediately come to mind with this question: welcome the LRT through my neighbourhood to allow the larger transportation network to work better; allow higher density housing in my neighbourhood to make better use of city infrastructure; welcome a variety of housing in my neighbourhood to accommodate a variety of citizens; encourage expenditures  for neighbourhood renewal first in neighbourhoods that really need it. To truly serve the whole in these (and many other) ways, we need to co-create a social habitat that allows for them to happen. We need to co-create the space to see what the city needs, versus what my community needs.

Citizens are city makers. We build the physical city in which we live, we build the economic systems in which we work, and we build the social habitat that helps us navigate the world. We choose the city we want by naming it, describing it. When we speak of what’s wrong, we get more of what’s wrong. It’s time to create a social habitat that aims for more of what we want, that delivers on the improvements we seek. This is important work, because at every scale (self, family, neighbourhood/organization, city, nation, planet), what we build lasts: it reverberates for a long time to come. Everything we do shapes our city.

The responsibility of citizens is to be the best citizen possible and prototype social habitats that affect deep systemic change. Here’s how:

Connect  to your Highest Self.

Connect your Self to your city.

Be an evolutionary agent.

 In what ways are you an evolutionary agent for your city?


_____ _____ _____

Coming election forums:

  • Tuesday October 15, 2013 – Mayoral Candidate Forum hosted by the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations at Four Points Sheraton (7230 Argyll Road NW) at 7 pm (register here)
  • Wednesday October 16, 2013 – Ward 6 Candidates Forum at North Glenora Community League Hall (13535 109 A Avenue) at 7 pm
  • Thursday October 17, 2013 – Ward 4 Candidates Forum at McLeod Community League (14715 59th Street) at 8 pm

_____ _____ _____

This post is part of Chapter 9 – Be the Best Citizen You Can Be. Here are some plot helpers of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities, the book I am sharing here while I search for a publisher:

_____ _____ _____