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Region of Waterloo Strategic Plan

Now that the election is over the Region of Waterloo is putting together their Strategic Plan for the upcoming term. They are inviting the public to participate by running a survey:

and a forum where people are supposed to submit and vote on ideas:

Supposedly they have tried to advertise these initiatives widely, but I don't believe them. I only heard about this from a mailing list I lurk on at work. At the very least, I feel it is worth boosting the signal.

I do not know how effective our input will be. After the LRT fiasco, I am kind of jaded about these public input sessions. I do believe that the Region compiles our input into thick reports, but I do not know that the information has any further influence. On the other hand, participating in these exercises is probably more influential than voting, if only because we get to dictate the priorities we would like our politicians to follow, as opposed to accepting whatever priorities those politicians campaign on.

In addition, a lot fewer people participate in these sessions than vote, and that's a problem. If only the "same old voices" participate in these consultations, then the priorities that the Regional staff hear is going to have the same old skew, which I suspect is out of step with how the Regional population as a whole feels (just look at the vitriol about the LRT). I am part of the problem, so you should help me atone for my participation by participating yourself and at least filling out the survey. Since the population that hypothetically reads this blog is pretty skewed, having you participate will not fix the problem entirely, but it will help.

The campaign runs for another month or so. I filled out the survey (which was frustrating but short) and signed up for the website. I have not contributed much to the website, and already I have gotten a few StratChat spams, but I feel that it will be worth the effort to contribute a little more, if only to clarify my thinking around these issues.