In the Walkerville Room at City Hall on Thursday night, a live town hall and phone conference was held regarding the “Windsor Hum”. Councillor Al Maghnieh, LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya, Brian Masse MP Windsor West, and Gary Grosse (the man who created a Facebook page dedicated to eliminating the Hum) – were all in physical attendance.
According to Maghnieh’s Facebook page, the telephone town hall had over 23,000 participants at 8:30 p.m. – quite astounding to see community interest in such high levels.
Maghnieh utilizes social media on a day-to-day basis, and is securing this opportunity to “tweet” to his followers. A trip to his Twitter feed keeps readers up-to-date on events, including Al-Jazeera’s trip to the area to report on the hum.
The “Windsor Hum” has been plaguing residents from Amherstburg to Tecumseh has been described as a low hum to a strong vibration. Many question the origin of the hum and it has been attributed to everything from aliens to Zug Island blast furnaces.
River Rouge, the city in which Zug Island is located, has made it clear they do not have any money to conduct a analysis of the hum.
A telephone town hall raises interesting connotations for community, politics, and engagement. Social networks have been able to push community and municipal issues further to the forefront than in years past, and the implementation of a telephone town hall further allows community participation.
Twenty-three thousand phone participants and 150 viewers online of a video stream indicates to this writer that the community is committed to discovering the origin and solution for the hum. With voter turnout at low levels, and apathy seemingly running rampant throughout society, it is indeed inspiring to see such widespread political participation, rather than simply observation. This is passive participation, but such is the Canadian way. What better preaches Canadian activism than 23,000 residents politely listening in to a telephone town hall regarding municipal politics.
I welcome innovations in politics such as this, and hope to see community engagement hit such high levels again. When a community is cohesive, and engaged, great things occur!
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.