The Urbanite – Jon Liedtke – July 2, 2014
Windsorites should be screaming. Screaming from rooftops and through open win- dows. Screaming at their neighbours, friends and family.
Residents should be screaming about the city, their surroundings and the issues that matter to them most.
There’s more than enough people who say there’s something wrong with this city.
Groups oppose bike paths while others demand more; a group opposed to making Willistead Park more accessible while other levels of government are demanding more accessibility. There are council candidates who believe that many decisions that our current mayor and council made were wrong and boneheaded.
And that’s great. It’s great because they’re engaging.
What we need is more civic engagement. We need to hear the good and the bad. We need to start to look at the ugly head on.
It’s 2014 and whether you want to believe or engage with the notion, Windsor is changing, and rapidly. This is a pivotal year and it’s time residents start to realize the power they collectively wield.
It’s looking like we’re going to see somewhat of a house cleaning at city hall. Mayor Eddie Francis and Coun. Fulvio Valentinis and Coun. Ron Jones are definitively on their way out.
There are rumours other councilors are either not seeking re-election or are looking to higher office.
Hell, at the provincial level we’ve seen what many refer to as an ‘orange crush’ and feder- ally we’re seeing region and NDP titan Joe Comartin not seek reelection.
And while the times are changing politically, they’re also changing socially and economically.
I look around and see a very different city than what it was 10 to 20 years ago. I see a downtown that is focused more on upscale establishments and catering to patrons, not drinkers.
I see a completely reimagined University of Windsor campus that is both transformative in how it looks and impressive in geographical scope. I see a city that is becoming more than it is.
Just last week there were two events, both ruan simultaneously, to engage with young residents to seek ways to improve our city through new and innovative processes.
At the crux, it seems that there’s a total paradigm shift. And it needs to keep occurring, it can’t stop.
Whatever is happening, we need to make sure that we help it along.
For too long it seems as if ideas stagnated in Windsor, that they were imposed upon us externally and not from within.
Now, however, Windsorites are coming up with new and innovative ways to change their collective community, ways that challenge the status quo. I’m excited to see what we can do when we put our minds to it.
It’s time to start yelling about Windsor. It’s time to shout from the rooftops.
Will you join in?
Jonathon Liedtke is the managing editor of The Urbanite, Windsor’s alternative newspaper. 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.