Get to Know Your McCauley Safety Resources

McCauley Community Safety Meeting, May 15, Edmonton Intercultural Centre, 7-9 p.m.
McCauley Safety Council Meeting, May 28, Sacred Heart Church rectory, 5-6:30 p.m.

Like stakeholders in many inner city neighbourhoods, those in McCauley often cite safety as a primary concern. Fortunately, McCauley is rich with resources to address safety concerns. Collectively residents, businesses, agencies, and community groups make up a movement with the capacity to improve the quality of life of all members of the community.

Recently, this movement gained momentum and a sense of optimism due to collective community action opposing a minors-prohibited gaming bar in the heart of Little Italy. On April 9, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission wrote to community members stating that “after considering the objections, it was the Board’s decision to deny the application . . . based on a lack of community support.” An appeal hearing has been requested by the applicant. This ruling clearly shows that your opinion matters and that your voice can be heard. If you feel strongly about an issue in your community, start a conversation. And, always report your concerns. Resources cannot be allocated to a situation that goes unreported. The McCauley Safety Council’s annual distribution of “Who to Call” postcards and Neighbourhood Response booklets is now underway.

The McCauley Safety Council and REACH Edmonton are two of the resources addressing safety concerns in the community. They are committed to collaboration – as well as increased engagement and communication with McCauley stakeholders. Please take a moment to get to know more about them.

Under the umbrella of the City of Edmonton’s McCauley Revitalization Plan, the McCauley Safety Council is a group of volunteer residents, business owners, and agency representatives, supported by EPS and City of Edmonton Bylaw Enforcement. The main goal of the Safety Council is to promote and ensure public safety in the community of McCauley. The Council’s focus for 2018-2019 is safety through community engagement and activism. The Safety Council supports projects such as the “Who to Call” postcard, the Lights on Campaign, Big Cleans, the Pick It Up Project, and syringe pick up. Historically, the Safety Council has also facilitated such activities as the Community Walkabout, the Problem Property Session, and Claim the Corner. The Safety Council is currently chaired by seven-year McCauley resident, Elisa Zenari.

REACH (Edmonton Council for Safe Communities), facilitates inclusive community engagement and collective action to address safety concerns. REACH promotes citizen ownership and empowerment. Its vision is “a city in which every citizen contributes to a community where everyone is safe and feels safe.” REACH’s McCauley Community Coordinator, Mark Davis, is tasked with convening Community Safety Meetings and connecting stakeholders with the resources and information they seek. Since August 2016, eleven Community Safety Meetings have taken place, with each one becoming more inclusive and representative of community.

Recently, this movement gained momentum and a sense of optimism due to collective community action opposing a minors-prohibited gaming bar in the heart of Little Italy. On April 9, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission wrote to community members stating that “after considering the objections, it was the Board’s decision to deny the application . . . based on a lack of community support.” An appeal hearing has been requested by the applicant. This ruling clearly shows that your opinion matters and that your voice can be heard.

Along with the McCauley Safety Council, partners represented at Community Safety Meetings have included residents, businesses, service providers, the McCauley Community League, McCauley Revitalization, the office of the Ward 6 City Councillor, the City of Edmonton, and the office of the Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood MLA. REACH supports the work of its partners in building sustainable community initiatives.

On February 12, 2018, a Community Safety Meeting took place at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre. 38 McCauley stakeholders gathered to discuss such issues as Gaming Licences and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). The opening of Safe Consumption Sites was identified by attendees as their priority concern. In response, the next Community Safety Meeting aims to convene experts to provide accurate information about the Harm Reduction approaches promoted by Safe Consumption Sites. This meeting will be facilitated by REACH Edmonton in partnership with the McCauley Safety Council. Come and join the conversation on May 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre. Please RSVP to mark.davis@reachedmonton.ca to be added to the direct invite list. Food and seating will be provided in response to RSVPs.

The next McCauley Safety Council Meeting will take place at Studio 96 on May 28, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Church rectory. Come and meet your Safety Council Members and learn more about the Council’s priority actions. For further information, contact Elisa at elisa.zenari@gmail.com.

Elisa Zenari is the McCauley Safety Council Chair. Mark Davis is the REACH McCauley Community Coordinator.

More in this issue

Neighbourhood Views

  • Fuel for Hunger Feeds Thousands – Moe Duval (front) and his crew of volunteers served chili lunches on the street by Bissell Centre and other inner city locations every Sunday during the winter months. The group, which is not affiliated with any agency, made the chili them- selves and served about 6500 bowls of chili between December and March (approximately 500 bowls each Sunday). For more information, search for “Fuel for Hunger” on Facebook. Jim Gurnett

  • Ukrainian Community Easter Celebration – On March 17 and 18, the exhibition of archive photos “History of UNF, UWO & UNYF in Pictures” took place at the Ukrainian National Federation hall located at 10629 98 Street. The Ukrainian National Federation (UNF) celebrated its 85th anniversary last year, and on March 23, 2018 the Ukrainian Women’s Organization (UWO) celebrated its 85th anniversary. The exhibition featured photographs from 1934 to 2012. Pictured above are participants in a watercolour workshop by artist Valeriy Semenko (front, kneeling). Mykola Vorotylenko

  • Pets: A Part of Home – One part of “home” for me, is the pets we keep as part of our family. They provide love, affection, joy, and hope when we need it most. My two rescue dogs keep me walking when I don’t even feel like going outside, because they love to go for walks. Last month, I lost one of my rescued cats, Charlie, who I named after my grandfather. He was only about eight years old, but a month or so ago his breathing became laboured, and he began to lose weight. He never complained - he just wanted to sit on my lap and be stroked, so we did that. He died on Saturday night, April 7. My home feels so different without him. I took this photo of him in March, and to me he looks unwell even then. Poor little guy. I miss him. Joanne McNeal

  • Thanking the Plows – 110 Avenue in McCauley, between 92 Street and 95 Street, is very narrow because it was one of the first streets in Edmonton to have houses built along it. So, in the winter, the plows have nowhere to move the snow to but onto the sidewalk. When the snow began to melt this spring, it made huge puddles on the sidewalks, which turned to ice at night and made the road so narrow it was almost impassible. Joanne called the City and asked for their help to move the ice and snow. A few days later, two snowplows arrived and did an excellent job of cleaning up the spring mess. She wrote and thanked them for their work, and her photos are being included in a City employee newspaper, along with her thanks. It never hurts to say thank you when people do a great job! Joanne McNeal

  • Speaking Truth to Power – The annual Outdoor Way of the Cross took place on March 30 (Good Friday). Around 300 people took part in the walk, with numbers down a bit due to the cold weather - the coldest temperatures in the walk’s 39-year history. This year’s theme was “Speaking truth to power,” a Quaker saying used in the 50s and 60s in anti-war activities (and based on Jesus saying “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”). Stations looked at housing security, Truth and Rec- onciliation recommendations, police/courts/prisons, the environment, working people, and older people/isolation. For the first time, the Cross was carried past the new Royal Alberta Museum building. Michael Hoyt

  • Ukrainian Community Easter Celebration – On March 17 and 18, the exhibition of archive photos “History of UNF, UWO & UNYF in Pictures” took place at the Ukrainian National Federation Hall located at 10629 98 Street. The exhibition featured photographs from 1934 to 2012. Pictured above is the youth ensemble Dzherelo during a concert featuring young performers. Mykola Vorotylenko

Around the Neighbourhood

Volunteer With Us!

We are always looking for new writers and photographers, as well as ideas for future stories. We also regularly need block carriers to help with the delivery and distribution of the paper. Email Paula with your submissions, feedback, ideas, and availability. We also ask that contributors read our Editorial Guidelines and that all volunteers read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

Next Issue . . .

Our next issue is September. Articles and photos concerning community news, events, and opinions are welcome. We also encourage submissions of poetry, and cartoons (in JPG or PDF format). Deadline: August 12. Send submissions to: editor@bmcnews.org. Articles should be 400 words or less and accompanied by photographs (JPG, in high resolution) when possible.