The McCauley Litter Squad at work on May 4. Alice Kos
McCauley Litter Squad
At Safer McCauley meetings – and online at safermccauley.ca – community members are involved in prioritizing their concerns. At a March meeting, stakeholders brainstormed around the creation of citizen-driven initiatives to address priorities. One outcome is the McCauley Litter Squad, which addresses the accumulation of smaller litter items.
The first Litter Squad event on May 4 brought out 18 community members for a one-hour “blitz.” Twenty bags of litter and about 100 needles were collected. The activity exemplified a collective approach to community well-being: MLA Janis Irwin showed her support for McCauley by participating; Capital City Clean Up provided Litter Kits; MINT Health + Drugs supplied sharps boxes; Revitalization arranged for the disposal of full bags; useful information was gathered to pass along to Bylaw and the Mustard Seed needle clean up program; and everyone went away feeling good about contributing.
The Litter Squad will activate again in coordination with the E4C/McCauley Community League annual clean up on June 15. Please consider taking part. For more information, contact Mark at the email below.
Safety through Vibrancy
McCauley is blessed with individuals and groups who coordinate an array of fantastic events and activities. Another outcome of March’s meeting is a list of nearly 100 ideas for positive street-level activities to further promote vibrancy, connectedness, and safety. Among the suggestions are active alleys, corner concerts, walkabouts, night markets, street games, and culinary gatherings. On Wednesday, June 19 (7 to 9 p.m.), Safer McCauley, the McCauley Community League, and McCauley Revitalization will co-host a community meeting at Edmonton Intercultural Centre to continue the conversation. Please join us. We hope to take away some immediately actionable ideas.
On May 14, Safer McCauley hosted the Residential Living Governance Committee to speak about its work in addressing problem properties. The RLGC is a multi-agency committee that includes staff from Alberta Health Services, EPS, Government of Alberta, and City of Edmonton. Community members in attendance were joined by MLA Janis Irwin and Councillor Scott McKeen.
The RLGC described its process – which includes weekly “hub model” meetings – and reported a significant increase in the number of inspections they undertake. However, many attendees were left with questions. Councillor McKeen expressed the need for information about whom the committee reports to and a means for citizens to contact the committee. Both he and MCL President Greg Lane expressed the need for public oversight and more outward communication about the committee’s work and its successes. Several in attendance saw the need for legislation to hold owners responsible for what takes place at the properties. All attendees wanted to know what citizens can do to be a part of the solution.
If you have concerns about potentially criminal activity at a problem property, you can contact EPS Beat Constables Andrew Melney (Andrew.Melney@edmontonpolice.ca or 780-293-6257) and Marsha Vanderhoek (Marsha.Vanderhoek@edmontonpolice.ca). For bylaw-related concerns, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coffee with a Cop
A direct relationship with police contributes to the well-being of a community. One way to develop and maintain this relationship is through EPS’s Coffee with a Cop program, which involves casual conversations over coffee with EPS Beats. The idea was presented to the meeting group in May for feedback and received almost unanimous approval. Stay tuned for information about the program, to be launched at Zocalo in July.
Please consider getting involved. Attend a community meeting, a clean up event, or meet your local Beat officer for a coffee. Visit safermccauley.ca and Safer McCauley on Facebook. And, don’t hesitate to share your ideas with me directly.
A connected community is a safer community.
_Mark is REACH Edmonton’s McCauley Community Convener. He can be contacted at email@example.com