For over a year, McCauley stakeholders have been prioritizing their concerns at Safer McCauley Meetings and online at safermccauley.ca. Problem Properties, Positive Street-Level Activities, and Garbage have been identified as the #1, #2, and #6 priorities, respectively.
It is the goal of REACH Edmonton and its Safer McCauley Convener to create partnerships to discuss innovative solutions to community issues. Its mission is to inspire citizen engagement and coordinated action. And, its vision is a city in which every Edmontonian contributes.
On Tuesday, March 26, a meeting attracted diverse stakeholders to discuss the development of citizen-driven safety initiatives in response to identified priorities. The group included residents, McCauley Community League, McCauley Revitalization, Viva Italia, EPS, and REACH Edmonton. Service agencies were represented by Ambrose Place, Bissell Centre, Boyle McCauley Health Centre, E4C, and the Mustard Seed. City of Edmonton supports included our Bylaw Officer, our Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator (NRC), and the director of Capital City Clean Up (CCCU).
To begin the meeting, Constable Andrew Melney provided an update on EPS Downtown Division Beats and introduced the group to new Beats Team members, Constables Trisha Vanderhoek and Mitch Clark. The group then split into three and rotated through brainstorming sessions around specific topics, including positive street-level activities and a community clean up collective.
Positive Street-Level Activities
As a long-term resident and service agency employee recently pointed out, “If you want a space to be safe, use it.” McCauley is blessed with individuals with great ideas for using spaces. The Community League Board, Viva Italia, and Revitalization coordinate an array of fantastic events and activities. At the March 26 meeting, members of these groups brainstormed together with community members around additional activities and spaces. Among the nearly one hundred suggestions were active alleys, night markets, corner concerts, walkabouts, street games, and a variety of ideas for pop ups, tours, beautification, do-it-yourself infrastructure, services, horticultural activities, and culinary gatherings. The conversation will continue at an upcoming meeting.
Please consider getting involved. Attend a Safer McCauley Meeting, a community clean up activity, or meet your local EPS Beat officer for a coffee.
Community Clean Up Collective
The effect that garbage has on McCauley’s self-image – and in turn, vibrancy and safety – has been identified as the community’s number six priority. The Community League partners with E4C each spring to facilitate the McCauley Clean Up, and for several years, Revitalization has facilitated a regular large item pick up. These initiatives have combined to eliminate dozens of truckloads of unwanted and discarded items from the McCauley landscape. On March 26, the meeting group brainstormed around the creation of a community clean up collective to take a hands-on approach to tackling the accumulation of smaller litter in our streets, alleys, and green spaces. The concept was well-received and several partners are committed to further development of the plan as soon as possible. To become involved, contact Mark at the email below.
Problem properties are the community’s top priority. A Safer McCauley Meeting around the topic will take place on May 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Edmonton Intercultural Centre. The meeting will host a panel from the Residential Living Governance Committee (RLGC) – a multi-agency committee including leadership and frontline staff from Alberta Health Services (AHS), EPS, Government of Alberta, and City of Edmonton.
Coffee with the Cops
A positive direct relationship with EPS can contribute to the well-being of our community. One way to develop and maintain this relationship is through the Coffee with a Cop program. Discussions with EPS and Zocalo about establishing the program in McCauley are well underway. Watch out for news about the time.
Please consider getting involved. Attend a Safer McCauley Meeting, a community clean up activity, or meet your local EPS Beat officer for a coffee. Visit safermccauley.ca and Safer McCauley on Facebook to share your thoughts and connect with others who share your interest in McCauley well-being. And, don’t hesitate to share your ideas with me directly.
A connected community is a safer community.
_Mark is the REACH McCauley Community Convener. He can be contacted at email@example.com