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.

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