Happy New Year, McCauley!
The last two months have seen a lot of activity in our neighbourhood. The skating rink has certainly been a place with lots of celebration this winter with the McCauley Cup, featuring the Downtown Division beat cops versus kids. Many thanks go to our Downtown beat cops for coming out and making this such a great event for us. We also witnessed our first annual New Year’s Eve party at the rink. Some 70 neighbours came out for food and hot chocolate around the fire, and had a great time being together. Many thanks to Dan and Grace and their boys for hosting.
Our summer soccer program is starting to gear up, and we’re looking for an assistant director, so if you are able to help out, please email the League or talk to Grace Kuipers.
At the end of November, the League hosted its first community conversation at the Commonwealth Rec Centre. This meeting did not go as expected. Abdullah Shah (also known as Carmen Pervez), one of the landlords in our community, brought more than a dozen tenants out in response to an article critical of himself and his properties in the Edmonton Journal that same morning. His tenants wanted us to understand something of great importance: their landlord was giving them a home when no one else would!
This meeting brought us a significant opportunity, but not without a cost. The opportunity was to hear out and make some connections with some of our McCauley neighbours who rarely participate in League meetings and who feel like unwelcome outsiders in our community. The perspective of Mr. Shah’s tenants helps fill out the picture of what is fuelling some key areas of struggle in our neighbourhood. Coming out of this, we have the possibility of starting a new, more inclusive dialogue about these complex issues linked to housing, and, more broadly, the kind of community we want to create. This inclusive dialogue is long overdue, and the League will be following up on this opening.
However, there was certainly a trade-off to the opportunity. The purpose of the meeting was to make room for McCauley neighbours to speak about three issues of concern. As so much time was absorbed, little time was left to fulfill that purpose. A number of our neighbours were not able to stay the whole time, and our planned format didn’t really get a run until the last hour of our meeting. Still, in that hour we found some good ideas and perspectives. The League is still processing the lessons and information gleaned from this event, and have completed an initial debrief with our facilitators.
For now, we continue our work in the community and are appreciative of your support. We’ve set our Annual General Meeting for Saturday, March 21 at 2 p.m. Details to be announced.
As always, feel free to contact us with ideas, concerns, questions, or if you’re interested in helping out. Check out our website for resources and upcoming events: www.mccauleycl.com. Look us up on Facebook, or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you can stop by and visit us at our board meetings. We meet the first Tuesday of every month from 7-10 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club. Come join us in making 2015 a great year for our neighbourhood.