Light Rail

Letter: Give Hamilton Boosters Good Material to Counter Negativity

By Nick Tomkin
Published July 06, 2011

Dear Council,

This is going to be a bit long-winded, but I do have a point, so please hang in there.

I've always been quiet intrigued by the social and political dynamics of Hamilton. It seems very few Hamiltonians understand why Hamilton is suffering the way it is. To be so bold, I would suggest Hamilton is infected with flame-retardant, bulletproof, water-resistant negativity. Some of us feel this negativity, while others feed the fire.

Me personally, when out with others and "Hamilton" comes up, I get anxious because I know there is a good chance something negative is about to be said about my city, the place I'm trying to make a case for, and hopefully start a business in in the future.

I know Hamilton is not entirely special and that super powers to attract crime, pollution or hardship are fallacies of a weak argument against this city. I've lived in other cities. I know that a city this size comes with a few cuts and bruises.

When it comes to unreasonable, unbalanced negativity - Hamilton continues to snowball into itself with unwarranted shame. This is the only super power of Hamilton.

Considering moving your business to Hamilton? Just tell a few people; you might reconsider based on what you hear, although what you'll hear is almost certainly blown out of proportion.

This negativity hurts people who want to revitalize downtown by preventing proprietors in getting loans or investment. It hurts current initiatives by progressives that are pushing Hamilton close to The Tipping Point.

Unfortunately, it also makes it easier to pass opportunities that have no immediate benefit. Hamilton is a place in time for some people. There is no reason to look too far in the future for them. Why don't we change that?

I'm the type of guy you want living in Hamilton. I'm the one who, when hearing negative rhetoric, is gonna shout "Ya, but did you see the LRT downtown? Looks awesome!"

I'm dying to retort the negativity, but I need good material. Those who spread this brand of hate hurt the city as a whole and it makes the city more vulnerable beyond our actual, real issues (which end up getting less attention than they deserve).

The main objective of council should be to lower this omnipresent, ruthless, often unbalanced view of Hamilton by building things to be proud of.

Like LRT.

Rock and a hard place could probably sum up your jobs, council, but I'm sure you can all agree that positivity for this city rewards us in all wards. Give a guy like me something to talk about, and Hamilton will succeed.

Within this objective, council should invest in creating awareness about some of great things already happening in Hamilton. Like James Street Art Crawl, City of Waterfalls campaign, street festivals, air show.

Hamilton is a great city. We just don't know it.

Nick Tomkin is a web developer who works and lives in Hamilton with his wife, a few cute pets and a robot or two.

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