Comment 70108

By Nord Blanc (anonymous) | Posted September 28, 2011 at 09:15:42

It's easy to forget that pre-amalgamation City of Hamilton was also bedevilled by upper vs. lower city political battles, by optimism vs. pessimism, progressive vs. traditional thought. And that was in the absence of social media or, for the most part, maintream internet and cellphone use, meaning that expressions of dissatisfaction or dissent were much more organizationally intensive: there was no way of getting around boots-on-the-ground action. So we should never be despondent about the state of affairs, since it would have been exponentially more difficult to be a civic organizer in previous generations. Despite the downsides, this is a magical time.

It's important to remember as well that post-amalgamation City of Hamilton has obviously lost none of its divisiveness. The geographic growth that accompanied amalgamation would, in itself, have complicated the progress of lower-city-based initiatives; there can an incredible distance between what various Hamiltonians consider "local concerns". Ward 14 alone is the size of Burlington and Oakville combined. The most third of the city that is the most populous also seems to be the fastest-growing, and that growth – in jobs and homes – is not inconsequential when it comes to policy and decision making (or lack thereof) at City Hall. Urbanists gravitate to Ward 2, but it's the sixth most populous ward in the city. If you're inclined to read tea leaves, look east of the Red Hill and South of the Linc for clues as to the priorities of Hamiltonians. And then swallow hard, put on your game face and work for change.

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