Today’s Wake-Up Blog

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It’s really great to start the day off with a post by another local blogger that seems to be directed right at me.

Carmi Levy did that this morning with this post which suggests that our society is dumbing down.

Reckless, I can agree with. And sometimes that recklessness can be a reflection of diminished capacity. But sometimes people do actually know better and are simply too selfish/apathetic/distracted/lazy/? (you choose) to make the correct choice.

Quite often you’ll hear somebody say that the first step towards solving a problem is recognizing that there is one. But I don’t agree with that. I think that the first step is making the effort to pay attention to what’s going on beyond your own back yard so that you can take steps to prevent it’s ever occuring where you are in the first place.

That’s basically the message that I had for local politicians when I made this submission to the Community and Protective Services Committee in 2002. I told them that they only had to look as far down the road as Toronto to see where London was headed, and that they needed to take steps to prevent a similar experience from happening here.

I don’t pretend to be a genius. It’s simply a matter of common sense, isn’t it? A recognition that there are many larger cities all over the world that made choices that led to problems that we don’t want to experience. A recognition that, while there’s no guarantee, being pro-active now and trying to steer a different path in order to avoid those problems experienced elsewhere may save us from some of them at least.

Fast-forward a half-dozen years since that CAPS delegation and virtually all of the things that I warned about have come to pass. And I’m still largely ignored by local politicians who only have the capacity to do a part-time job because they don’t want to admit that in a city of this size it’s a full-time one. But I have hope.

People are starting to wake up to the reality of some of the things that I’ve been saying. That’s encouraging. But it’s not enough.

It’s too easy for politicians to ignore single individuals, or small groups of persons. It’s only when they see that there’s a significant number of people championing the same cause that they become concerned about retaining their cushy gig and show some interest.

So I’m going to continue to ask for assistance from the community. If you’re concerned about public safety, if you think that City Hall needs to pay more than just lip-service to pedestrians and bicyclists and public transit users, tell me who you are and ask to be added to my contact list. I’ll keep you in the loop about the efforts that I’m making (like this) and what you can do to help.

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