How to Talk to your Councillor so the Councillor will Listen.

Been getting a bit of mail on the LRT and Policing issues. Here’s some thoughts on what works and what doesn’t in convincing me.

1. Don’t tell me I am for the trains because I didn’t have a train set when I was a boy. Hello! I am a woman and if I was voting for a rapid transit system because of what I didn’t get for Christmas when I was achild, we would be looking at Barbie Camper Rapid Transit (BCRT)

1a. Don’t say it’s Ken Seiling’s legacy. Ken is the last person to want a statue or legacy, really.

1b. Don’t say I am Ken’s or Carl’s or even, at other times, Doug’s toadie. I think and decide for myself, that is one of the pleasures of municipal politics vs party politics.

1c. Don’t write about the City Fathers, ’cause I then know you are the age of my father should he have lived. And I’m no spring chicken.

2. Don’t say that any of the councillors or myself are on the take.  Do you really think slander gets your point across?

3. Don’t say staff is stupid. Our staff work hard. Sure say you disagree.

4. Don’t say councillors don’t know anything about how the average person lives or pays taxes (Particularly after you have quoted a property tax bill that shows you live in the rich part of town). I always know what my taxes will be because I actually live in a house with average assessment.

5. Don’t say it’s all a done deal. Particularly in the case of LRT. Whatever side you are on, I won’t go into details, but the vote is closer than you would think.

6. Don’t have all your followers send an email that is exactly the same and worse, exactly the same and long. Individualize or it seems like a spam.

7. Don’t send really long and rambling emails at all. 2 paragraphs, polite, short and to the point. Add an url to your blog if you want to go on (and on and on).

Two of the recent comments on this blog show good examples of replies I listen to. The one from Ruth about LRT and the one from Eric about the environment (OK, Eric, you are right about the hydro rates).

They address me by name, so I know they realize I am a real person and not that strange creature called a “politician”. While passionate, they are polite and make their points. Thanks!

For more ideas on how to “Fight City Hall”, go to my e-book, located here


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