FOUNDING MEETING of the Winnipeg Citizens' Coalition - Guest Speaker is Shellie Bird

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16 June, 2008

The founding meeting of the Winnipeg Citizens' Coalition will be held on Monday, June 16th at 7:00 PM at the Millennium Library, Carol Shields Auditorium at 251 Donald Street.

The Guest Speaker is Shellie Bird from the "People for a Better Ottawa Municipal Coalition"

At the June 16th meeting there will be elections for a coordinating committee and adoption of by-laws.

The web site at is still being developed. The site contains some background information about the Coalition and its goals which I have included below:

The Winnipeg Citizens' Coalition (WCC) is a broad-based, progressive, democratic, socially and environmentally conscious collection of individuals whose goal is to improve quality of life in Winnipeg by acting together for positive social and economic change.

We are dedicated to working towards an alternative vision for our City by fostering more citizen participation in civic government, promoting social justice, improving our city's natural environment, ensuring more open and accountable civic government, protecting the public services that we all depend on, developing safe and vibrant communities, and facilitating fair economic development opportunities for all Winnipeggers.

Members in the WCC come from a variety of cultural, ethnic, economic, and professional backgrounds but share a fundamental belief in ensuring all Winnipeggers benefit from our city's success.

We believe strongly in putting people ahead of partisan politics, and view ourselves as citizens not simply as taxpayers.

Members in the WCC recognize that we are more likely to effect change in our city when we work together. Therefore, we will act collectively in various ways to promote public debate about issues that affect us all, and seek to lend support to organizations and individuals who want to influence positive, progressive improvements in our city.

Individuals or organizations that may lack the experience or expertise, for example, in lobbying politicians at City Hall, developing communications strategies, fundraising, or mobilizing people to assist in their efforts can benefit from the collective knowledge provided through the WCC.

Our challenge is to help provide more opportunities for people to influence the direction of our city, and ensure our elected politicians and decision makers are accountable to citizens and the public good.

The WCC will provide leadership to mobilize and act where citizens interests are at stake.

As a new entity in the community, we are exploring several ways through which we can achieve these goals including:

Shadow Council - regular meetings where concerned citizens could debate issues currently being dealt with by City Council and developing alternative solutions;

Council Watch - a regular update published or posted on the internet that monitors and comments on decisions reached by City Council;

Alternative Budget - an annual process that would provide an opportunity for citizens to critique City Council spending and propose alternative budget strategies;

Issues Campaigns - organize citizens and provide necessary supports to individuals and organizations to effectively influence change at City Hall;

Research Reports - organize working groups that would develop new knowledge and information about innovative strategies to address community issues;

Municipal Candidate Debates - sponsor public meetings to debate election issues and platforms; and

Community Events - sponsor public meetings, workshops, and conferences to deal with issues that affect the quality of life in our community.

Winnipeg  Manitoba