Tomorrow is May Day and you're invited to gather with others in Victoria Park to celebrate! Meet at the Victoria Park picnic shelter at 4:30pm on May 1st for a potluck, performances, and family friendly activities. These will be followed by a May Day march at 7pm. Find out some interesting facts and history behind May Day here.
From the event website: May Day is a time to "remember once again what it means to be resilient, radical, and rejuvenated! Let’s gather to share our stories, our grief and our joy, and to reimagine and remember what we want and need in this world! In this space we can feast, create, dance, celebrate, and resist, while we continue to build connections with ourselves, one another, and the land. We’re dreaming up a fierce, fun, family friendly event, with diverse activities and a potluck in the park, followed by a most marvelous march. Let’s put our dreams into action together!" #365ofgoodWR
The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is running a cinema series this year and the next installation in that series happens tomorrow with the screening of Netizens. In addition to the film screening, there will also be a panel discussion with Stephanie MacLellan, TK Pritchard (SASC), and Det. Constable Sandor Illes (WRPS).
The film explores the many forms of digital abuse through sharing the stories of three women who have had personal experiences with this issue. As noted on the film's website: "Netizens delves into the lives of three women whose lives have been transformed by online harassment: Carrie Goldberg, an attorney who launches an internet privacy and sexual assault law firm in the wake of her own cyber harassment; Tina Reine, a successful businesswoman whose career is derailed after an ex-boyfriend creates numerous reputation-harming websites; and Anita Sarkeesian, the creator of a popular web-series, “Feminist Frequency,” critiquing representations of women in video games, who is the target of a cyber-mob’s ongoing campaign of rape and death threats."
The movie will be shown in the CIGI campus auditorium (67 Erb St W) for free on April 30th at 7pm. If interested, you can register here. #365ofgoodWR
For today's #365ofgoodWR post I want to share an article that I found informative and helpful. It explores the idea of calling in rather than calling out. There are several takeaways for me from this article including:
Here are a few examples of statements that may work to call others in:
If you'd like to find out more about calling in, found at Teaching Tolerance, check out the full article here.
Tomorrow is the National Day of Mourning which honours workers who have been injured (including occupational diseases) or killed on the job. April 28th was selected given that on that date in 1914 the first comprehensive Worker's Compensation Act went into effect. Find out more about this important day in labour history including some sobering statistics here.
Canada's unions, including the Waterloo Regional Labour Council, continue "to call for better enforcement of related legislations and for employers and governments to do more to prevent such fatalities from happening in the first place."
You can participate in the local Day of Mourning on Sunday at Victoria Park (near Dill St) from 10:30-11:30am. #365ofgoodWR
One of the things I love about the #365ofgoodWR project is that it reminds us that even though there are lots of challenging and unfortunate situations all around us, there are many folks offering support in a wide variety of ways. I definitely try to offer some positive news in what sometimes feels like a flood of bad news. But, sometimes I lose patience and get angry about the the slow pace forward, or even the steps backwards we sometimes take. Today is one of those angry days.
Yesterday many of us learned that a pedestrian who had been hit by a motorist in Waterloo died due to her injuries. I didn't know this person, but hearing of her passing both saddened and angered me. I can only imagine what a huge loss this is to her friends and family and I send my condolences to them. But I'm tired of 'sending condolences' to people who are dying on our streets. We have come to accept pedestrian and cyclist deaths as an unfortunate consequence of 'efficient roads'. I don't believe it has to be that way. It starts with shifting our desire from efficient roads to safe roads and vibrant streets.
When I was campaigning last fall, traffic was the number one issue people wanted to discuss. And not one person was asking for faster, more efficient roads. Every single person wanted safer, calmer streets. I believe we can make that happen...with a little bit of action on our part.
Take some time to learn about Vision Zero and their principles for creating safe streets. Connect with a local organization who focuses on safe and active streets such as CycleWR or TriTAG. Tell your elected officials (both municipal and regional) that you expect our streets to be designed to prioritize the safety of its most vulnerable users. Go for a walk or ride your bike to a new area this month. My hope would be you love it as much as I do and decide to use active transportation options more often. But even if you don't, it at least provides you with the perspective of vulnerable road users - this is good for everyone.
I have long said that part of bringing #365ofgoodWR to our community is engaging with these important issues and making your voice heard. I believe we can have safe and vibrant streets in our region if we take the time to make it happen. I hope you'll join me in having our voices heard on this.
Earth Day may have officially come and gone, but there's still lots of ways to celebrate it, including this event on Sunday. It's called the Common Ground Earth Day festival and it's being held at the Regina Street Commons. There you'll be able to take in musical performances, an art exhibit, an eco-market, and bike tune-ups. With vendors such as the Kultrun Market and Seven Shores Community Cafe, you know that not only will this be a fun afternoon, it will also help bring #365ofgoodWR to our community!
Here's a look at what's on offer Sunday afternoon:
12:30 pm – Opening ceremony in the parking lot of the commons
1:00pm - Hip-hop and spoken word performance by Ayna Leigh
2:00 pm – Free Mindfulness Meditation at Torchlight Tattoo. (Pre-registration required for limited spaces. Please email Weislawa at email@example.com to save your spot.)
2:00 pm – Free yoga class at Fearless Heart Yoga. (no Pre-registration required - limited spaces - first come first serve)
3:00 pm – Neruda Arts presents musical performance with Tichaona from eKhaya
3:00 pm- Trash Theatre performative workshop for children
4:00pm - Hip-hop and spoken word performance by Ayna Leigh
4:15 pm – Drum Circle! Led by Alison Feuerwerker Open to everyone, bring a drum, but she will have 20 available for those of you without your own.
4:30pm - Free yoga class at Fearless Heart Yoga. (no Pre-registration required - limited spaces - first come first serve)
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Scrumptious soup from Seven Shores Café. Free when you bring your own reusable container; $2 with a take-out cup.
5:00 pm - Neruda Arts presents musical performance with Roula Said
6:00 pm– Group art exhibition reception at Torchlight Tattoo with performances from Ayna Leigh and Cara Loft
As we start to move into warmer weather, I often see traffic patterns change. There are more people using active forms of transportation such as walking and biking. There also seems to be busier road traffic on the weekends as people head out of the city for other adventures. So it seems like a good time to look at Brent Toderian's city resolutions again. Today we are on #8 which states, "Before you indulge the urge to complain about “too much traffic” or “not enough parking,” learn all you can about induced demand or the law of congestion, and practice repeating to yourself the truth that “I’m not stuck in traffic, I am traffic.”
As I have noted before, most of us are multimodal travellers. Depending on what we're doing or where we are going, our travel needs change. That means sometimes we're looking for secure bike parking and other times we may require car parking, or wider sidewalks. Today's resolution encourages us to reflect on how we contribute to some of the challenges around 'traffic'. If you're interested in learning more about things like induced demand or what active transportation options are being considered locally, check out TriTAG (Tri-cities Transport Action Group) which strives to improve transit and active transportation in our region. #365ofgoodWR
As a big proponent of active transportation options, you will often find me out walking around the city. There's always lots to see and do while out for a walk around town. However, if you need a little extra push to get out and explore your city, look no further then Jane's Walk weekend May 3-5, 2019. Jane's Walks are held the first weekend in May in celebration of Jane Jacobs, the great urban thinker and activist. Even for those not familiar with Jane's work, many have heard reference to her thinking on cities, such as 'eyes on the street' and the 'sidewalk ballet'. Her impact on city planning can still be felt in many of today's city planning and design discussions.
During Jane's Walk weekend, you can attend a variety of walks that are open and free to all. These walks help people see a particular area or neighbourhood from a new perspective and to get to know their city a little more deeply. There's always a wide variety of walk options and this year is no different. Walks currently listed include: The Handmaid's Tale, Fairy Walk, and A Downtown Supermarket Grocery Run. Of course, the walk "Brewers, Taverns, Hotels, and Saloons: Drinking in Berlin (Kitchener) History" has caught my eye, not only because it sounds fascinating, but because it is led by my favourite local historian (and husband) Todd Bowman.
Hopefully you'll take a look at the great list of walk options and join one (or several) on May 3-5th to learn a little more about a pocket of your community. #365ofgoodWR
Happy Earth Day everyone! There are lots of ways to celebrate Earth Day of course (including many park and community clean ups happening this week). Planting a little more green in your area of the city is one way contribute to a greener community. So today seems like a perfect time to share about Reep Green Solutions' Bloom(in) Box program. There are a few different boxes to choose from including 'shade', 'sun', and 'rain'. These boxes contain 15 plants best suited to that particular environment. And the good news is that the plants are all native and are welcoming to bees and butterflies. Each box also contains information about the plants and a sample layout guide.
Find out more about the program in this recent Kitchener Post article. You can also learn more about Bee Cities and why they are important at Bee City Canada.
Celebrate Earth Day and #365ofgoodWR by adding some green to your community today.
EngageWR is a handy little site that offers residents a chance to provide feedback on a wide range of municipal issues such as park improvements, street upgrades, and transit reviews. Currently, one of the feedback opportunities is related to the provincial government's review of regional government. You can find out more about that review here. No matter where you land in regards to regional government structure, this review could have a huge impact on what our local government structure looks like in the near future. Please take a moment to provide your feedback online. There is also an in-person meeting happening at the regional chambers on April 24th. Have your say on this important issue! #365ofgoodWR