Have you ever wished that your local politicians could walk a mile in your shoes?
That’s what group of St-Henri citizens achieved today when they brought together local candidates from Union, Vision and Projet Montréal, as well as two independents running in their riding, and then took them for a stroll down main street.
Manuel Johnson, one of the event organizers and author of the Saint-Henri Chronicles blog, describes the walk and talk with local candidates:
“We split into three groups, each piloted by a local “guide”, and brought the candidates for a walk along rush-hour St-Antoine, so they could experience our unpleasant every-day reality, and so we could point out the narrow sidewalks, the three lanes of one-way traffic, the excessive speed, the traffic-light poles planted smack-dab in the middle of the sidewalk blocking stroller passage, the school-crossing signs blocked by tree branches and facing away from the drivers. Here, the politicians followed the residents as we walked toward the Centre communautaire des femmes actives. Not the other way around.”
At the community centre, the resients – many of whom were parents of young children – served coffee and proposed some inexpensive ways to make St-Antoine street safer, such allowing parrallel parking on both sides of the street to create a physical barrier between pedestrians and vehicles.
In the end, all the candidates who attended signed an engagement prepared by the citizen group. Projet Montréal also released a communiqué supporting the measures and the citizen-led initiative.
But more importantly, no matter who wins on November 1st, these St-Henri residents can hold the person in office accountable.