What about all the people that voiced their opposition to the Stanley Street road diet? How many of them were “listened” to ????
This is a well written article! It may seem that the alders don’t listen, but they really do. Alders must vote on a variety of items that are brought forth, most often from City Department Directors. In order to cast a vote on any given agenda item, Alders must rely on the information and recommendations provided by multiple city staff members. In addition, Alders often spend enormous amounts of time to research and educate themselves about items such as; traffic safety measures and financing of TIF districts. I know that I have searched for additional information about how other similar mid-size cities solve similar issues we have regarding city ordinances, parking, and housing. In order to decide yes or no to any given item, an Alder must strive for balance – utilize citizen’s participation through healthy political debates along with researching and openness to the possibilities of new ideas.
As explained in a childrens book. I would like to use this cited article to correct something Mrs. Jennings stated in the open letter.
Mrs. Jennings stated “The Greeks did away with this system because it was too unwieldy.”
From my understanding of Greek History that is not what happened.
From an online childrens website:
A form of direct democracy in ancient Greece was practiced in ancient city-state of Athens for about 100 years. It was an experiment. The people really liked it. How it worked is that all adult citizens had to take an active part in government (rule by many) if called on to do so. At this time, citizens were free men. Women, children, and slaves were not citizens, and thus could not participate or vote.
Each year, there was a drawing. Five hundred (500) names were drawn from a pool of all the citizens of ancient Athens. Those 500 citizens had to serve for one year. During that year, they were responsible for making new laws and for changing old laws as they saw fit. But, nothing they did became law until all the citizens of Athens had a chance to vote yes or no. To vote, citizens had to attend the assembly on the day the vote was taken. The date was posted. It was not a secret, but you had to be present to vote. Majority ruled.
This form of government is called a direct democracy. Athens experiment with democracy came an end after Athens lost a war with Sparta.”
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