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From what I understand based on some online posts and a flyer in my mailbox, the Leslieville Residents Association is a recently formed group of people in the area who are raising opposition to the TTC's planned development of the new streetcar maintenance yard, and the associated tracks down Leslie Street.

Is that the extent of the group's focus?  If so, the name of the group may be a bit misleading.  I'm sure it is umintentional, but the name implies that:
  • the group speaks on behalf of the residents of Leslieville and represents the opinions of those residents, not just the subset of residents who take issue with the TTC plan
  • the group is engaged in the broad spectrum of issues that impact the residents of Leslieville, not just the TTC plan
If the group is indeed endeavoring to deal with the broader range of opinions and issues that Leslieville residents care about, I would love to hear more about that.

If, however, this is a TTC Plan opposition committee trying to invoke the implied support of all Leslieville residents, I would hope that the group might consider a name change to more accurately reflect who they are and what their purpose is.

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I'll join that!

Mr. Egg said:
I think Nancy needs a wake-up call. Attendance doesn't mean support. It means interest. Also, they should also hold membership, not just attendance, as demonstration for support. If I go to a TTC meeting, it's not because I support anything. So Nancy wants money from the TTC to assess worldwide ramifications of installation of streetcars? I'm surprised Global Warming isn't mentioned.

My opinion is that they are there to stop anything. Protestors for sure. I might start an Anti-Association Association.
Georgene Bull said,

"People talked about traffic issues, and concerns about safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Several people attending had family members who had been badly injured in accidents. There is also great interest in the next steps for "greening" the area around the Lakeshore and improving access to the waterfront."

elliott p.sums up my thoughts, I couldn't have said it any better,

"Hmmm.... I don't see the formation of a residents' association as threatening. I think the organizers have put out the welcome mat, actually. I certainly didn't feel threatened when I received the flyer. My thoughts were more along the lines of "good on you guys". I thought the explanations here about this embryonic group were quite thoughtful and illuminating. Well done. It's clear this group is not set in stone, so I suggest if you feel strongly, it's time to step up to the plate and get involved with the group. It sounds like 200 plus went to the first meeting, an impressive start.

It's easy to participate in "slacktivism" by laptop, a little harder to actively participate in local democracy through local meetings. I've done both and laptop is sooo much easier. Look I'm doing it right now !!! Hardly have to lift a finger...

And for "The Leslieviller" I respectfully suggest that some self-examination about branding may be warranted at this point in time. Does the Leslieviller represent local residents any more than this new community group? Just asking.

Elsewhere on this site I see this description: "The Leslieviller provides a laser-focused advertising opportunity for local businesses..." and it's for residents of "Toronto’s hip, high-growth Leslieville neighbourhood" - do these statements mean it's really a business venture and the comments are, well, what exactly? And that only hipsters are welcome? One thing I like about the area is that it's very mixed. Lots of people aren't hip or high-growth. I've been here decades and I'm getting more unhip every day and my growth is, well, low.

Cheers everyone, have a good day."

Sounds like a pretty broad area of interest, and a broad cast of the community; I like the name Leslieville Residents Association. The group could come to have any meaning depending on who goes and does the work of organizing things. It's part of the dynamics of democratic organizations - it's a meritocracy - those who put in the work get voted to leadership positions (which just means they do a lot of unpaid work).

Join in, you'll meet lots of interesting people and may even meet people you'll become friends with. It's good for the community if we all get involved.

If after attending a few meetings you feel like it's too partisan on one issue, you can network with-in the group and start your own Association.


Not a "LeslieVILLAIN", just one resident of Leslieville,
Michael Holloway
The problem with that is that membership numbers would obviously be used as "representation" of support for issues, such as this streetcar issue. Cycling issues are much better spent in The Toronto Cyclists Union. In fact, they were formed to bring together all the small splinter groups of poorly formed off-shoots in the City. Being small localized groups, they were highly ineffective.

I also don't think that any association is needed to be effective with our Councillor. This site is a fine demonstration of how communication can easily get opinions on the table. The point people are making here is that Leslieville residents do not necessarily agree with the opinions of the association, and therefore it is a misnomer. Some of us don't see any problems with the TTC plans.
Mr. Egg,

Yes I like bicycles. I couriered for 4 years through all weather.

I blog here and here.

On the last point, I doesn't sound like you've had a lot of experience with civic politics. The group was formed to act as in interface with the bureaucracy that has been set up to make changes to the proposal as part of the public consultation process.

Ever try starting a discussion over at Sandra Bussin's website? It doesn't even have a chat space. It's a one-way broadcast about all the great things the councillor is doing - and while the things said there may or may not be true - it's not a place where your individual concerns are going to be answered with anything more than a polite form letter response. The system works around organizations that represent the power of stakeholders acting together. Join an existing group or organize one; there is no other way.

Joining a Facebook group like support the Monk of Burma is fun but does nothing. Tweeting will result in conversations that can help one work through ideas.

But if one wants political change one has to get involved in politics as it is - not they way one may wish it were.

I think the web is a great place to meet interesting people and discovering ways of thinking you've never thought of thinking before - and for meeting people who think exactly like you do.

Sometimes I find myself spending too much time in online groups that think exactly like me. I begin to think everyone in the world thinks like we do - then I turn off my computer - and the cruel glare of daylight fills the space once occupied by the flicking of my computer screen...

..and I feel very alone. :)

Michael Holloway

Reply to Mr. Egg

"..Cyclists... [...]..Being small localized groups, they were highly ineffective."

[...]

"..don't think that any association is needed to be effective with our Councillor."
"But if one wants political change one has to get involved in politics as it is - not they way one may wish it were."

Amen! Because so many people attended the February TTC meeting, our councillors (Fletcher and Bussin) encouraged the TTC to review route alternatives, and present the analysis to the community. This is the purpose of the April 8 meeting.

And because Chinese speaking residents attended the February TTC meeting and complained about the lack of translation, the TTC is now translating key notices.

And because so many people said they had not seen any information about the June 2009 meeting, the TTC and the councillors made changes to the way they communicate with the community about public information meetings.

These improvements would not have happened without a critical mass of residents coming together. I know, because I asked for these things as an individual and the TTC told me these impacts had not been identified by the project manager, and therefore no changes in the communication processes would be made.

That project manager has since been fired for financial impropriety, but I don't think the embryonic residents' association can take credit for that improvement!
Michael, you're supporting my point. The Toronto Bicycle Union is the only way to get any effective pressure in Toronto. Minimal splinter groups like this LRA will do nothing with regards to cycling. That's what they have stated, and is the main reason they had to come together to form a piercing point aimed at the City.

This thread, and on Twitter, other Leslievillains don't like the fact that they're trying to position themselves as representing the viewpoints of all people living in Leslieville. With regards to the new TTC yard, some of us believe that using installations like this will help the neighbourhood negotiate in the future. Of all the things that we could have here, a new yard isn't so bad. Some of us think that anybody moving into residence of any kind along one of three access points to the Port Lands, should seriously expect to see change as it's been slated for huge reconstruction for over ten years.

And lastly, the LRA will just be another voice negating what's already been put on the table. This City, perhaps counteractive to City politicians, moves forward by addressing needs, providing options, picking the best one, then paying for it to happen. The problem is that the need still exists until a solution is acceptable by most parties involved. Satisfaction needs to be achieved before the problem goes away. Small groups that just whine only create problems while they think they have a hand in steering the City into a solution. All I've seen the LRA do is become just that; a group verbally positioned to "represent the whole area" while including a small number. This site has multiples more members than they do, and I think there would be an uproar if the site could be used in a political context, outside of light banter about local topics.

And lastly, Leadership is about providing solutions, not defiance. That Flik guy has surely demonstrated that by now.
Let's try not to turn this into some epic struggle for mankind. It's a new TTC yard. Let's keep this in perspective. Like I said previously, there should be a formal process and everybody should be knowing where to look for inclusion into this process. The City, and any political group for that matter, are renowned for behaving like government. I mean, how long did it take the City to implement 311?

That's not politics and municipal involvement, that's called discussion.

I realize what the association is doing, and I think the timing with the new TTC yard is untimely. Probably better marketed during non-issue times.

I won't go into the whole Chinese thing. If the Chinese community wants to get involved, then they should expect official languages of Canada to be presented. Toronto has over 170 languages. For people to expect translations would completely bog down the City and raise costs to where nothing gets done. I highly doubt they have English translations in Qingdao city politics.
I think Georgene Bull answered all your points - ironically 2 minutes before you posted them!

Weird.

Michael Holloway
So what's your involvement with the LRA, Michael?

Michael Holloway said:
I think Georgene Bull answered all your points - ironically 2 minutes before you posted them!

Weird.

Michael Holloway
I agree also. How can this group say they represent me when last night (April 8) is the first time I've ever evn heard of them. (Sorry I don't come onto this site (Leslieviller) often enough I suppose).
I've not had any flyers dropped off at my home nor seen anything else. I would think that if they want representation of a majority of us Leslievillers they would endeavour to try and include us all. And for all issues.

Jen C said:
Add me to the chorus of those who are less than thrilled that a group opposed to the TTC plans for Ashbridges to have called themselves the Leslieville Residents Association. I am even more concerned that this self appointed group has now decided to incorporate and that their mandate will now represent all Leslievillers with zero community input.

I would strongly suggest this so called Residents Association cease all incorporation plans until a public forum is held and clear mandate is decided upon by all residents who wish to have a voice.
Me too!

Nancy said:
I'll join that!

Mr. Egg said:
I think Nancy needs a wake-up call. Attendance doesn't mean support. It means interest. Also, they should also hold membership, not just attendance, as demonstration for support. If I go to a TTC meeting, it's not because I support anything. So Nancy wants money from the TTC to assess worldwide ramifications of installation of streetcars? I'm surprised Global Warming isn't mentioned.

My opinion is that they are there to stop anything. Protestors for sure. I might start an Anti-Association Association.
Response in "question about "Leslieville Residents Association" mandate"

Nolan, I had to go to a meeting for work last night so I missed the second public meeting on this. Due to a late heads up on the first meeting I also missed that one. :(

So, to your question Nolan, "what's your involvement with the LRA", the answer has to be nothing. :)

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