The PBA at City Hall: Civic Engagement at the Forefront
December 11, 2023

Civic engagement plays a crucial role in shaping the progression of society. When citizens actively participate in their communities, they become the driving force behind positive change. It involves the active participation of individuals in the decision-making processes of their communities and it’s a form of empowerment that enables citizens to voice their opinions, contribute to policy-making, and shape the future of their cities. At our recent event at City Hall, a meeting hosted by PBA, we provided a platform for active participation in civic life in Saskatoon.

Civic engagement goes beyond merely casting a vote; it encompasses a range of activities that foster dialogue, collaboration, and advocacy. On November 25th, 2023, People Bridge Advocacy hosted a dialogue towards that end, an opportunity to spark ideas and create positive change in Saskatoon.

 Inclusivity and Engagement

The event included ethnocultural leaders alongside key figures from the City of Saskatoon’s leadership team. Among our esteemed guests were Mayor Charlie Clark, Councillors Kirton, Gersher, and Block, and Chief of Police Cooper, alongside senior administration staff. PBA board members Majak, Tony, Pankaj, Marc, and Dylan also joined, enriching discussions on community-related topics and the PBA’s role.

The event began with teachings from a Elder Wallace Awasis, which set the tone for an evening of cross-cultural understanding and mutual respect. What developed was a stimulating, thought-provoking, and vital conversation between our various guests. During the dialogue between ethnocultural and municipal leaders, speakers identified significant challenges and opportunities that demand our collective attention. This meeting marked a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to establish and nurture relationships between community and civic leaders. Our goal is to collectively address community challenges and promote collaboration, ultimately contributing to a more vibrant and inclusive society.

Making an Impact

Citizens are at the heart of civic engagement. They possess a unique perspective on the issues that affect their communities and have the power to bring about meaningful change. Through civic engagement, citizens have the opportunity to voice their concerns, propose innovative solutions, and hold elected officials accountable. By actively participating in community initiatives, citizens can build a stronger, more inclusive Saskatoon.

Engaged citizens play a crucial role in shaping the policies and priorities of their communities. They serve as a bridge between the government and the people, advocating for the needs and interests of their fellow citizens. It instills a sense of responsibility and pride in one’s city, fostering a collective commitment to its well-being. Engaged citizens are more likely to take care of public spaces, participate in neighborhood watch programs, and support local businesses, leading to a safer and more vibrant community. “By listening to us in meetings like this, and what we’re saying,” said one attendee, “our voices are being heard.”

The Personal is Political

Civic engagement is a vital component of a thriving democracy. It empowers citizens to actively participate in the decision-making processes of their communities, allowing them to shape the future of their cities. Through civic engagement, citizens can voice their concerns, propose innovative solutions, and hold elected officials accountable. The impact of civic engagement extends beyond individual communities, fostering social cohesion, promoting inclusivity, and leading to better policies and governance. By encouraging and supporting civic engagement, we can create stronger, more vibrant societies for all.

When individuals engage in civic activities, they become active agents of change. They take on the responsibility of being informed and involved citizens, seeking to make a positive impact on their communities. Activities such as this meeting provide individuals with opportunities to connect with others who share their concerns and work together towards common goals and the goals of People Bridge Advocacy. We hope to see you at our next event and look forward to further opportunities to work with the City of Saskatoon to build a bright future for people from all cultures and backgrounds.