Guest blog by Mark McGuire and Chris Ritsma, Co-Chairs of the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee.
Mayor Rick Goldring’s Millennial Advisory Committee met for their September meeting which was the first of their second mandate, at Haber Recreation Centre. The Mayor welcomed those who attended and led the discussion about where Burlington should be heading in the future.
Year 2 Begins
This meeting was far different than the first meeting ever held on April 14th, 2016. The first Millennial Advisory Committee meeting occurred following a call from the Mayor of Burlington, Rick Goldring. The committee was given full control over what to focus on, and the plan to execute. The committee embarked on a path to find how they would share their voice while working with city staff, elected officials and members of the community to attract millennials and retain them.
The members were excited at this first meeting back after the pre-summer break workshops. With clear goals, a plan to reach them, and an invigorated spirit toward improving the city they love, they began discussing the future of the committee as well as their various ideas toward the city’s growth. No time was wasted delving quickly into a conversation with the Mayor regarding various topics including the waterfront hotel and downtown development, mobility hub plans, and asking about the city’s plan to combat future damage from flooding.
The Mayor began the discussion by asking the committee members on their opinions regarding the mobility hubs in Burlington. These hubs are meant to focus intensification away from the traditional and quiet streets so many Burlington residents love. They are also meant to be hubs of transportation-oriented development, encouraging walking, bicycling, and transit. In Burlington, the downtown and all three Go Stations are deemed mobility hubs. The Mayor and the committee were quick to agree that the downtown should be developed with care to respect the walkable and beautiful downtown that has existed for nearly a century. Some of the key comments from the discussion are that the committee values:
- Concern for Traffic and how Intensification will affect the current situation;
- Bike Lane connectivity to Mobility Hubs;
- Meaningful Transit as a priority.
Growing with Density
The committee members stated that they were concerned about the plans for density, what the space in those buildings would be used for, the demographics the city was hoping to receive, the affordability of the residential units, and the whether the transit would be properly designed to take advantage of these denser neighbourhoods around the transit hubs. The millennials were excited to voice their opinions and concerns about these areas, as they will become increasingly important to the city’s growth and ensuring it does so in a sustainable way.
The Committee wanted to know that the city is committed to making the mobility hubs a more affordable option for young people looking for a place to call home in Burlington. Members made it clear that this would be the place to fight for affordability since it is probably the best area in the city to forego car ownership. The committee reached a consensus that transit improvements were a necessity if this plan is to be successful.
The Waterfront Hotel Redevelopment
Finally, the discussion moved toward the waterfront hotel. An issue that nearly every involved Burlington resident has heard of and likely has an opinion about. The committee discussed their diverse perspectives about the height, public space, and respect for the waterfront, as well as how space would be used inside and out at the ground level. Some of the key comments from the discussion are that the committee values:
- A maximum height of 20 storeys;
- A need for public space;
- A need for conference or banquet halls along the waterfront;
- Keeping Burlington’s waterfront as a destination.
The committee hopes to build a consensus on this issue so that the millennials of Burlington can shape the future of a city they hope to live in for the years to come while preserving the landmark features of the waterfront.
Millennials and Democracy
As term one of the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory comes to a close, a decision was made to continue the 1-year terms of two peer-elected Co-Chairs. The outgoing Co-Chairs Mark McGuire and Chris Ritsma will be seeking reelection as Co-Chairs at the October meeting. Kim Calderbank and Karl Wulf, members of the Committee since April 2016, are also seeking election as Co-Chairs. Other interested voters or candidates seeking to participate in the election of the two Co-Chairs are invited to attend the October meeting.
Our Next Meeting
The October meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 at 7:30 PM at the Haber Recreation Centre, 3040 Tim Dobbie Drive. This meeting will be focused on development in the city, and the developers who are already changing areas important for the future of Burlington. If you are a millennial trying to get involved! This is a chance for millennials to speak out on the things they think would attract more millennials to Burlington.
Want to get involved?
To apply to be a member of the committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information.
- Primary email address
- City of current residence
- Social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
- Profession/Student status
- A 500-word (max.) response to the following question: What ideas do you have for Mayor Rick Goldring’s Millennial Advisory Committee that would help meet its mandate of helping Burlington foster and retain millennial-age residents.
The Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee was created to develop initiatives and provide input on how to keep and attract residents aged 19 to 36 in Burlington. The Millennial Advisory Committee identifies millennials as people born from 1981 to 1998.
Why get involved?
The City of Burlington has the best reasons to get involved with any Committee or Board:
- meet new people
- share your talents
- develop skills
- address a common interest
- make a difference in your community
Want more information?
For more information about the committee, contact the Office of the Mayor at email@example.com.