Guest blog by Mark McGuire and Chris Ritsma, Co-Chairs of the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee.
Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring’s Millennial Advisory Committee met once again on the second Thursday of the month, May 12th, to begin organizing the ideas of the group into a yearlong work plan.
The committee’s work plan addresses how the committee seeks to meet their mandate through co-creating critical success factors, how subcommittees should feed into the main millennial advisory committee, and identifying partners within the Burlington community to best engage millennials.
The mandate of the Millennial Advisory Committee was set out by Mayor Rick Goldring as developing initiatives focused on keeping and attracting millennial residents aged 18 to 35 in Burlington by concentrating on creating opportunities to engage millennials within the Burlington community.
Topics that are a part of the work plan for the Millennial Advisory Committee range from transportation, family life, personal life, workplace culture and job creation, leisure opportunities and cultural development, and intensification, environmental preservation, and education. The aim of the work plan is to collaborate within the committee to identify common interests and focus energy by connecting member interests into a cohesive plan of action for the committee.
The May 2016 meeting began with a presentation by Dan Ozimkovic from Transportation Services at the City of Burlington, who is also a staff representative on the cycling committee. The presentation went over the cycling infrastructure plan for Burlington and focused on cycling infrastructure choices for a section of New Street between Guelph Line and Burloak. Multiple options were explained, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Dan noted that something needs to be implemented if people want to feel more comfortable making regular trips by bike within the community.
There is a community meeting where the public can voice their opinion on the matter of cycling infrastructure development on Burlington’s New Street between Guelph Line and Burloak Drive on Tuesday, May 24th, 6-9pm at Robert Bateman High School cafeteria at 5151 New Street.
The Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee hopes residents will come out, hear the proposals put forth by City of Burlington staff and voice a refined perspective for Burlington’s continued growth. A subcommittee of the Millennial Advisory Committee will be present at the Cycling Committee’s meeting on Tuesday, May 24th to hear from residents, gather information regarding the options, and present their findings and suggestions as a briefing note to the Millennial Advisory Committee at the next meeting in June.
The City of Burlington has a clear goal to introduce cycling infrastructure any time a road is being resurfaced. Mayor Rick Goldring remarked that he hoped bicycle infrastructure will hopefully be viewed like sidewalks in the future, as a part of regular road planning. The Mayor noted many trips are within Burlington by automobile, and around half of those are 5 kilometres or less. Mayor Rick Goldring says that the goal is to make cycling a safe option for any age group when commuting within Burlington.
The Mayor wants the input created by the Millennial Advisory Committee to engage millennials in the city, and to be a voice for the age group so there can be a rationale behind decisions made. Bicycle travel is a perfect example of an area that the committee can voice their opinion on, and attempt to discuss a compromise that would best allow vehicles as well as millennials who want the option to bike throughout the city.
The members took the rest of the time to organize within groups ideas for the blueprint that will create and measure the goals of the committee. One member of each smaller group presented the ideas for long term and short term goals, as well as the best ways to engage Millennials, and increase interest in Burlington to people who are 18-35. Many members voiced that they want to discuss any decisions that Burlington is making, and voice the collective opinion of how they feel it will affect millennials in the city. Delegating on behalf of the committee, listening to millennials in the city, and sharing the findings of the members and spreading the information that the 18-35 population should know.
The next meeting for the Burlington Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee is scheduled for 7 pm on June 9th at the Art Gallery of Burlington.