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Democracy from the Bottom up: Unlocking the Potential of Community Councils
December 12, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
In a number of cities around the world, community councils give local residents the power to get directly involved in local matters facing municipal government. In Toronto, City Council will soon consider the boundaries, mandates, and powers of its four community councils, which were created in 1998 to address the perceived lack of direct access to City Hall as a result of amalgamation.
This panel discussed the benefits and challenges of using bodies such as community councils to govern local decisions. In learning from the experiences in Toronto, Vancouver, and New York, the panel explored whether community council-like bodies have the potential to create more accessible and participatory local governments.
Alexandra Flynn, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Jessica Silver, Assistant Comptroller for Public Affairs & Chief of Strategic Operations, New York City Comptroller’s Office
Edana Beauvais, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship, McGill University
Zachary Spicer (Moderator), Visiting Researcher, Institute on Municipal Finance & Governance