Gord Fuller: October 7, 2011
I attended the Nanaimo Community Vision Rally on the 5th and was quite impressed with the turnout, 250 plus. While primarily a business oriented group there were also representatives of a diverse number of interests as well as curious citizens. The speakers were quite good and the message that comes across, to me, in looking at a vision for Nanaimo is INCLUSIVENESS and how we can get past the barriers of Left and Right, Corporate and Social, have and have not.
I was not overly surprised in that I knew many of the folks, from all walks, that were at there. I am also quite sure that many of those that I didn’t know recognized me. I have after all been quite active in the community for more than a decade. While there are some that may not like me because of my beliefs that has never stopped me from getting involved; in fact there are times when it has spurred me on. I would hope a good challenge would spur others on as well.
I have been involved with the old Downtown Nanaimo Partnership, now the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association since around 2002. Part of getting involved was to bring forward and educate about the social agenda in a non confrontational manner which I believe has to some degree been a success. Let’s just say that it is a work in progress, one I am more than willing to continue.
Ivo Beitsma says it well in a post on the Vision Rally page “It’s challenging to move a community forward in the face of doubt, skepticism and a spectrum of entrenched ideas.” In his Daily News article Paul Walton: Ideology of the right has failed my favourite quote would be “Democratic socialism is about creating wealth for all; but that depends on a shared ethic of being willing to forsake greed for a greater good.”
I am the eternal optimist in that I believe these barriers can be crossed. I look forward to the next steps in working towards the Vision that could be Nanaimo but that vison, I repeat, must be INCLUSIVE.
PS; peruse the comments on stories from local media reporting the event.