By Jay Menard
Accessibility is a great buzz word. And having people with disabilities on stage with you or featured on your campaign literature sure makes for a good photo op. But far too often, a commitment to accessibility extends beyond nothing more than tokenism — and if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to develop a plan that addresses everyone’s needs.
Today I had the honour of representing the Accessibility Advisory Committee at the Candidate Information Session for the 2018 Municipal Election. My topic was “Running an Accessible and Engaging Campaign.”
Much of the presentation was prepared in a document called “Count Us In: Removing Barriers to Political Participation,” which focused on how to interact and engage with people with disabilities during campaigning. But I firmly believe the majority of the work needs to be done well before you hit the campaign trail. The presentation focused on the campaign, after the fact, but if you’re going to truly embrace accessibility, that inclusion should be undertaken right from the start when you’re developing your platform.
If you were in this room talking with me, that’s a start. But I’m going to ask another question: “Where were you?” Continue reading
By Jay Menard
We’re fast approaching London’s municipal election date. Though some have already made up their minds, I remain firmly in the camp of thinking there’s a lot of time. Things change, positions get analyzed, but — most importantly — there are plenty of opportunities for someone to prove to me that they meet the minimum expectations to earn my vote.
But that term “minimum” is a tricky word. After all, just because it’s my lowest threshold doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with lofty expectations. And, in my case, my minimum is held to a very high standard — the same standard I put on myself as a voter and an involved citizen of London. Continue reading
By Jason Menard
Worst council ever? One could argue that. Hyperbolic and misleading statement? Most definitely.
Our main local newspaper, The London Free Press, recently posted a Tweet that read, “Do we really have the worst council ever? Poll results going to city hall seem to suggest it” with a link to its article — on that leads with the vaguely referenced, “They don’t call it London’s worst council for nothing.”
Could this be London’s worst council? Possibly? It certainly has been one riddled with negativity. But worst ever? I don’t know if you can make that claim using anything but anecdotal evidence.
And to use the poll referenced here as ‘proof’ is just inflammatory and irresponsible. Continue reading
By Jason Menard
There’s an interesting species of bird that’s taken root in the Forest City. It appears benign and works, but left unchecked its territorial obsession can serve to prevent other areas from flourishing.
The species? Parrotus Downtownicus. Continue reading