Why am I learning to engage?
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Governments of various levels touch almost everything we do in Canada. So if that’s case, what influences government decisions? And how can I, as a teenager, learn about and in engage in those decisions?
My interests in answering these and other questions led to the site I’m launching today. And I’m really excited about where things may go from here. (Read more in 'About Me')
I have Sarah Wells to thank for the motivation to get started.
Earlier this summer, I became part of her Believe Initiative that empowers students to build resilience and self-belief. We all had to do a “Passion Project” that represented us and the issues we care about. It could be anything. Yet it had to be done by the end of the five week session. And that made sense. Sarah’s an Olympic sprinter and she likes setting clear and ambitious goals. In other words, it was our race to run, but we had to run it.
The idea for this site came to me fairly quickly. Its roots, though, go deeper.
Like many others, my family talks about issues of the day, and about the people deciding and affected by our government's decisions. Sometimes the news is simply too overwhelming to comprehend. But I could try to make sense of things by focusing on how governments actually work.
The machinery of government – a phrase I’ve come to hear a lot – doesn’t sound all that interesting. But it really is. It’s the 'where' and 'how' of decision making that affects all of us.
So, while working to beat Sarah’s deadline to complete my project, I began talking to people in and around government to get their perspectives. It was eye opening. And it was motivating. As someone in municipal government told me, “people just have to ask me, and I’m happy to help. But sometimes they don't know who to ask.”
This website is my attempt to help Canada’s youth learn who to ask, and how, when it comes to decisions that directly and indirectly affect them and their families.
And I’m not alone. Over the coming weeks and months I’ll be posting the perspectives of a range of people equally passionate about aspects of community engagement and government. And I’d love to have you join me.
Let’s learn to engage together.