An articulate 10-year-old boy addressed a crowd of 170 people and talked about what he'd like to see in his Edmonds community, such as affordable housing, jobs, a daycare and a medical clinic.
A town hall meeting was hosted on Feb. 12 by the Edmonds Business and Community Association and Edmonds Community School, in an effort to get new members for the association and to share more information about what the community can expect from upcoming changes to the area, and what residents want to see happen.
A memorable moment was when a father and his son went on stage to address the crowd, and the 10-year-old boy talked about how if his grandma gets sick again he wants a medical clinic close by so she doesn't have to travel far, according to Joyce Rostron, former president of the association.
More employment opportunities, affordable housing, a community garden, farmer's market, and more mom and pop shops were other components raised by the attendees in a visioning exercise done at the beginning of the meeting. Groups were then encouraged to share what they came up with, with the rest in attendance.
"I'm really happy with the turn out," Rostron added. "In the beginning I wasn't sure how many would come, but I thought whoever comes needs to be here."
She said the night was an opportunity for residents to get involved, express and share ideas, and to find out what the community's vision is to make Edmonds the best it can be.
Also in attendance were city staff, including employees from the parks and recreation department and community planner Karin Hung, who made a presentation.
City planning staff said there will be further public consultations with the city, as projects such as the Value Village redevelopment goes forward.
"People were excited about the new community centre and pool coming in," Rostron added.
About 20 tables were set up by local organizations and businesses, such as the Fraser Works Co-op, the Burnaby Task Force on Homelessness, the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers, and a representative was present on behalf of MLA Raj Chouhan and MP Peter Julian.
The meeting may also help spark a rise in membership for the association, which has experienced a lack of interest in the last few years, according to Rostron.
"Memberships flatlined, dropped off, and we're trying to rebuild it," she added. "Now's the time."
Rostron said the association will do the best it can to garner interest from local businesses and attendees from Tuesday night's meeting.
"There's so many things happening that we need a platform where people can speak up to make it better for everybody," she explained.
Rostron hopes to have an annual general meeting as the terms have ended for the current directors and president.
"When I see Edmonds, I see all sorts of new developments and things are growing, and yet on the other side of it, there's people who are struggling and dealing with poverty issues and drug issues, and small businesses can't make it," Rostron told the Burnaby NOW last month.
Next on the list is facilitating another community meeting and gathering new potential members for the association's future.
The next meeting for "creating community for Edmonds" will be held on Tuesday, Mar. 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Edmonds Community School gymnasium, 7651 18th Ave.
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