|City of Chilliwack Launches Open Door Fridays||March 17, 2021|
Chilliwack, BC: The City of Chilliwack is launching a new six-month program called Open Door Fridays, which empowers community members to share their needs and opportunities around inclusion, diversity and accessibility directly with Mayor Ken Popove over Zoom.
This new program is an initiative of the Action Plan for the Mayor’s Task Force on Inclusiveness, Diversity and Accessibility. It aligns with Goal #5 in the Plan, to “create opportunities for marginalized voices and identities to have access to City of Chilliwack decision-makers.”
From April to September 2021, Mayor Popove has set aside two Fridays a month to meet virtually with residents. These meetings will help the City of Chilliwack understand how it can better support inclusion, diversity and accessibility in the community.
“As a Council, we are fortunate to have engaged residents that we hear from regularly at public hearings, community engagement meetings or through email. We always try to make ourselves available and in the past have assumed that it is simple for all residents to share their feedback with us. Through the Mayor’s Task Force on Inclusiveness, Diversity and Accessibility, we learned that we need to provide more opportunities for marginalized voices and identities to have access to Mayor and Council,” said Mayor Popove.
“The purpose of Open Door Fridays is to provide easy and direct access for the people we don’t usually hear from to directly share their needs and experiences surrounding inclusiveness, diversity and accessibility,” said Mayor Popove. “I am looking forward to this unique opportunity to hear directly from individuals that may have felt that they didn’t have easy access to City Hall in the past.”
An online booking form is now available online at chilliwack.com/opendoor for residents that would like to bring forward their thoughts and experiences about inclusiveness, diversity and accessibility in Chilliwack. If residents have any access needs that were not specified in the intake process, they can call the Mayor’s office directly and staff will be happy to accommodate.
In the fall, a final Open Door Fridays briefing document will be provided to the community on the City’s website, summarizing feedback received and actioned anonymously, to protect the privacy of participants.
For more information about the MTFIDA Action Plan, please visit chilliwack.com/inclusion.
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