Almost exactly two years ago, a diverse crowd of people started showing up at City Hall – many of us for the first time – as there were two issues in front of Council that were important to us all. Many of us had never met, many of us had no clue how municipal politics even worked, but we all started paying attention, and we all wanted to make a positive change for our community. And while it took several months after that to refine and name the movement that started in spring, 2019, that May was the birth of Engage Barrie (okay, technically its conception, but let’s not get too graphic, okay? ).
One of the issues that brought us together that fateful spring, of course, was the Supervised Consumption Site – and last night, we saw the result of this cumulative effort, with Council finally giving their blessing to this life-saving service.
So CONGRATULATIONS, and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, and THANK YOU ALL for two years of speaking up, making things happen, and creating positive change for our community!!!
The past year has been a tricky one to navigate – not just because of COVID grounding us, but also because it’s felt like we’ve been playing catch-up all year, running from one time-sensitive cause to the next. We’ve been so busy with the boots-to-the-ground stuff, that we've, admittedly, not been so great with the communications stuff all the time, or the bigger-picture stuff we’d been planning for. We’re looking to change that shortly – after a wee nap and collective pat-on-the-back.
There’s some good stuff simmering on the back burner, that we’re looking forward to sharing soon – including getting back into regular meetings again, damnit (even if they still have to be virtual a while longer ).
In the meantime, let’s reflect on all that these two years have accomplished, all the campaigns that have come under our “umbrella”, and all the things that a wild group of once-strangers can accomplish when they put their talents and passions together, to create an EQUITABLE community, mobilize EMPOWERED people, and build an ENGAGED local democracy!