“Speak your Mind” on the Upcoming BC Municipal Elections

For the past few months, I’ve been working with PlaceSpeak,  a Vancouver-based online community consultation platform that connects people’s online identities with their residential addresses. We do this to enable residents to voice their opinions on local issues electronically in an authentic and meaningful way.

PlaceSpeak logoAs you may know,  municipal elections will be held across British Columbia on November 19th. With this date quickly approaching, we thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase the features and functionality of PlaceSpeak, by creating a series of topic pages for several municipal elections.

Our goal is to make it easier for Lower Mainland residents to engage with each other to discuss the local election issues that are most important to them.

Metro Vancouver Votes

Using PlaceSpeak’s unique geo-verification platform, we have created topic pages for metro Vancouver’s five largest cities, including VancouverSurrey,  BurnabyRichmond, and Coquitlam. In the coming weeks, we  will be expanding the topics to include other municipalities in the province.

On each city’s local topic page users will find information about the candidates, how and where to vote, a calendar of important events, surveys, and—most importantly—a forum where they can discuss the issues that interest them most in their own neighbourhoods. Residents can ‘claim their place’ and join the discussion at www.placespeak.com.

PlaceSpeak is a non-partisan platform. The goal is to familiarize residents with key election issues and to encourage relevant, respectful discussions with one another in their local areas. We are  deeply concerned about the declining voter turnout in recent elections;  according to PlaceSpeak CEO Colleen Hardwick:

“A more informed—and engaged—resident is a more likely voter.”

If you live in one of the five municipalities listed above, be sure to claim your place and connect to the relevant topic page. Also, I’d really appreciate it if you would ask your friends and neighbors to sign up and connect to a topic as well. If your city isn’t list, please let me know, and I’ll add it ASAP.

If you live outside BC, I’d appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to claim your place’ anyways. Our goal is for PlaceSpeak to promote engagement in communities around the world. I am already in conversations with people in Ottawa and Phoenix to start discussion s in those cities. They more people we have signed up, the easier it will be to create topics in your community.

Yuri Artibise

Yuri Artibise is an experienced policy analyst, community engagement practitioner and social media specialist. I have a Master of Public Administration degree with over 10 years of public policy research, analysis, and advocacy experience.

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