Think Democracy 2004
Read Up: Download the Peoples' Report
From June 2003 to April 2004, Think Democracy brought academics, community activists and citizens together to discuss and propose ways to increase citizen control of local governance here in Vancouver.
Starting with the publication of the Think Democracy reader and our 250-plus kick-off hallmark forum with L'Université du Québec à Montréal professor and participatory democracy expert Anne Latendresse and Urban Ecology founder Dimitri Roussopoulos, Think City went on to spend ten months developing the Peoples' Report. The report involved nearly 400 citizens who took part in two phases of enquiry – interactive forums and a survey.
Four forums were held at different locations throughout the city in the summer of 2003. Produced by volunteers and funded by small donations, these forums were used to deliberate about electoral reform, neighbourhood power and local economic democracy.
In the winter of 2003/04, forum participants were then asked to take part in a deliberative survey conducted by Dr. Kennedy Stewart and Simon Fraser University's Institute of Governance Studies.
The result is the Peoples' Report – a paper that outlines what Think Democracy participants felt should be done to improve local democracy and citizen participation in Vancouver. This report represents the views of people who felt strongly enough to donate time, money and effort to this project. Think City presented the report to the 2004 Vancouver Electoral Reform Commission and other decision makers in April, 2004.
The overwhelming message voiced through this process is that citizens want to change how we govern ourselves. It is now up to the public to make sure these changes happen.