Municipalooza Tuesday April 16th

First in a Series of speaker forums focusing on Topics from a Municipal level point of view.

Tuesday April 16th -  Rotary Room in Ajax Library
55 Harwood Avenue South
Ajax, Ontario

I am very happy all speakers are confirmed for Municipalooza Tuesday April 16th
Doors open at 6pm - Panel begins 6:30 event ends 8:30 pm.

Kelly Guthrie Community Engagement Coordinator  from the City of Guelph will be sharing her knowledge of Participatory Budgeting as a concept and how the City of Guelph uses this to engage citizens”
Kelly has spoken about this topic on CBC radio in the past.

Maddie Di Muccio , Councillor Town of Newmarket, Regular Columnist  Toronto Sun  will talk about Council Transparency.

Joey Coleman , - Is Canada’s first crowdfunded journalist. Based in Hamilton, Joey covers all municipal government and board meetings, responds to reader inquiries at all hours, and livestreams from breaking news events. Prior to breaking out on his own, Joey worked for Maclean’s and The Globe and Mail. A nerd at heart, Joey is a leader in Hamilton’s Open Data movement believing that journalism is not gatekeeping, but gate-opening. 
The topic of Joey’s talk is entitled “Building an Open Data ecosystem for all to access, not just elites”
How do we build open data so it is accessible to all citizens and not just those with specialized skills such as information management or coding? In Hamilton, municipal open data is being implemented because of advocacy among neighbourhood associations and community groups, not solely from the developer community, with the goal of ensuring all citizens can use open data. It’s a unique partnership - what does it mean for open data, open government, and civic engagement?
Join this discussion as we explore the question.


Here is some information on Open Data as many of you may not even know what it means.

Welcome to the Region of Waterloo’s Open Data Portal

The Region of Waterloo is committed to accountability and transparency. Open data allows the public to access the Region’s data more easily and encourages innovation in the community. The data can be used to:

  • solve unique problems
  • create mobile/web-based applications
  • promote community collaboration and greater citizen engagement

Open data Hamilton has a site here

Open Data would be great for Durham Region. When I have time have to download a myriad of PDF files and you can’t do anything with it.  Imagine an app to remind you to put the garbage out.

So come out to see what it means and leave with some new ideas and knowledge to work towards something here in Ajax and Durham Region.   If there is a working group here, I am not aware of it.


Here is an interesting link about Participatory Budgeting,

It is in England and they actually vote.  I have not heard of any voting being done on pilot projects here in Canada.

However it is implemented it strives to bring more people in the process therefore increasing involvement and engagement.

Municipalooza is a free event and snacks will be available at by 6pm.

Spread the news, if you are on Twitter share the news and use #municipalooza.

See you there!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh — All the panelist are appearing at their own expense! So come to support.  Not one person is charging me.  The only expense is the public space at the Library.  I am not a Non profit and they don’t have a rate for  No Profit.

4 Responses to “Municipalooza Tuesday April 16th”

  1. Michael Baker Says:

    I think an Ajax Municipalooza occurs when over 50% of the voters vote in an Ajax municipal election or when more than 3 voters ask questions at Question Period during every council meeting or when 10 or more Ajax taxpayers turn out to the GGC Budget Meeting to express their thoughts on the annnual proposed budget or when all members of Ajax Town council hold regular open public meetings for their constituents & each meeting is attended by more than 5o voters or when Mayor Parish stops & gets of his bicycle while riding around Ajax in order to speak with residents & hold a real Town Hall Meeting with lots of residents gathered around him while he talks about the Community Action Plan & answers questions.
    What Ajax needs is an ongoing Municipalooza that motivates voters to actively & openly join together & become regular participants in Ajax politics.
    I am ready willing & able to participate in this kind of municipalooza!
    Will such a municipalooza ever take place in Ajax?
    I sure hope so!
    I’m ready to help organize such a municipalooza. Anyone else interested?

    Admin: I am hoping to educate people about Participatory Budgeting which I believe would bring people into the process and the end result is a more engaged electorate, are you coming? It should be an interesting evening. To participate in a budget process, people have to understand it more. The sessions our Rob Ford had were good and I don’t know why they did not give it a chance to grow. I want to avoid the mistakes that have happened in Hamilton where perhaps consultants run amok was the problem. They are not giving up and groups are still working now in Wards. I think the program could work well here and for it to be truly democratic a variety of mindsets need to be involved. The end result of Open Data could be lower operational Costs, you can ask questions to Joey who will be speaking about it.

  2. Michael Baker Says:

    Karem via your blog you have over the years done a great job providing interested people with sound, practical, relevant material on awide range of useful educational political topics. Your presentations online are just as good as those you have arranged to speak to any people that may attend your version of municipalooza on April 16.
    The reality is in Ajax that voters whether or not politically educated, tuned-in & connected to the municipal political scene have in fact given up. They do not wish to participate in the Ajax political process & certainly not in the budget process. There are no individuals … there are no groups presently at work in Ajax trying to create a political awareness in the business that Ajax Town Council is performing (by the way without any active & public oversight by voters).
    The staff of Ajax continue to run Ajax & the 7 part time elected members of council go through the motions of rubber stamping what staff proposes.
    The voters must be happy with this political scene because for many many years about 23% of the voters keep on re-electing the incumbents.
    I maintain that the Ajax political process would benefit greatly by the formation of a politically active watchdog group of Ajax voters who would work to provide meaningful oversight & pressure on our elected group of 7 to make what they do more transparent & better communicated to the voters & for councillors to be better connected with the voters by monthyl newsletters, updated councillor websites, by monthly newsletters & by holding public monthly meetings.
    This is the kind of municipalooza I wish to attend & take an active part in.
    Looking back at what has not happened since the last Ajax municipal election I dread the thought of what may happen for the next elections.
    Keep up the very good work Karem.
    I wish you every success for your April 16 Municipalooza.
    I am sure that all members of Ajax Council will attend + all those planning on running in the 2014 municipal elections.

    Admin: I do think that Open Data will aid in transparency. I remember Shaun mentioning something about our Counicl meetings going to be streamed online? If you miss the Rogers broadcast that’s it , it’s over. Minutes are not thorough enough to make up for the fact you were not in the gallery. There is another person that is also interested in forming a group and I would assist in any way I can. There has to be people willing to go to meetings and take notes. I work full time during the day and have committments in the evenings that on Monday’s prevent me from Council meetings unless it was a huge issue. Advoacting for Participatory Budgeting and Open Data I hope would spur interest. Councillors have no problem getting people out for events that are of community nature. The interest is lacking in the Governance side and that could come from a lack of knowledge in how things work. I want to help in that area. When I meet people at events sometimes a common phrase is “I’m not political” They view the councillors as their main role is Chairity/Community Boosters. Taxes and Budgets result in glazed eyes.

  3. Rosie Cuffy Says:

    The ideas shared here are new to me. It’s enlightening to engage in three topics. Sharing in a setting like this Municipalpalooza in the local library is an accessible location and the Rotary room really works. I’ll attend more of these.

    Thanks for coming!, it was a learning experience, still wrapping my head around some of the information still.

  4. Richard Cooke Says:

    I was sick and missed it!!

    I hope you recorded it and post it here??

    I have to check with Joey, the second speaker had a camera but I am not sure if he was able to capture it all. I will be posting the presentation on Participatory Budgeting from Guelph. Too bad you were sick! I do wish there were more people but it was just the first one and the lead time to promotion was not extensive.

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