I’ve been a longtime champion of getting regular, everyday people to raise their voices to decision makers. It is rewarding to see people expand their participation in civic life and shape decisions that are made for our communities. The impact is noticeable, too.
Much of my community advocacy over the past 12 years involves speaking at City Council meetings. It also involves empowering others to speak.
Some of the people I mentored to speak at Council for the first time are now city council candidates. Amazing! Others are now active in various presentations to Council and help others find their voice.
Together, we’ve made a difference to Scona Pool, Rollie Miles Rec Centre, residential speed limits, neighbourhood renewal, bike lane infrastructure, city budget, residential infill projects, energy transition and more.
I’ve also had the opportunity to present at an Edmonton Public School Board meeting (1:58:16 mark). As your Trustee, I want to empower you to make your voice heard.
Here's how you can speak at an EPSB board meeting
- Find out when board meetings are scheduled, here. Meetings are typically the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 2 pm. Meetings are currently via Zoom.
- Find the agenda item you want to speak to.
- If your education issue is not on the agenda, you can still present on a general education issue. Just let the board office know.
- Phone 780-429-8443 to request to speak. You must do this before noon, one business day before the board meeting.
- You have three minutes to speak. Prepare your speaking notes in advance and practice with a timer.
Other ways to help make your presentation compelling to decision makers:
- Show you’ve read the documentation provided on a certain issue.
- Show how your view connects with board policy and practices.
- Show what you’ve been doing to create positive change on the issue.
- Frame your issue as a win-win. Trying to win at expense of another group rarely resonates with decision makers. They are elected to represent the best interests of all.