Residents group a new voice in Markham’s development

In a fast-moving, fast-growing city like Markham, it’s hard to keep up on what’s happening.

The average person on the street might notice the new university campus, a new building, new lights, road construction and other projects underway and wonder idly what they are doing – and hope things are changing for the better.

But they never really know until it’s all done.

Most people will never attend a council meeting, sit on an advisory committee or be involved in the day-to-day processes that guide city planning. That’s the job of our elected officials and paid municipal employees, isn’t it?

Well yes, it is their job, but better results come when people of the community get involved from the start. Often great ideas start with ordinary folk or are bettered by the civic involvement of ordinary residents.

That’s the basic premise that underlies the thinking of a newly formed residents association in Markham.

The Association of Central Markham Residents (ACMR) wants to make sure the City remains a liveable and “beautiful” place and “be another bridge to engage with municipal decision-makers on local development projects.”

The not-for-profit association’s president Gary Li wants as many people as possible to get involved.

“Our ACMR membership is comprised of a diverse group of concerned citizens that feel we have a unique opportunity to contribute and have a say in our great city as it continues to grow and welcome new residents. As our city experiences rapid growth, we need all members of the community to be included in the conversation regarding new developments in our neighbourhood.

“We encourage you to visit our website as we continue to grow our organization.”

The quest “to be included” is key to Li’s motives and the group is already getting busy and making sure people know about the opportunities open to them, like advisory committees and opening dialogue with City officials on key development projects.

Long-time community activist and spokesperson for ACMR, Jackie Cousins, adds similar sentiment.

“As the executive director of ACMR, I have been serving the local community for years advocating and standing up for residents,” she said. “We have a strong team from diverse professional backgrounds and we’re here to serve the residents of Markham.

She notes that there is no fee to join the group. All you have to be is interested in your community, keeping up with what’s happening in it and building a better community.

You can join or get more information about the ACMR at https://www.centralmarkham.ca/ or on the usual socials like WeChat or Facebook at www.facebook.com/CentralMarkham.ca

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