Ideas for Action

Local Advocacy at the Municipal/Local Community Level

I often found that most initiatives for enacting any kind of widespread change (i.e. climate change measures, sustainable development, sustainable economy, etc.) tend to focus on the large-scale federal/international stages. While these initiatives are important and do have genuine positive effects, there does not seem to be enough focus on the local scale, such as the municipal level or the local community level.

Taking action, especially legal reform at the municipal/local community level, can have immediate positive impacts. Sure, it is smaller in scale than the national/international level. However, with thousands of municipalities and local communities making the appropriate legal reforms, the positive effects and results would accumulate to the equivalency of national/international change. Speaking from the Canadian municipal perspective, there can be genuine changes to the by-laws that affect anything from the types of bidders that can partake in upgrading a municipal utility system to the types of community and municipal planning that affect the local environment.

Bottom line: from my personal experience, affecting change at the local level tends to be faster and more efficient than the national and international levels. There are fewer variables at the local level, and the solutions tend to resolve all or almost all of the problems and issues that exist from these few variables.