It was a very encouraging experience attending the first Community Conversations event at the Golden Civic Centre this past week.
The topic at hand was civic engagement, and nearly 50 people showed up on their lunch hour to talk about how they want to be engaged in local affairs.
In a growingly apathetic society, it was great to see so many people care enough participate in such an event.
This leads me to believe that people do still care about what in going on in their community, they just need easier ways to stay informed and involved in civic affairs.
And although the turnout was inspiring, there was one element obviously missing – youth.
There was one other participant, a Town employee, at the table I was at who was roughly my age. From what I could see (now I may have missed a fellow youngster in the crowded Civic Centre), we were the youngest in the room, and probably the only ones there under the age of 30.
Of course this is no new revelation. People in their 20s and early 30s consistently have the lowest voter turnout all over the country, and those numbers show no signs of getting any higher in future elections.
In Golden youth engagement seems to be particularly low. This could be, perhaps, because the area’s adventure tourism opportunities bring in a more transient demographic.
However, there are many young people who have chosen to make Golden their permanent home.
They work and live in this community, and already do, or are planning to own property, which will make them taxpayers in the Town of Golden.
This group of residents have a right to have their voices heard, but they have to show up to do it.
It occurred to me that it can be quite intimidating walking into a crowded room full of longtime residents who have been engaged in community issues for years.
Maybe if there were a similar event targeted specifically at a younger generation they were be more inclined to join the conversation.
You can’t help mould Golden into the community you want it to be if you don’t speak up