Is being a good citizen just voting, or is there more to it than that?
“When you’re part of a community, you’re well-being is tied to the well-being of those around you,” said Mayor Christina Benty at the third session of Community Conversations, which asked the important question: What does it mean to be a responsible and engaged citizen?
The crowd at the lunch time meeting had many factors they believe make a strong citizen; voting, conserving water, picking up after your dog, volunteering, not littering, spending locally among many others.
All these specific actions fell under larger categories that make a good citizen. Thinking inclusively, and recognizing that your actions impact others in the community, and vice versa, was a big theme amongst the discussions.
Being well informed and engaged in the community was also deemed an important quality of a good citizen. This would include knowing what is going on in the community, caring about it, and hopefully participating in it.
To be properly engaged, many thought it was very important to get to know your neighbours and other community members. The more connected you are to the people you live around, the more you will care about the health of the community.
The ripple effect of caring about the health of the community will automatically affect your behaviour, making you a better citizen.
Being a better citizen, according to much of the discussion at the event, is significant in attracting people to the community, as well as keeping them here. That is not to say that it is only about keeping tourists happy. If locals are happy and proud of their community, it will show, and make visiting Golden a better experience for everyone.
The next Community Conversations, at the Civic Centre from 12:10 to 1:10, will be on Feb. 26.