Collective action to save lives

I have various “social circles”  that I attach to the various hats I wear in life – mother, instructor, MACT student, triathlete, TELUS alum etc … Another one of these social circles has become more important of late – my next door neighbours.  When winter is safely over in Edmonton, we all start to slowly creep out of our homes again.   We begin to tidy up our lawns, wave hi to each other and reconnect. Truthfully, I consider all my proximate neighbours to be weak ties.  Regardless that we have each other’s keys or lend out the missing ingredient, help start a lawn mower or shovel a walkway.  But recently we have come together – united under a common injustice – ready to engage in our civic duty!  We have a collective problem and the City, despite our complaints has not responded.  It’s called life threatening pot holes.  If you drive down my local street you will feel that you have been transplanted to a bombing zone in Beirut.  Seriously.  My neighbourhood is central west Edmonton, a beautiful neighbourhood bordering the river valley, but the infrastructure – our sidewalks and roads — are vintage 1959.    My neighbours and I have all individually called the “pot hole” reporting line and we have also registered our potholes and their addresses online.  No progress so far.  So, our next step is to take some advice from Clay Shirkey’s Collective Action Chapter 6.  You see my 17 year old is a freestyle skier who has a nifty camera called a Go-Cam.  He attaches it to his helmet and films himself (and friends) doing tricks which are then shared electronically and uploaded to various sites for sharing.  Why is this relevant? My partner is an avid cyclist.  He is going to attach my son’s way-cool Go-Cam to his helmet and ride his mountain bike down my road.  He will hit every pothole in his path and the Go-Cam will register the depth and visual effects of the shock – seriously about 20 on my block alone.  We will then upload that to YouTube and let the network  diffusion and bridging properties take effect.   The first person I send it to will be @MayorMandell 

7 thoughts on “Collective action to save lives

  1. judithdyck says:

    Great idea. If Paul needs a beater bike to ride down the road, there are a few in my garage. Start a contest for the best soundtrack to accompany the video…Bad to the Bone?

  2. lenoredelday says:

    What’s cool too, Teresa, is that you don’t have to take turns hosting physical meetings to gather and share information with your weak ties. You can set up a group on FaceBook for everyone to record each action they took and post their photos – and then invite the City of Edmonton to join. It would be a cool ethnographic, longitudinal study to boot!

  3. johnbayko says:

    this is going to be good… this is going to be really good. i look forward to the story breaking in Calgary this summer!!

  4. deliuk says:

    Good for you and your civic engagement! … keep us posted, never know how many visits your #mact network can generate on YouTube …

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