David Dodge, EFCL District B

David Dodge EFCL Past President and past district rep for Lago Lindo, Kilkenny, McLeod, Evansdale, Northmount, Londonderry, Steele Heights, Balwin, Killarney, Delwood, Glengarry, Rosslyn, Belvedere community leagues in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Photo by Rob Agostinis

Saturday, February 23, 2013

EFCL February Board Meeting Notes

February Board Meeting Notes 

Here are some notes from the February EFCL Board meeting. Please feel free to send me your comments, questions or any issues you would like me to raise at the EFCL.

First, here are a few photos from the Kilkenny and Evansdale Communtiy Family Day events in District B. 

1) K Days Parties For Leagues

The EFCL is pleased to announce that it is teaming up with Edmonton Northlands on some key promotions.

The first is a party package that will be available to four community leagues in June.

On four different Saturdays, K Days will sponsor a K Days party at the league that would include food, entertainment, games, ride, prizes etc. Interested leagues are to fill out an application through Northlands, telling why they are such a great community and why they deserve to party. They will be asked logistical questions about the facilities, green space and the number of people expected. Northlands is hoping to award these parties throughout the city and not just to BIG leagues.

Once the applications have been received by Northlands, the top 10 will be put on their website and the public will have an opportunity to vote online for their League. The top four vote getters will host the parties.

Applications should be ready by the end of February and a contest deadline will be set in April. Winners will be announced in May.

A second promotion, still in the development stages, involves the inclusion of parade floats from various organizations in the K Days summer parade. K Days wants to work with a number of organizations, including the EFCL, to develop floats for the 2014 summer parade.

2) EFCL Hosts Volunteer Recognition Night

The EFCL is encouraging all community leagues to send their hard working volunteers to a free evening of entertainment and socializing at the Myer Horowitz Theatre at the U/A.

Set for Tuesday, April 23, the evening will feature a keynote speech from Laurel Vespi, a local inspirational speaker who has written a great book called Spontaneous Combustion.

We are working with Nancy Rempel and Shaw to procure the video clips that Nancy has done on community league programs over the past year. We will be showing these clips, and possibly others, to showcase what the Leagues have done over the past year. We will also be running a slideshow of League photos at the reception following the keynote address

Myer Horowitz holds over 500 people which will allow us to thank many league volunteers.

3) EFCL Develops Civic Election Strategy

The EFCL is beginning to gear up for the fall civic election. At last week’s board meeting, the federation has decided to interview all of the key mayoralty candidates, to bring them up to speed on key federation initiatives and solicit their support. It also intends to prepare and send a backgrounder on its key initiatives to all of the candidates seeking a seat on council and will be encouraging leagues to hold all-candidates forums, with a focus on league issues, prior to the Oct. 21 vote.

4) EFCL To Connect with Leagues Without Halls

The EFCL has decided to survey all of leagues without halls to determine what they are doing to meet their space needs and whether or not the EFCL can be of any assistance. Once the survey results are in, the federation intends to hold a meeting with these leagues to discuss their situation in more detail.

The EFCL has approximately 30 leagues that do not have a hall for regular meetings or league programs. This number has been growing in recent years, as the membership of the EFCL grows and very few new halls are built.

5) EFCL To Review Role In Planning and Civic Matters

The EFCL has commenced meetings with senior city staff to discuss the federation’s role – as well as that of community leagues - in working with the city on planning and other civic policy matters.

No question this is a complex subject that will require a significant analysis, as the leagues and the federation are involved in a wide variety of issues in an equally varied number of ways. Trying to build consensus, often on short notice, is a significant challenge and finding the resources to properly research matters is another.

It also important that the involvement of the EFCL and its leagues be seen in a constructive light, given the importance of maintaining a strong working relationship with the City of Edmonton. 

6) Cultural Inclusion Project Reaches Out to Southwest Leagues

The EFCL was pleased to see a number of southwest Edmonton community leagues and city settlement agencies turn out for a meeting to explore ways to engage more recent immigrants in league activities.

Discussion focused on the lessons learned by Duggan Community League, which recently reached out to a significant number of Bhutanese residents living in their area, as well as people from other cultural backgrounds. The league executive is now extremely diverse, with members from a variety of cultural backgrounds.

Representatives from the Welcome Centre for Immigrants (which is now serving all of south Edmonton), as well as Catholic Social Services and the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers noted that they would be happy to work with leagues on this initiative.

One suggestion that surfaced was for leagues to hold an international pot luck supper as one way to meet newcomers, initiate friendships and determine who might be interested in getting involved in the league.

7) Leagues Support New Swim Time Booking Arrangement

The vast majority of leagues attending the federation’s recent swim booking night were quick to throw their support behind a new community swim concept the city has proposed.

Instead of signing a rental agreement, leagues will now sign up for a community swim program offered by the city. Provision of lifeguards will be included in the program and the city will calculate the program fee, based on seasonal enrolment. Leagues or Area Councils will be billed monthly.

The community swim program will be seen as a continuous program where leagues will remain enrolled until they notify the city of their intent to withdraw.

To help facilitate participation in this program, the city will issue the EFCL bar codes that will be attached to all community league membership cards. This will make it easier to identify league members and keep track of the number of swimmers coming from each league.

8) MP Laurie Hawn challenges SOCAN tariff

The Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues is pleased to see Edmonton Centre MP Laurie Hawn has taken up its cause against SOCAN’s tariff #21. Mr. Hawn informed us that he brought the subject up at a meeting of the Alberta caucus of MPs last week and will coordinating the fight against this tariff on behalf of all Alberta organizations.

Community leagues with halls are obliged to pay SOCAN a levy of $185 per year for the right to play music at hall events, under the tariff approved by the Copyright Board of Canada. The EFCL and a number of leagues have asked the board to exempt non-profit organizations like community leagues from this tariff. We have been told that the board intends to review the need for this tariff in the coming months.

9) Abundant Communities Initiative Underway

The EFCL is pleased to see that work is underway on the Abundant Communities pilot project in the Highlands neighborhood. Former league vice president Howard Lawrence has been hired as the Community Connector and is in charge of locating neighborhood interviewers. The interviewers will meet with residents on their block to determine the kinds of programs and events they would like to see happen in the neighborhood. Apparently, a handful of interviewers have already been lined up and a series of one-on-one meetings have been held.

The EFCL has offered to help publicize this project and do what it can to make it a success. It is our hope that a number of other leagues will be able to initiate a similar program, should the pilot project prove successful.

11) EFCL Applauds Victoria High School Decision

The EFCL is pleased to see that the Edmonton Public School Board has decided to give priority to local children who want to attend Victoria High School. The federation sees this as an important practice that helps citizens connect with each other in their own neighborhood. It appears the board responded to concerns raised by local residents, community leagues and the federation.

12). EFCL and Leagues Work Hard On Low Density Zone Amendments

At least 30 Community Leagues wrote City Council asking for further consultation and outlining concerns with the proposed amendments. The EFCL also provided a report, summarizing the concerns its heard during three workshops that were held on the subject. In addition, a number of people spoke at the Feb 11th Executive Committee meeting of City Council.

Although Council did not direct Administration to do more consultation prior to bringing the amendments to the Public Hearing, March 18th, they did ask Administration to address the sunlight, privacy and mechanical noise issues. It also appears that Administration will be bringing amendments to Council which will drop the previously proposed changes to the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay rear setbacks and will lessen the changes to the front setbacks. In addition, the EFCL has been told that a collaborative citizen/city infill group will be created to continue dialogue regarding infill housing.

That's it for now.
If you have any questions or comments please send them to me at president(AT)efcl.org

David Dodge
District B, Londonderry Rep.

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