Today, I was invited to lunch by a group of young voters. By that I mean quite a bit younger than me; half of them being in their early to mid-30s. Having been invited to the luncheon, I was keen to know their thoughts on the upcoming election, so I kept my opening to a minimum and spent as much time possible answering questions.
I was struck by two things; this generation deeply cares about our community, its presence, its future and how we are going to address the issues we face. Secondly, I was impressed with the caliber and quality of these up and coming leaders who have made Abbotsford their home.
What I thought would be a 1 hour luncheon turned into more than two hours of meaningful interaction. And we could easily have gone on for much longer. The time I was able to spend with these young citizens was priceless. The topics discussed ranged from property taxation, the Stave Lake Water Project, crime and safety, trust and integrity both in business and government, community values, business ethics, the global economy, voter apathy, the City’s financial situation, perceived government waste and a growing bureaucracy to name just a few in no particular order. I learned much more from them than they likely learned from me.
I came away from the meeting feeling very encouraged. There are young men and women in their 20’s and 30’s who are engaged in this election and who care deeply about our City. They are all going to vote on November 19. I was very proud (in the right sense of that word), that these up and coming leaders were taught in our local schools and now reside in our City. At times, I hear that young people don’t have time to get involved in local elections, remaining apathetic or totally critical in an unconstructive way. We talked about how easy it is to criticize without being willing to help find a solution. But the ones I met over an extended lunch are fully engaged, fully committed to make our community better and, in fact, are making a difference in the marketplaces where they serve.
The number of calls asking me for my position on the referendum question continues to mount. My reply continues to be that I will be making my position on my website www.henrybraun.ca by the end of this week.