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David Coon, MLA, Fredericton South

Fall Newsletter, 2014
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Welcome to my first community newsletter! It has been a whirlwind since the election, finding office space, hiring staff, and working as your MLA.  It is truly a privilege to serve you.

One of my priorities as MLA for everyone in the Fredericton South riding,  is to ensure that I am able to engage with you on a regular basis so I can be an effective representative.  I need to hear what's on your mind and I need to hear your views on legislation that comes before the Legislature.  To this end I have already set the wheels in motion in a number of ways.
 
I don't know about you, but I never had been in an MLA's constituency office until I rented the ground floor of 133 King St.  I want to have an office that will quickly become part of our community - a hub of community engagement that is warm and welcoming.  In fact, we are informally calling it the community office, though the rules are that the sign must identify it as a constituency office.   It includes a meeting space and kitchen that can be used by local community groups in the riding.   Home baked cookies have already started to appear in the reception area.

I have begun holding regular community gatherings neighbourhood by neighbourhood to get to meet you and  talk about what is important.  In this newsletter you will read about the first community meeting that was held in Skyline Acres-Forest Hill. 

Our city councillors, whom I met with shortly after being elected, have agreed to participate in the community meetings with me.  We represent you to two different levels of government, so it makes sense to me that the councillors should join us when they are able.

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Constituency Office

133 King St. #1
Fredericton, NB  E3B 1C8

506-455-0936

contact@davidcoonmla.ca

Legislative Office

Mailing Address:
Office of the Green Party Leader
PO Box 6000
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1

Location:
Third Floor Departmental Building
West Block

506-457-6842

david.coon@gnb.ca

www.facebook.com/david.coon.fredsouth
Follow David on Twitter at @DavidCCoon

www.davidcoonmla.ca
I am very interested in engaging the youth in our community, since I am their MLA too.  To this end I have met with the principals of  FHS and George Street and Bliss Carman Middle Schools along with officials from the school district to plan how I can be in the schools to hear what is important to young people.  This work begins right away.
 
I also have met with representatives of the student unions from UNB and St. Thomas to discuss how I can work as the MLA for university students as well.   As a result, I will be spending time regularly on both campuses.
 
In the next newsletter I will write about my plans for working in the Legislature.  I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you around town.  

David
Meet Taeyon Kim our Constituency Coordinator .  Taeyon (you pronounce it like crayon) has both considerable experience with, and a passion for, community engagement.

Feel free to call the office to find out about the next meeting, to volunteer,  or to book an appointment to meet with David.
 

 
Welcome to the New Constituency Office

Welcome to David Coon’s Fredericton South Constituency Office, or, as we prefer to call it, your Community Office. We’re located at 133 King St., Unit #1, just three houses down from Simm’s Home Hardware. Don’t let the “For Sale” sign in front of the house throw you. This house is definitely occupied, and open to all residents of the Fredericton South Community.

 

Come in any time during our office hours: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. We want you to feel at home in this space. We want it to be a real community place where you can hold your community meetings, or come in for a chat about what you’d like to see in your community. We’re here to help you, and we’ll do our best to find you the assistance you need.

  

Another thing we’re doing is organizing Community Gatherings. David will be there to listen to what you have to say, to what you want in your community, to the great ideas and vision you have for your neighbourhood; and he’ll consult with you on things of concern coming through the Legislature.

 

This is what democracy from the ground up looks like. It means that your engagement and role as a citizen doesn’t just happen once every four years. It means that you are part of the larger process of governing and decision-making. Your ideas matter to David, that’s why he’s so keen to hear from you.

So please feel free to email me, or David, check out his website, sign up for his mailing list, or sign up to volunteer! We'd love to hear from you.  
 

What was the Skyline Acres
Community Gathering?
 
On November 15th, MLA David Coon of Fredericton South held a pilot community gathering in the Skyline Acres neighborhood. City Councillor Greg Ericson, event organizers, volunteers, and over fifty Skyline Acre residents of all ages joined David at the event. The event took place at the local Boys and Girls Club where residents of the neighborhood enjoyed socializing, music, and a potluck, followed by an open space style discussion. The discussion was facilitated by Dennis Atchison and focused on the community members' vision for their neighborhood.

The community members collaborated in groups and identified various existing strengths of their neighborhood, including the local parks, the neighborhood’s proximity to amenities, and the diversity of residents. This was followed by sharing their aspirations for the future of their neighborhood, highlighting past effective practices, pre-existing strengths that could be built upon and identifying what could make the neighborhood better. Initiatives that residents brought forth included community events (annual BBQ's, corn boils, yard sales, etc.), use of technology for neighborhood communication (Facebook group, website, etc.), bringing in a small local produce market, and creating a residents association.

The Skyline Acres Community Gathering was the launch of a new progressive approach to engaging constituents in a truly democratic process. It provides constituents with the opportunity to voice their perspectives, collaborate and build relationships, engage in initiatives, and be genuinely represented in a positive, inspiring, and supportive environment. The event was a great success, with encouraging resident feedback and suggestions for a wide range of potential diverse initiatives and outcomes. Currently David Coon’s constituency office is organizing similar events to the Skyline Acres Community Gathering to take place throughout neighborhoods within the Fredericton South Riding.
“The clock struck 12pm and we anxiously awaited the arrival of the neighborhood residents of Skyline Acres. Our minds were put at ease as individuals, couples, and families began to arrive. The room filled with the scent of delicious food dishes, enjoyable live local music, and friendly conversation between neighbors. It was amazing to participate in this fun and friendly all ages’ community building event!” – Jessica Macaulay
“It was encouraging to see direct, constructive communication between government representatives and constituents in a comfortable, casual, and natural environment. For several residents, this was the first time that they had personal interaction with their MLA and City Councillor.” – Adrienne Kasdan
“The facilitated discussion commenced in a circle in which each member had to say aloud a word relating to how they were feeling in the present moment. A strong sense of hesitancy was felt among the circle with residents using words such as curious, awkward, and interested. We replicated this to conclude the event and the energy felt within the circle was entirely opposite and overwhelmingly positive with residents using words such as inspired, motivated, and included. We couldn’t be happier with how the event played out and are proud of the neighborhood for coming together, trying something new, fully engaging, generating ideas and initiatives, and overall creating a stronger sense of community.” – Samantha Silver
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133 King St., #1
Fredericton, NB E3B 1C8

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