Just Call Me Madam President

What's up in Brow of the Hill

Residents Associations meetings aren’t generally associated with a rockin’ good time. One cup of community engagement, a teaspoon (or more depending on your taste) angry-guy-yells-at-a-cloud, a loosely packed tablespoon of neighbours talking about local issues, with a dash of obligation thrown in, RAs are a recipe that is constantly changing—sometimes delicious and sometimes a tad too salty.

Have I sold you on attending your next RA meeting yet?

Like any recipe, one ingredient can change the entire flavour. No, I’m not talking about cumin – I’m talking about fun. Is it possible to make a Residents Association meeting fun? I’m betting a whole whack of my spare time that the answer can be yes.

I understand that people want to hear about that’s happening in their community which, in the Brow, is generally a fire. I know people want updates about community policing and traffic (Coles Notes version: traffic is bad). What I’m hoping is that people also want to get together to talk about what we’d like to see in our backyard—and I have a whole host of ideas. From four-way stops to guerilla gardens, block parties to a local coffee shop on the corner of 6th and Queens (not to get too specific or anything), I want to talk about all the things we want to see in the Brow and in New Westminster as a whole. I’d like to hear what my neighbours think about co-housing. I want to build strong relationships with the service agencies that call the Brow home.

For all these reasons and many more, I decided to put my name forward to be the Brow of the Hill Residents Association President for the upcoming year. I commit to creating a regular meeting schedule, updating communication channels, and making meetings family-friendly. If you have ideas about how to make Brow RA meetings more fun and engaging, I want to hear from you! If you’re not in the Brow, I encourage you to attend a RA meeting or get in touch with your friendly local RA President to share your ideas.

I love my neighbourhood and I hear that you do too. Let’s collaboratively make the most delicious recipe imaginable—and have fun in the process.

Nadine Nakagawa

Nadine Nakagawa is a community builder, a creative writer, a feminist, and an idealist. She loves spring-time flowers, a new notebook, and politics. Still operating on Island-time, she lives in Brow of the Hill area of New Westminster. You can find her eating vegan meals at local restaurants and walking her golden retriever Gus around the uptown area. Follow her #ilovenewwest series on Instagram and Twitter.

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4 comments

  1. Good for you! I know it can be a thankless job. I hope things go well for you. I confess that I have not been to my local RA meeting for quite some time, not counting a recent one that was a discussion of OCP changes. Sometimes I have a legitimate reason (otherwise booked) and sometimes I’m lazy and/or unmotivated. Maybe you will spur me to return to meetings. Maybe!

  2. Nadine, I know that I’ve said this a few times already but I want to say it again in a public forum: I’m very happy and excited that you’ve stepped into this role. The vision you’ve outlined for the RA is shared. Let’s work to strengthen our neighbourhood and bring people together. Rather than being reactionary let’s work to put forward positive ideas of how we can make our quirky and historic little neighbourhood even better.

  3. Congrats, Nadine. I am in your ‘hood, and welcome family friendly meetings so please keep me posted re: future meetings. See you soon, Madame President 😉

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