The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “London

For Libraries, It’s Their Time

Posted on April 21, 2015

  LOOKING BACK ON A LIFE THAT HAD FAR more twists and turns than most of us could endure, Lemony Snicket considered one aspect of his journey that provided him solace: “A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up reading them.” To that list could be added the extra dimensions of viewing, listening, dialogue, and social media. It’s likely we know this already, yet in some of the most significant happenings of modern life – many of them tragic in nature – libraries having taken on the roles of consolers, citizen guardians, event educators, and, in some senses, emergency agencies. Some examples. Consider how Ferguson, Missouri’s,…

Making History Without Knowing It

Posted on December 9, 2014

ROSA PARKS ADMITTED THAT SHE WAS TIRED on that particular morning as she shuffled off to the bus stop and began a journey that was about to form part of the seminal beginning of the civil rights movement. As procedure demanded, she entered the front of the bus, paid for her ticket, then exited to the outside and re-entered through the back door to the black section. Realizing the white section was filled, the bus driver ordered Ms. Parks to give up her seat to a white passenger. We all know what happened next and the movement her refusal helped to launch. Her own simple account of that day is still inspiring: “I had no idea history was being made. I was just tired of…

Showing Up

Posted on October 7, 2014

Last Saturday night I gave a speech, in which I endorsed Matt Brown’s candidacy for mayor of London, Ontario.  Later, a number of people asked if they could acquire a copy.  I had spoken spontaneously and had no written record, so I informed them that I would write down what I could recall of the speech and put it in my blog.  Below is the text of that speech.  Following all the research undertaken in recent weeks on the need for mayors with a new outlook on citizenship, I am only too happy to vote for Matt and the respect for the average citizen which I believe he will bring to politics.   I’m at this rally tonight for Matt Brown because I’m tired.…

Top, Bottom, Inside, Outside

Posted on February 26, 2014

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”  So said perhaps the pivotal voice on cities, Jane Jacobs, in her, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. I rather prefer Italo Calvino’s observation that, “You take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.” At present, millions of us entertain questions about the places in which we live.  They can be as great as, “Will our city continue to prosper?” to, “When will they plow my street?”  Cities, overall, represent a vast array of intersections between individual and collective designs and pursuits.  Cities are great, but they are remarkably complex…

The Genius of Naheed Nenshi

Posted on February 19, 2014

On March 1st, Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi will address the X Conference at London’s Convention Centre.  Find out more at www.londonx.ca ‘WHEN THE BURDENS OF THE PRESIDENCY seems unusually heavy,” said President Lyndon Johnson, “I always remind myself it could be worse.  I could be mayor.”  There’s much truth in that statement when we consider that mayors end up at the end of long line of designs promoted by more senior level politicians and larger jurisdictions.  The tools needed to do an effective job at leading a municipality are often owned or manipulated by others with their own political goals. Yet occasionally a mayor comes on the scene who teaches us we can do more than we think within our local confines.  Despite all…

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