In May, the members of the Beasley Neighbourhood Association formalized the (volunteer obviously) position of Committee of Adjustment Coordinator as a part of our NA executive. Separate from, but with obvious overlap, a Planning Coordinator was added to the executive as well.
I'm privileged to enjoy the confidence and trust of my community in being acclaimed to CoA Coordinator.
I believe strongly in being an engaged citizen, and being CoA Coordinator enables me to do this while maintaining a minimal conflict with my works as a journalist.
The role entitles representing the BNA at Committee of Adjustment on minor variances; and includes delegated authority to take a position on behalf of the neighbourhood. (Of course in line with the Neighbourhood Charter and goals.)
There will be times when my neighbourhood role and my work as a journalism will conflict; I will always be transparent when this happens.
A variance may not be minor, and as the BNA representative at CoA, I'll be the initial BNA rep opposing it. At this point, it will go to the Planning Coordinator.
I'll be involved in assisting the Planning Coordinator and my fellow BNA executives on a wide-range of matters. Generally, I'll maintain a minimal role in non-CoA matters to ensure I can report on affairs impacting Beasley with minimal concerns about conflicting roles.
When I'm involved, I'll clearly declare that interest. Even when I'm not involved, I'll make a proactive disclosure explaining I'm on the BNA Executive.
For my journalism, I see the challenge of managing different roles being more than countered by the benefit of better understanding the mechanisms of an important group in our civic affairs - the neighbourhood association.
The insight I gain from being an engaged citizen makes me a better journalist. And, frankly, I think its hypocritical of journalists to demote columns to lecturing about the lack of civic engagement and then to use the excuse "I'm a journalist" to not be involved themselves.
Every engaged citizen must balance the responsibilities of, and career advancement in, their careers while maintaining their civic engagements.
I'm no different.
Looking forward to this challenge,