This post is the thirty-first in a series in which we reached out to municipal candidates to ask their heritage platform. Responses will be posted in the order received.
The thirty-first to respond was Myriam Faraj, Candidate for Windsor City Council – Ward 2. The responses are in the candidate’s own words only slightly edited in a way that doesn’t in any way change what they said.
The political project I am presenting to the people of Ward 2 is rather unconventional. Although the website isn’t finalized yet, I invite you to pay a visit to better understand the answers I provide: www.powerintheneighborhood.com
The aim of the project I present is to invite people to mobilize, organize, discuss their wants and needs, and formulate a collective strategy for the development of the Ward, regardless of who takes office. If I am voted into office, I want to actively support the creation of these structures to bring the decision-making power back to the residents, so the commitment of the councillor is one of a community mandated, fully accountable, spokes-person and executor of the decisions of the assembly.
Within that frame, the direction of a program concerning heritage conservation, preservation and adaptive reuse would have to be led by the residents. As we are all practicing and experiencing the space, we should elaborate a collective conception of the space we share and how to best preserve it. As you know, probably even better than I do, Ward 2 includes quite a few historic landmarks as it holds the Historic Sandwich Towne in its heart. Many of these buildings are currently preserved. Within the framework of direct democracy, advocacy groups are always welcome to present and defend ideas and projects directly to the residents in the assemblies.
As a resident, I would suggest to the assembly that a public education campaign focused around the ethics of care and the notion of commoning be implemented as an initial step towards better conservation, preservation and adaptive reuse effort for the ward. This might seem a bit broad at first glance, but I believe that, in order for preservation and conservation efforts to be widely supported and valued in a sustainable manner, a shift in the way we think everyday is necessary: from “using-replacing” to “maintaining-repairing” (care); and from “not mine, don’t care” to “part of our common environment, thus meaningful” (commoning).
I have only been in Windsor for a few years, and my memories are not from childhood or a distant past. However, what struck me when I first moved here was the housing stock. Sure, there are some newer constructions, but the older houses, even those from the early or mid 1900’s, have a historical appeal that is not to be dismissed. Although they don’t participate in the grand historical discourse or romanticised vision of a distant settler past, some of these houses (sometimes when you look beyond their disrepair) participate in the story of a popular city in the building. If these houses were shown some love and revalorised, I feel it would allow the dwellers and passersby to connect to a different epoch, another sociality, anchor the present in the history and promote reflection for a more caring and sharing future.
To reach out to Myriam Faraj, visit their Website.
Picture is from the CBC. Click here to see the original source.