Apathy is Boring – #voteTOin416 – blogUT

So let me make this open confession right now. I’m a Twitter fanatic and I don’t care what the rest of you think about that. No, it’s not just “status updates” like what we find on Facebook. It’s a place to interact, engage, and communicate with many like-minded and inspired individuals from the local Toronto community and beyond. It is a hotbed of many brilliant ideas from passionate, creative, and driven people. Let me demonstrate…

Photo by Andrew Louis/Torontoist
Speaker Mark Kuznicki of ChangeCamp. Photo by Andrew Louis/Torontoist

Last Thursday, #voteTOin416 was held at the Annex Live, an event organized by #voteTO, a group of self-proclaimed municipal geeks that came together through Twitter with the shared goal of a better Toronto. Hosted by writer, broadcaster, and organizer, Jane Farrow, and using the upcoming municipal election as a backdrop for discussion, the event showcased fourteen different presentations that captured various solutions for Toronto. And staying true to the Twitter style, each presentation was kept short and sweet…not quite as short as 140 characters but almost. Each speaker had 4 minutes and 16 seconds to share and discuss their vision, some of which included voting reform, the establishment of Toronto as a fair trade city, and the need to solve the city’s bedbug epidemic (yeah, you read correctly).

Packed into the venue like a can of sardines, attendees (a few of which were even mayoral candidates) were hopeful and optimistic. Not everyone may have been supportive of or in agreement with every solution presented but ideas and well-thought out conversations were being generated. And during times like these, that’s always the first step…

Alas, these often maligned and questioned 140 character tweets have served as a launch pad for something so much bigger and it has opened up the societal dialogue that is so essential in a healthy and fully functioning democracy.

So thanks Twitter. And thanks #voteTO.

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