27 November 2010 Ideas Politics

They don’t teach this in PLAN 103

When you present information in an unconventional way, people listen. So I’ve got an idea. It involves a group of poets who take an active interest in municipal politics. Sounds interesting, no? Read on.

Here’s what I’m thinking. All of us lyrically-inclined politicos will get together and look at the agenda for council’s next meeting. A cursory glance through the agenda for Waterloo’s November 29th council meeting reveals some hot-button issues that will be discussed: zoning changes on Regina street, a proposed extension of GRT route 4, parking issues around the hockey rink in the park, and new tax exemptions for veterans’ organizations.

I think it’s pretty obvious where I’m going with this. We’ll find an issue that interests each of us, write poetry about it, and show up to the council meeting to express our views. It’s not a joke; it’s not satire. It’s about students getting involved in the political process and getting the attention of the decision-makers.  There’s always allotted time for the public to address council with their concerns or questions. I’m betting that the student demographic is a tad underrepresented in the sea of white hair that makes up a typical council meeting audience.

The best thing about this political poetry club would be having rap battles with each other during council meetings. I can just picture it happening with the LRT…

Good evening, your Worship, I’m here to defend
The idea of light rail, now I know we gon’ spend
Many millions before it’s complete, but the end
Will be worth the means if it means bucking the trend
Of our car-centric suburbs and all their dead ends
Where I don’t feel at ease as a pedestrian
This here streetcar will bring life to Uptown again
Watch as cafés and third places invest and then
You’ll see people like me and my friends at events
Near that brand new town square where they’re jacking the rents
Because property values tend to represent
The most dynamic, vibrant places - it makes sense.

Ha! That was fun. The ending was a little weak, but hey, it’s late and I’m tired.

So basically I want to start this up as a student club when I get back on campus. Who’s with me?

Sam Nabi

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