As my second week at Counsellor Horneck’s office draws to a close, I am gradually feeling more at ease and finding my place within the team. Most importantly, my understanding of the intricate workings of the city of Mississauga is expanding. In the midst of the routine, I am given opportunities to get a glimpse into the problems facing Mississauga residents today.
Getting Out There
This week, I had the chance to accompany Councillor Horneck and my colleagues during our canvassing outreach. Canvassing, or doorknocking, involves initiating direct contact with constituents. While canvassing is commonly associated with election campaigns, our purpose was to establish direct connections with the people. I must admit, this experience was very new to me, and it’s safe to say I was pretty intimidated. Luckily, I started canvassing with Joe, which helped me feel more at ease. Witnessing Joe’s genuine passion for his role and his interactions with citizens who share a deep love for their city was truly gratifying.
A Deeper Look
Through canvassing with Joe, I caught a glimpse of the issues that directly affect the daily lives of Mississauga residents. While you can read about the challenges facing the city, nothing quite compares to engaging in face-to-face conversations and hearing firsthand accounts from those impacted by these issues. As I grew more comfortable with canvassing, I felt more inclined to do it on my own. Initially, I experienced some nervousness. However, with each door I approached, I was reminded that these individuals are just people, like myself. My favourite encounters were with those who expressed contentment with the state of Mississauga and simply sought more information about the city.
One issue that frequently came up was the separation of Mississauga from Peel Region. As a high school student, the dissolution of Peel wasn’t something I had ever considered as a noteworthy matter. Therefore, it was interesting to learn that it emerged as an issue. Additionally, property taxes and crime were prominent issues identified in the data we collected. Canvassing afforded me an invaluable opportunity to witness how politicians speak on certain issues, and how they go about solving prominent issues in the city.
I was inspired by those who talked to us about issues they had, and I was happy to hear that most people were content with the direction the city was heading into; in the same vein, I was pleased with the feedback people were giving us. It was interesting hearing people’s stories, especially those who have lived in Mississauga for decades and have seen it develop from the ground up. For a seventeen year old high school student who has lived in Mississauga almost her whole life, the city has been what it always has been. It was thought-provoking to hear such perspectives, that the changes Mississauga has undergone over several decades are challenging for some people. As we continued to meet more people, I gained a deeper understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities of politicians, their methods of outreach, and their approaches to resolving significant issues within the city.
This opportunity gave me a deeper glimpse into the city and how it is run. I’m excited to witness the actions and initiatives that Councillor Horneck undertakes to improve Mississauga. I eagerly anticipate seeing how he addresses the issues brought to his attention through our door knocking.