What are your 3 wishes for Hamilton in 2021?
'I would love nothing more than to see something done about the homelessness population in Hamilton'
We asked Hamiltonians what their three wishes are for the city in 2021. Here's what they had to say.
Please feel free to share with us what you wish for the city are for 2020 in the comments section below.
Dustin Jodway — First Vice Chair & Studio Manager at Hamilton Theatre Inc.
1. To have my theatre back up and running. To be able to put shows on again would be fantastic. We at Hamilton Theatre Inc. have had to close our doors to putting on musicals and rentals at that. Right now we're really [trying very hard] to stay afloat so we don't become one of those companies that has to go under because of the pandemic. I've been with the company for 21 years and this is the first time that I know that we've ever had to shut our doors. I would just really hate to see the company that is the longest running musical theatre in Hamilton go under because of this pandemic. I would just love nothing more than to be able to just open our doors again and have our patrons come in, our volunteers, our actors — just a little bit of normalcy would be fantastic.
2. I would love nothing more than to see something done about the homelessness population in Hamilton. It would be great if there were some more avenues for the homeless.
3. I would just really love to see everybody be able to get back together. The city is going to shambles right now and we just need to be able to pick ourselves back and get things back going.
Nicole Barati — Community activist
1. Number one would definitely be less encampments and more people having homes. It's kind of sad. I keep thinking that all these people are going to be spending Christmas alone in their tents and it's just sad. It's just very sad.
2. The second one, I feel like in this city we should have food pantries so that people all over the city are able to access food if they can't access the food banks or they don't have the mobility or they don't have ID or whatever it might be. I wish that we have a lot of those all over Hamilton.
3. I wish more people would come together and just make Hamilton look and feel good. Pick up the trash instead of walking past it. Do something for your neighbour. We should all be a community instead of some people are on this side and some people are on this side. Everyone should come together as a community and we should just clean up everything together and work together and just make Hamilton an awesome place.
Chad McPherson — One of the first ever black graduation coaches at HWDSB
1. Decreased gun violence across the city. I would like to see more gun prevention programs in the city, educating young folks on gun violence and gangs. I feel like there should be a stronger awareness within the community on this issue. I would like to see a few more programs sharing information on why carrying is not a good idea.
2. Accessible, affordable housing. Obviously, as you drive around the city it's a lot different than five years ago. There's a lot of homelessness that's being shown in the city; a lot of abandoned houses or buildings that are being used as homes; people on the sidewalks. I feel like the city needs to do a better job of trying to clean that part up.
3. More accessible community spaces for youth. I think this goes hand in hand with gun violence. I think our youth don't have a lot of things to do after school or on the weekends. Being around Hamilton for such a long time that's something that was one of the strong suits — having those community centres, those community programs available and accessible and I just feel like they're decreasing at a large rate and a lot of the outcomes that we are seeing with our youths is due to the lack of having places to go and things to do.
Autumn Getty — Poet, writer and advocate of LGBTQ rights
1. A swift recovery for those suffering with COVID, and an effective campaign to limit its spread so that the city can express itself with its usual verve and get back to tackling the other issues that need our attention.
2. A renewed commitment on the part of all to engage with each other in a civil and even friendly manner, and to return to an understanding that even when we disagree it is best not to attribute negative motivations to each other, but to work together to resolve our differences, or to accept them, if necessary.
3. I wish for all my fellow citizens that they come to feel that their value as citizens is affirmed, and that differences of ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation not continue to be barriers to full engagement in the life of the city. Further than that, I wish that our particular identities and the things that arise out of them be recognized and celebrated.
Mark Furukawa — owner of Dr. Disc
1. The first thing I wish for is a more compassionate and proactive city council. There have been a lot of issues in 2020 and previously that I think could have been avoided or diffused if we had a more proactive city council.
2. The second thing I wish is for everybody to understand that we are in this for the long haul as far as the pandemic's concerned. It's just not something that's going to go away tomorrow. It's going to stretch through 2021 and possibly longer so my wish is for everybody to just exhibit a lot of patience and consideration for your fellow citizens and neighbours in Hamilton.
3. The third thing I wish is that everyone who's able to and is healthy enough to get vaccinated.
Sonny Narula — Narula's Restaurant
1. I wish to see more small businesses succeed in Hamilton. Somebody has to do something — the government, I would say, because right now we are 'sleep city.' It's becoming 'sleep city' over the last 10 years. Businesses are dying so we need to do something businesses can survive.
2. More jobs. There's no jobs here. People have to go to Toronto or Mississauga to work.
3. Less stress and more happiness for people. If people are less stressed and they are less worried about how to manage paying their bills and all that they can lead healthier lives. And it all starts more businesses and more jobs for the city.