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St. Johns MLA constituency report: Residents groups drive cleanup

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St. Johns MLA Gord Mackintosh and the organizing committee of the 2012 Spring Clean-Up.

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St. Johns MLA Gord Mackintosh and the organizing committee of the 2012 Spring Clean-Up. Photo Store

As a Cathedral Avenue resident for over 25 years and the MLA for St. Johns for the last 20, I’ve seen a lot of changes in our community.

But there are two things that haven’t changed and probably never will: the pride residents feel for our area and our determination to maintain its vibrancy.

A very effective way to keep St. Johns one of the best places to live in Winnipeg has been the creation of area residents associations which allow neighbours to team up and advocate for residents to enhance our community.

I had the privilege to work with the great people involved in the formation of several local residents’ associations and many have made a big difference. They have pushed for repairing and strengthening infrastructure, recreational facilities and housing.

By networking with residents, they keep an eye on the street and have organized to stop developments which would have been bad for the neighbourhood. Working with my office and the city, they have had great success with graffiti control and have been able to get houses, that were hubs for criminal activity, shut down.

Indeed, it was the residents associations that organized volunteers for several Citizens on Patrol Program (COPP) groups.

The annual Northside Pride Spring Clean-Up is a perfect example of how residents associations can activate residents to stand up for our neighbourhoods.

This year, four associations — Inkster, Luxton, Seven Oaks, and St. Johns — co-operated to organize the 2013 cleanup held last Saturday. After a couple of hours of hard labour, the participants met at Luxton Community Centre for the post cleanup barbecue.

We got to meet with old neighbours and make new friends — and fantastic prizes were given away to some lucky participants.

We may have had our biggest turnout in years and I think Saturday’s cleanup was one of the best ever!

I want to thank the organizers from the residents associations, and of course the St Johns people of all ages who "picked up, cleaned up, then joined up" on Saturday. The neighbourhood’s looking good, folks!

To find out which association represents you, please call my community office at 204-585-1550.

I encourage you to check out how you can get involved with your local residents associations. Together we can make a difference!

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