Glebe Community Association keeps things positive 

Sarah Viehbeck
President GCA

GCA keeps it positive in strange times

Welcome back to the printed Glebe Report! A hearty congratulations to editor Liz McKeen and the whole Glebe Report team for adapting to the times and trying out an online-only version. Although it’s clearly possible to go online, as we’ve seen with nearly all aspects of life in the last five months, it doesn’t mean everything should stay that way. I for one missed the surprise of delivery day and the feel of neighbourhood news in my hands.

This has been such a strange summer – the usual festivals and visitors are absent from my schedule, and I have been trying to find new things to look forward to as a way of taking a break from the work that has invaded my living space!

Annual General Meeting
August is my last full month as GCA president. I will hand over the reins to a new president at our Annual General Meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. All Glebe residents are welcome. To vote, you must purchase or renew your membership online. We will vote in a new board of directors and, thanks to the efforts of our vice-president June Creelman, we have a fantastic slate.

Please become a member!
As regular readers of this column will know, the GCA pivoted to a fully online membership drive this year due to the pandemic. In spite of a strong effort under the capable leadership of Carol MacLeod and area and block representatives, membership sign-up is less than half of what we normally get through our door-to-door canvass. If you care about neighbourhood issues and the work of the GCA, please buy a $10/household membership online. If you’re a tenant in an apartment or condo building in the Glebe and are interested in helping with tenant engagement and membership issues, please contact 
gca@glebeca.ca.

Other happenings
The GCA’s window replacement project, funded by the city, is almost done. COVID-19 and some breakage delayed the project, but we’re expecting to have the installation completed this fall. My many thanks to John Humphries and Bill Nuttle, who provided great leadership and communication support for this effort. It is incredible the difference those windows are expected to make on the energy efficiency of the GCC, and we look forward to getting reports on their performance during the winter. This initiative is part of the GCA’s Environment Committee project aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the Glebe Community Centre.

In other environmental news, the GCA has supported efforts to improve bird safety as part of the Safe Wings Ottawa campaign aimed at the new Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada joint facility. My thanks to Jennifer Humphries for her leadership.

This summer has also shown how important it is to fill the post of chairman of the GCA Transportation Committee. The city’s Bank Street Bridge reconstruction, interest in improving active transportation options on Bank Street through the Glebe, increased pedestrian areas at Lansdowne and increased traffic calming efforts all point to the need to find a new chair and reactivate the work of this important committee. If you’re diplomatic and interested in engaging the full scope of neighbourhood perspectives on transportation issues, this could be for you. Please contact vp@glebeca.ca.

The ‘rentrée’
As part of the attempt so many will make this fall to try to return to life as usual, the GCA will resume meeting on the fourth Tuesday of September at 7 p.m. Although we could likely be allowed to meet at the Glebe Community Centre, we will meet by Zoom. Details will be distributed to members via our email list.

If coming to a GCA meeting is just not your thing, I would urge you to contribute to the community in other ways, whether by volunteering for other organizations, simply saying hi to those you pass on the street or helping neighbours in the yard. In a time when the broader landscape seems so polarized, we should never forget our own power to make small, positive contributions to the world around us.

Have a safe and happy remainder of summer holiday and best wishes to those of you preparing children to return to school in September.

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