Letter To Mayor Watson and Ottawa Councillors
The UsuryFree Network, P. O. Box 9333, Ottawa, Ontario K1G 3V1
Tel: 1.613.422.0339 Email: email@example.com
March 2, 2011
City of Ottawa
Dear Mayor Watson and Councillors:
Congratulations on being elected as municipal politicians in the City of Ottawa for the next four year term. I am motivated to share this communication with this new council for the City of Ottawa since hearsay has it that you are seeking ways to get the public more involved.
Some of you may recall my series of communications with Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors who were elected in November of 2000. My first letter was dated November 30, 2000. Over the next 18 months I emailed Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the 21 Councillors 10 follow up letters. All of the correspondence is archived at this website:
You are invited to review these previous emails to acquire the necessary background needed to fully understand just how simple it would be for a municipality to launch a usuryfree community currency for the mutual benefit of all who choose to participate.
Councillor Rainer Bloess responded on Juanuary 30, 2001 and Mayor Bob Chiarelli responded on August 31, 2001. No other Councillor even bothered to respond to my written communications. My observation at the time was that the economic pain was not yet severe enough between 2000 and 2004 to motivate Mayor Bob Chiarelli and the Councillors to take action on “A Proposal To Limit Tax Increases While Improving Current Levels Of Municipal Government Services.”
Since more fellow-citizens have been inflicted with economic pain in recent years/months/days as this Recession deepens to a Depression, hopefully there will be sufficient motivation during this current four year term for the elected municipal politicians in the City of Ottawa to seriously consider launching a beta project involving a usuryfree time currency which could be referred to as Ottawa Hours
I moved from Ottawa to Tamworth, Ontario in 2002 and I helped to launch the Tamworth Hours program in the fall of 2004.
In early 2007, I shared a similar communication with the municipal councillors of Stone Mills Township - former Reeve, Debbie Thompson and the Councillors during the four year term (from November 2006 until November 2010) but neither the Reeve nor the Deputy Reeve nor any of the Councillors responded to my communication.
The Tamworth Hours program was (is) a community currency project designed to motivate local consumers to spend their money with local businesses instead of spending it all with the giant transnational retail corporations along Hwy 401.
The Tamworth Hours program was actually launched on November 13th, 2004. It grew slowly until the fall of 2008 and then it was temporarily shelved when I moved from Tamworth back to Ottawa. It was (is) noteworthy that more people outside the boundaries of Stone Mills Township were participating than within its borders.
This article by Grasshopper Media offers a detailed review of the Tamworth HoursProject.
Did Tamworth Miss A Golden Opportunity?
It is also exciting to know that other communities have launched a usuryfree community currency since 2004. Much of their motivation to launch their community currency came after they learned of the Tamworth Hours program.
The good news is that the community currency movement continues to grow and expand in rural Ontario and elsewhere. I have attended various conferences about the community currency movement during recent years, and at these conferences two topics are commonly discussed. These two topics stressed: (a) that volunteers in any community could and should now be rewarded for their time and energy by earning a local community currency and (b) that municipal governments can and should explore how a usuryfree community currency can be woven into the local infrastructure.
I have prepared a document that I have been passing around to municipal politicians in rural Ontario and Quebec titled “An Innovative Proposal” which is posted at this website: http://usuryfree.blogspot.com/2010/04/innovative-proposal.html
And I have adapted a poem originally created by John “The Engineer” Turmel so that its content relates to the Mayor of Ottawa. The poem is posted at this website: http://usuryfree.blogspot.com/2011/03/mayor-of-ottawa-faced-with-rising-costs.html
You are invited to read the above listed documents to give you some background on how the City of Ottawa could take a leadership role in launching an Ottawa Hours program during this next four-year mandate.
After you have read the documents I request your feedback and input. For example, what priority will you put on advocating that the City of Ottawa implement a strategy that will support a local community currency during this current term of office?
For your information, I have an abundance of resources about conventional debt-money and usury-based banking in general and about local or community currencies in particular that I have been compiling since 1983. Some of these resources are posted for The Court of Public Review at the blog - The UsuryFree Eye Opener: http://usuryfree.blogspot.com
In the past, I have hosted information and planning sessions for candidates seeking to be elected as municipal politicians. At these sessions, we have shared DVDs and discussed strategies involving community currencies that can be implemented by municipal governments. I suggest such a planning session for the elected municipal politicians of the City of Ottawa (and beyond) at a date in the not-too-distant future.
I surely would like more than one Councillor as well as the Mayor to come forth and offer his/her support to expedite the growth and expansion of a local community currency program (Ottawa Hours) in the City of Ottawa. Maybe we could even host the above-proposed meeting of interested politicians from neighbouring municipalities at a location in Ottawa, Ontario.
In any case, email me or call me after you have had an opportunity to read this communication and examine the documents referred to. I want to be sure that the elected municipal politicians of the City of Ottawa are fully aware of the power and potential of taking a leadership role in advancing a policy or program that will extend the many wonderful benefits of implementing a usuryfree community currency to every resident living within the boundaries of the City of Ottawa.
Politicians from other municipalities in Ontario are already making inquiries about how to implement some of the ideas from “The Innovative Proposal” but I would prefer to coach the municipal politicians of the City of Ottawa so that - my city - could assume an innovative, leadership role as an Urban Council committed to boosting the usuryfree community currency movement during this current four year term of office.
If the municipal politicians of the City of Ottawa are not yet ready during this current four year term of office to do the research and explore how to optimally implement a usuryfree community currency for the mutual benefit of all who reside within the city limits, then I accept that decision and I will invest my time and efforts with other municipal politicians who are expressing a keen interest in learning how to foster and promote a local or community currency in their respective municipalities.
Please respond either way.
Enjoy this day
Tom J. Kennedy
PS: You can view samples of various community currencies at these websites:
Salt Spring Island Dollars
Cambridge/Kitchener/Waterloo Community Dollars
Ithaca Hours (New York State)
Other samples of UsuryFree Community Currency (on Facebook) http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=537845636&aid=5284
c.c. The Court of Public Review