An open letter to Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum:
Mayor McCallum, I would like to remind you that you are the Mayor of Surrey and as such you now represent all of us, not just those that voted for you.
Across the political spectrum, we see politicians being elected due to a strong public backlash against issues or persons.
It has become all too common to plug your nose and vote because maybe this candidate might be better than the last. That hardly qualifies for endorsement of campaign promises.
In your own words, “People want to feel safe in their communities again, especially after the unacceptable gang activity they’ve witnessed.” If Surrey mayors and governments at all levels want us to feel safe here are some suggestions:
Increase programs: Kids get involved in gangs to find a sense of family, status, cultural identity, financial gain, etc. We have to invest in more programs that build self respect, purpose and mentorship by engaging all those that have a stake in Surrey’s future.
Fight addiction: We are turning people away every day and putting them back on the streets because no beds are available. Creative solutions are needed in order to get people the care they need when they need it.
Create and enforce laws: Far too many criminals are playing the system and getting off on technicalities. From the book of law, to police and the courts, all parts of the system must support the other.
Free counselling: Trauma is at the root. While some people might manage trauma successfully, many don’t. Early help can change the path one follows.
No matter which police force you put in place, they can only establish good practice if the laws they enforce are taken seriously, police positions increase, they are engaging positively with citizens and the programs they need to partner with are in our community.
For the record, I did not give you permission to take away public consultation.
In fact, I had hoped our next mayor would be more amenable to such a thing.
J. Chandler, South Surrey