Sydney Alliance: The way to have your say

Sydney Alliance: The way to have your say

 Half a million Sydneysiders will create change and opportunity and improve the city.

Many in Sydney feel isolated, frustrated or helpless at some point in their day.

The ability to get around, reliable access to health and care and feeling connected to others are important aspects of living happily in a large city.

Many also feel disconnected from political life.

The Sydney Alliance began in June 2007.

Over the past four years it has forged a relationship between seemingly disparate organisations to create a platform for achieving change in Sydney.

Over 500,000 Sydneysiders involved with 40 member associations make up the Sydney Alliance.

The Sydney Alliance’s agenda for the common good will be launched at its founding assembly on Thursday September 15 at Sydney Town Hall.

Randa Kattan, the Alliance chair, said, “The Sydney Alliance is a new voice for the community. It brings together organisations that have not traditionally worked together to improve the city.”

Amanda Tattersall, Director of The Sydney Alliance, said, “The Sydney Alliance is an antidote to sound-bite politics — we have slowly built trusting relationships between schools, churches, temples, unions, mosques and community organisations across the city.”

Since June 2007, 1,200 community leaders have been trained and 6,500 people from member organisations have actively told the Sydney Alliance what they would like to change about the city.

The process was thorough and many concerns were raised by members.

Three focus areas have been prioritised.

  • Transport (because people were frustrated getting around)
  • Social inclusion (because people weren’t getting along)
  • Community care and health (because people were falling through the cracks)

Randa Kattan said, “Through a unique listening and self organising process, the Sydney Alliance has unravelled the sentiment of Sydneysiders.

“We have distilled the main themes into a vision, enabling an opportunity for decision makers to take stock of what’s really going on. The Sydney Alliance provides a framework to develop a truly democratic voice that’s able to function beyond the vote.

“On Thursday we can come together so the city can hear the power of our vision for the city.”

The Sydney Alliance Founding Assembly

The Sydney Alliance launches publicly at 7 pm on Thursday, September 15 at Sydney Town Hall. Arrive and be seated at 6.30 pm.

Individuals will tell stories that highlight the issues that the Sydney Alliance will work to remedy. Political leaders from the New South Wales Government will address the Assembly and harness the opportunity to engage with the Sydney Alliance and will discuss changes Sydneysiders are calling for.

Purpose of The Sydney Alliance

To advance the common good and achieve a fair, just and sustainable city. The Sydney Alliance is a non-party political organisation, bringing together diverse community organisations, unions and religious organisations.

Its members are 40 community organisations, educational institutions, trade unions, faith and religious groups, that involve over 500,000 Sydneysiders (as of September 7 2011).

Funding

The majority of funding comes from contributions from member organisations. The Sydney Alliance also receives donations from small businesses and individual donors known as “friends of the Sydney Alliance”. It receives no government funding.

Power through Community Organising

The Sydney Alliance uses a model of community organising fashioned on similar models used in the US and Britain.

The US President Barack Obama was a community organiser and did training with a sister organisation in the 1980s.

Citizens UK has operated for 15 years and has a working relationship with Prime Minister David Cameron and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

The Sydney Alliance approach intentionally builds relationships within and between community-based organisations, supporting the active participation of citizens through their church and faith groups, unions and community organisations.

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