On June 19, Loreto had its first taste of a long-term campaign to promote truly participative democracy in the municipality, involving citizens, businesses/organizations, and government. The #LoretoIdeal collaboration already has 14 local and regional groups formally committed – with organizations, citizens, and candidates pledging to help address Loreto’s major problems in a transparent, inclusive, and solution-focused way.
Eco-Alianza worked to initiate the #LoretoIdeal campaign, in collaboration with the NGOs Alcosta, Fundar, and Centro de Colaboración Cívica. The process began with a presentation to the municipal government in October of last year, followed by focus group meetings with local organizations in March, more organizational workshops this spring, and an official meeting of group representatives on June 21. Additional groups are still joining the alliance.
The broad coalition of local groups already taking part includes the local university (UABCS), the chamber of commerce, restaurant and hotel associations, Architects & Engineers, teachers, Eco-Alianza, other NGOs and, in the words of one participant, “all kinds of groups and people who have a common interest in making Loreto work for everyone.” Now that the campaign is underway, no one group will be “in charge,” of the coalition’s activities, and the leadership roles will rotate and be shared equally.
Following the July 1 elections, a series of “deliberative forums” will explore what participants see as the most critical issues facing the municipality. The group will work toward positive actions in concert with the new municipal administration, around the themes of making Loreto clean, sustainable, tranquil, safe, transparent, and participative. A main objective is to improve the implementation of guiding documents that Eco-Alianza has been instrumental in helping to enact – the ecological ordinance (POEL), the urban development plan, and the solid waste plan.
To that end, #LoretoIdeal allies’ members have met with all seven mayoral candidates and helped to inform them about many details of priority issues. No matter who wins the July 1 election, #LoretoIdeal allied organizations will be working alongside local government, Loreto organizations and groups, and local citizens to address these issues.
Eco-Alianza Executive President Hugo Quintero points out that:
“This type of approach is what facilitated the passage of the POEL and other important guiding documents, we express our thanks to all the groups and individuals who are already involved with #LoretoIdeal, as well as to those who lend a hand in the future".
The newly-formed coalition of organizations on June 25 held an open event on the town plaza at which all seven mayoral candidates, and candidates for other offices, signed letters pledging to work in cooperation with #LoretoIdeal. Nine of the 14 organizations that are part of the #LoretoIdeal coalition were represented at the event, chatting with the candidates as well as interested citizens.
To date, there are 14 associations that have joined #LoretoIdeal:
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