DELTA (NEWS 1130) — Thanks to the efforts of a six-year-old girl, Delta is getting a new crosswalk in 2021.
“I think it’s really nice and it’s good for people’s safety,” said Arianne Dieleman when she heard the news Monday.
“I kind of thought they would pass it because lots of people were paying attention.”
Earlier this year, she was crossing Central Avenue near Lions Park with her siblings to get to school and her brother was almost hit by a car. With some help from her mom, Carmelle, she got 30 signatures from neighbours who shared her concern and sent a petition, along with a hand-written letter, to city hall.
Less than a month later, council enthusiastically and unanimously voted to go ahead.
“I’ve never seen individual council members jump to move a motion as fast as this one,” said Mayor George Harvie.
“It was well-received by council.”
Arianne’s mom was very proud.
“I think it shows that kids have a unique voice that they can use, and sometimes kids can affect change even more than adults can. I do think it’s really good encouragement to get out there and make a difference,” Carmelle said.
“She was successful and the crosswalk’s going in next year under our budget. It’s thanks to her and her courage, with good direction and support from her parents to go out in the community and get support,” he said.
“You need the community as mayor when there’s situations that need improvement. We do this all the time, but I’m just so happy to see a young person have a positive experience working with local government.”
Engaging younger people in civic politics is something Harvie feels strongly about, having started a youth council during his tenure.
“We need to get younger people interested in local government and here’s a young lady who started when she was six years old,” he said.
“Really it’s them who should be saying: What kind of housing do we need? What kind of transportation do we need? It’s not people my age, so I’m very pleased.”