New twist on State of the City

When it comes to his annual State of the City address, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt vows it’s no more “same old, same old.”

No more stuffy speeches from behind a podium. And it’s up to you to help make that happen.

“We want to engage with you, the citizens of Vancouver, through this new State of the City format,” Leavitt says.

Last week, the mayor released a short video inviting the public to attend the speech at 4 p.m. March 26 in the City Hall lobby. Bring your mobile devices — “we’re going digital,” Leavitt declares.

The goal is to make the State of the City “fun and interactive,” Leavitt says in the video, shot at Clark- Vancouver Television and set to throbbing electronic music.

On each of the next three Mondays (starting March 9), the city will pose a different question to the public on Facebook along the lines of what makes Vancouver a “safe and welcoming, vibrant and prosperous community.”  People may submit their photos and comments on a variety of social media platforms using the label #vansoc.

The responses will be posted on the city’s website and social media sites and highlighted during the State of the City event.

Sticking your neck out in such a way on social media can sometimes backfire, generating an avalanche of snark. But so far, according to city communications manager Carol Bua, people have been “receptive and excited.”

In this cynical age, that in itself is refreshing.

To watch the video, go to or

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