On Wednesday 22nd June 2011, One Voice held the latest in our series of social engagement breakfasts.
A fairness commission, not for profit partnerships, public involvement and economic opportunities for local people – were some ideas from the new council leader, Cllr. James Alexander, as he reached out to Christian leaders at the prayer breakfast in the Spurriergate Centre.
He may be young (29) but he wasn’t short of ideas for coping with the stringent economic demands imposed by the recession and the government, but he admitted he couldn’t do it alone.
In a short preamble he was emphasized the contribution Christians had made to socialism and how much he owed to faith schools for his education and moral compass.
He gave most of his time to questions and outlined more of his ambitions for the city in response.
– Bring together people who do communications in the city to talk positively about York.
– Support small enterprises that could become medium sized by grasping regional growth funds.
– Use social networking to engage young residents.
He was also aware of problems to be tackled:
– Young single people forced to share housing in the future.
– Small but rising race crime.
– Disengaged white working class.
– The need for better partnerships with the NHS in the city.
In closing he repeated that the council could not do everything and appealed for others to share the responsibility. After a round of applause before and after speaking, he observed that it’s not the response he’s used to.
Cllr. Alexander accepted our offer of prayer and all present strecthed out their hands in blessing. Politics aside, James Alexander is a man who needs our on-going prayer support and practical engagement as he leads the city in challenging days ahead.