Following the astonishing scenes beamed around the world on Wednesday evening 6th January from Washington we wanted to ask the question how much do we care about democracy? This might seem to be a daft question for a residents organisation to ask especially in the middle of a pandemic when there might be other questions we ought to be asking ourselves.

However democracy matters to all of us as citizens and not just residents. Here in Liverpool we are currently faced with a vacancy for the post of elected Mayor of Liverpool following the withdrawal by Joe Anderson from next May’s election process after he was arrested by the police and subsequently released on bail. Engage knows of apartment complexes in Liverpool where a small group of residents have taken over the Management Company of their estate and all democratic notions of transparency and accountability are threatened. And from reports we have heard this process is increasing locally. Democratic accountability is something we cannot take for granted and presume that what is will always be.

One apartment complex on the waterfront had a complete change of Management Company Directors and that was the end of annual publications of accounts and reports for every resident to read. No further transparency or accountability and suddenly a well-organised and democratic system came to a sudden stop. Our systems can be very fragile and easily overturned by people who have not put the common good at the heart of what they do. A new generation of resident Directors is emerging who have not had to fight for the right to manage and whose motives are very different from those who pioneered the drive to improve the quality of management of our apartment complexes.

We wanted to show you a video by Engage’s good friend and previous seminar speaker Jon Alexander who was invited to address the most prestigious event in the world about democracy held every year in Athens. In this current context it is well worth a listen.



Header image courtesy of The Guardian website 07.01.21 photograph by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images