The first Citizens’ Assembly of Tolosa kicked-off on the 22nd of October. 32 Tolosa residents are the protagonists of this pioneering process and will propose a series of recommendations to build a Tolosa that improves the health and emotional wellbeing of everyone.
At the beginning of the session, representatives of Tolosa Town Council and Arantzazulab introduced the initiative and deliberation process. The mayor of Tolosa, Olatz Peon, welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of the innovative and pioneering process. This initiative has the support of all the political parties in the municipality, and in the first session Joseba Ormazabal, Andu Martínez de Rituerto and Josemari Villanueva were part of the introductory words. The three of them during their interventions they detailed: the objectives of the project, the subject that citizens will deliberate on and the opportunities that arise from this process. The question that participants will focus on in the Tolosa Citizens’ Assembly is: What can Tolosa Town Council do through public-community collaboration to achieve a Tolosa that improves the health and emotional wellbeing of everyone?
Naiara Goia, General Manager of Arantzazulab, then described the Citizens’ Assemblies’ approach and the key elements to consider in their implementation. The first part ended with the interventions of Ione Ardaiz, head of Social Innovation projects at Arantzazulab, and Gari Lekuona, participation technician in the Tolosa Town Council, who explained the groups and committees created for the implementation of the initiative.
Throughout the day, the members of the Assembly had the opportunity to get to know each other and reflect on the question suggested by the Tolosa Town Council.
After lunch, the citizens attended four presentations by experts, to whom they had the opportunity to ask questions. One of the key points in these deliberative processes is that citizens have an informed deliberation, that is, that they listen to experts before they formulate their recommendations. In the initial deliberation sessions, they will listen to diverse people to gather data and information on the subject to guarantee the existence of different points of view. The question suggested by the Tolosa Town Council includes two key ideas: the what – emotional health and well-being, and the how – public-community collaboration. The four speakers introduced the initial framework around these two points.
Firstly, Ainara Aranberri (lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology of the UPV/EHU and expert in emotional regulation in childhood and adolescence) and Iñaki Izquierdo (Director of the Sustraiak therapeutic community at the Izan Foundation and expert in group and systemic therapy) presented the general framework of emotional health and well-being.
To finish the session, Eva Salaberria (Donostia City Council technician and head of the Donostia Lagunkoia Urban Plan, as well as a member of the working team for the promotion of Community Action in the Territory); and Sorkunde Jaka (technician and nurse of the Health Promotion Service of Donostia City Council) described the key elements that form the framework of public-community collaboration. Both shared different ways of promoting and putting in practice public-community collaboration in emotional health.
On the project’s website (available in English) you can watch the presentations’ videos and the documents used by the speakers:
The next deliberation session will take place on the 4th of November, and the following four speakers will connect their field of knowledge with the question of the Tolosa Citizens’ Assembly to deepen the knowledge and enrich the deliberation:
- Loneliness – Fernando Fantova
- Feminism – Pepa Bojó
- Childhood and youth – Amaia Uriarte
- Ageing – Martin Zuñiga