|District Councils: "One Country, Two Systems" in Action|
|Written by Luan Lifu|
|Tuesday, 09 December 2008|
Page 1 of 3
District Councils are a political legacy of Hong Kong. People from mainland China may compare them to the mainland's neighborhood committees, which manage local services and keep an eye out for trouble in the neighborhood. District Councils, however, are different. As a part of the two councils system in Hong Kong, District Councils, they gather the opinions of the residents and make them influential to the government and lawmakers. They form the basic units of the political system in Hong Kong, and strengthen the voices of individuals.
A "Used Clothing Collection" activity was held on November 8 and 9, 2008 in Central and Western District, to help the residents deal with the financial tsunami. Nelson Wong, a District Councilor of Central and Western District, cooperated with Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKUCTU) in this activity.
As a District Councilor, Mr. Wong keeps direct contacts with several communities of Central and Western District. With personal connections and posters on streets, Mr. Wong was in charge of the advertisement of the entire activity.
The aim of the activity is to help the jobless residents, the number of which is apt to increase due to the financial tsunami. Named "Used Clothing Collection", the activity actually accepted many other kinds of used things, from clothes to furniture. Then the gathered things will be sold to developing countries like Indonesia in low price. The earned money will be put into a fund which will offer money for those who just lost their jobs. The amount of money is usually only 300-500 dollars, which is yet necessary for those jobless people and their families to survive in addition to the government help they receive.
Mr. Wong talking about "Used Clothing Collection Campaign"
Besides organizing charity activities like that, the District Councilors make the collecting of residents' opinions about community affairs a daily work. District Councilors meet the represents of the buildings of the communities regularly and discuss the issues on District Council meetings. Then they will urge the related departments of government to solve the problems.
However, Mr. Wong admitted, District Councils do not have the rights of enforcement or rights of legislation as their name implies. Sometimes, the departments of government refuse to meet the requirement. In that case, the issues are very likely to arise in Legislative Councils and finally be solved. According to Mr. Wong, District Councils play a role as collectors of people's voices and opinions.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 December 2008 )|
|Customs and Cultures|
|Buildings & Monuments|
|Politics & Government|
|Hong Kong's Identity|
|Arts & Culture|