The Taiwan Citizen Participation Association (TCPA) yesterday staged a demonstration in front of the Taipei City Hall, with its members smashing coffee cups to protest what they said was stalling progress on “citizen cafe” projects, which had been among Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) campaign promises in the 2014 mayoral election.
Association director-general Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳) said Ko had formulated 51 projects, which his “civic advisers” proposed during the campaign, and promised to designate the city’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission to monitor their progress.
Ko later narrowed down the number of projects to 10 and appointed Department of Social Welfare Commissioner Hsu Li-min (許立民) to streamline interdepartmental effort on those projects, of which only five were being worked on, Ho said.
The demonstrators shattered four coffee cups to protest four stalled projects: the establishment of a database of rare and precious trees by the Department of Urban Development and Department of Cultural Affairs; the restoration of ancient irrigation canals and fountains by the Department of Public Works; the construction of the Changshu Overpass by Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基); and the deployment of Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Aboriginal and Hakka counters at the city’s public libraries, assigned to the Department of Education.
However, they also lauded agencies with projects that have yielded substantial results by proposing toasts to one another.
These include the classification of parks according to their biodiversity, performed by the Parks and Street Lights Office; the establishment of a senate comprising retired people aged 55 or above to provide consultation on city policies, carried out by the Department of Social Welfare; the diversification of the city’s mediation committees, executed by the Department of Civil Affairs; and the commission’s launch of the i-Voting online polling platform and the “Democratic Alarm Clock” app aimed at tracking efforts by politicians to deliver on their campaign promises.
Progress on a project being worked on by the Department of Labor to create new job models for mentally and physically challenged residents remained to be seen, as public hearings are still being held to gather opinions on the project, the demonstrators said.
Ho said Hsu has done a satisfactory job in implementing the project undertaken by his agency, but that communication was lacking between him and other agencies.
Ho urged Ko to “tighten the screws” of the city government and honor his campaign promises soon.