Time for action on our climate and the environment

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Government needs to do the hard work of community hubs

Talk, talk, talk about community hubs! We all know it's an idea that makes sense.

When I mapped hubs a few years ago, we found many players in the game: the City of Toronto, United Way Toronto, the school board, faith communities, cultural groups and other local heroes. Community hubs are one of those rare policy ideas driven both by the grassroots and by the “grasstops.”

Yet, if community hubs are going to work, it's service-providers, funders and government who need to do the hard work of coordinating services, so that individuals looking for supports don't have to do that for themselves.

It's why, large as we are, I led WoodGreen's initiatives to get the players in the same room. We worked with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Ontario Public School Boards Association, and provincial Ministries to develop a framework to work together. This led to the provincial framework on community hubs.

Under my leadership, we also developed the resources for the new Community Hubs Ontario network, with the Ontario Nonprofit Association, and a Best Practice Guide for school boards.

If we are going to make government work for people, government needs to do the work! I am glad to have been part of that and want to continue to push for good local services.

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Meeting political disenchantment at the door

Today, while canvassing, I met an older woman who cried with frustration at how empty political promises are and how little change happens.

I listened and agreed with her frustration. Then I explained that instead of walking away, it's why I feel compelled to lean in harder. If we all do, we will have a better place.

 

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Opening our Campaign Office!

Come visit us at 2084 Danforth Ave! We've moved in and are setting up.

Our new campaign office is located steps from the Woodbine station, along the Danforth. We have a fabulous view of downtown and the neighbourhood where Diane partnered with DECA to eliminate the Tax Rebate for Vacant Commercial properties.  We are glad to be in a central of hub of Beaches East York.

Join us on Sunday, Sept 30, 1 - 3 p.m. to celebrate the opening, pick up some literature, sign up for a canvas.

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#TOcouncil and Coleman Park

Why are City Councillors important?

How do we create community and build a city where everyone belongs?

A lesson from a local park:

 

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Better Local Government

Today, the provincial government is introducing a new bill called the Better Local Government Act

This act is Orwellian doublethink in more than its name. It attacks the free and open structure of our society, ignoring any due process or democratic principles.

We have been here before. The Harris Conservatives introduced both  a Better Local Government Act (Bill 86) and a Fewer Politicians Act (Bill 81).  

The Ford provincial government proposes to merge the City's wards into provincial ridings mid-stream, after campaigns are already well underway and after City Council had already affirmed its new 47-ward strurcture as the most fair representation of the city's residents.

In Beaches East York, Matt Kellway and I standing for democracy. Join us Thursday, August 2, for a joint canvas from East Lynn Park. We will be collecting signatures from Ward residents calling for a reversal of the provincial government act.

More info here:

Facebook

My webpage

 

 

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Check-in: 100 days and counting

Our communications team has been working on branding and social media. You may have seen some of their work already here and on Facebook. We're having fun! Look at this video update.

But we're also getting serious because we are less than 100 days away from E-day.

October 22nd is not that far away, so we have also set up some serious canvassing to get out and meet people.

Join the canvass blitz on Saturday, July 26, or pick an afternoon or evening out in one of Ward 35 neighbourhoods.

Stay in touch with the campaign by registering here on our volunteer page.

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Campaign launch lifts off

 

 Display Board in frontofCampaign Launch EventMusic, food, donors, volunteers and cake mixed in the often funny and sometimes earnest speeches at the campaign launch for Diane Dyson's bid for Ward 35 City Councillor.

Neighbours, friends and family, work colleagues and progressive people joined the celebration June 27th at Hirut Restaurant. East-enders and folks from across the city came to give. 

Local musician Isaak Bonk held the stage through three sets.

Trustee Candidate Phil Pothen rallied the crowd, and both Councillor Janet Davis and newly-elected M.P.P. Rima Berns-McGown spoke to why the new ward needs to maintain a progressive voice on Council.

Victoria Bowman, a long-timefriend of Diane's, offered her personal endorsement, offering examples of Diane's work at Ryerson, United Way, WoodGreen Community Services, and in the neighbourhoods around us. "She lives her principles," Victoria said.

From community hubs to bed bugs, from poverty elimination to neighbourliness, Diane has pushed on all these fronts, working locally and down at City Hall.

Near the end of the evening, Diane also spoke, quietly to speaking the crowd about why she now felt the need to step up. She has spent her adult life building the case for stronger neighbourhoods, yet improvements has been slow.

"The evidence we present is important, but more important is the ethic of care we owe each other. This is not some soft-hearted puffery," she explained, "but rather a deep and demanding commitment, to ask whether the decisions we make together will help or harm others, especially those who too often already face too many challenges. People who ask this need to be at the decision-making tables."

To enjoy some other pictures from the night, see the event on Facebook.

This was the first of many opportunties to join Diane, to meet her and others commited to our community.

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Diane Dyson registers for Ward 35 City Council election race

Diane Dyson & and Janet Davis with friends and supporters, June 13

On Wednesday, June 13, City Councillor Janet Davis announced she wouldn't be running in the October municipal election and offered her personal endorsement of my bid for City Council.

Here's what I shared with family, friends and neighbours who joined us for the event:

Hello new Ward 35!

Our Councillor Janet Davis is amazing. Isn’t she?

Janet is known as one of the hardest working people on Council. Her record of public service is known across the ward and across the city. She is known for defending East York’s interests, for protecting childcare, tenants, our ravines and water.

Because of this, Janet has been reliably returned to City Council by some of the widest margins of victory in the city. The people of East York believe in the causes she has championed and work she has done to create a place where everyone belongs. Janet Davis deserves our thanks.

I am so proud to be endorsed by Janet! I first met her almost twenty years ago, when we were both working to protect the children of our community from the ravages of the Harris Conservative government.

In light of our recent provincial election results, we are there again.

I have spent my adult life in the east end, and raised my children here, I know what people in this community.

I fully expect over the next five years, we will see the closure of libraries, cuts to affordable housing and income support programs, the loosening of protections for our natural environment. We will need to stand up again, to stand against it.

I have done that work before, I have been your advocate at City Hall and at Queen’s Park.

Yes, this is hard work. And I am ready for it!

We share this community, we share this place. And we have always worked to protect the common good, so that we can thrive, together:

  •   Where affordable housing is there to meet the needs of tenants, not to pad the revenue projections of landlords.
  •   Where newcomers prosper alongside “oldcomers,” where everyone’s race or language are celebrated and respected
  •   Where our neighbourhoods are safe and walkable for children and for seniors, for cyclists, without risk
  •   Where we all belong

I know the people of this ward believe in these values too. Like Janet, with Janet, I’ve worked hard at City Hall to make sure our neighbourhoods are strong and good.

I’ve spent years as an advocate for stronger communities, writing research reports, speaking at public consultations and debating around policy tables.

And I have always focused on solutions – for the elimination of  poverty and precarious employment, for community services and school hubs, in housing and for greener spaces.

I have done these things in collaboration with many of you who are also committed to finding progressive solutions to the problems we face in the city.

Over the coming few years, we will need integrity, vision, courage and commitment. I believe I can offer this with the experience we will need to protect and grow our community.

So today, I am standing myself as a candidate for City Council to serve the people of the new Ward 35. I have the knowledge and community experience to deliver on what the people of our ward and around have shown they value. I am ready to work with you and work for you to build a city that works for everyone.

Join me. Let's get started!

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