Across Toronto, communities are facing challenges that are different and more profound than those of the last decade. Much of what we have taken for granted – a shared understanding and commitment to the importance of community infrastructure – is no longer a given. We face potentially serious cuts to many services delivered by non-profit community organizations with government support.
This new reality challenges the non-profit community sector in Toronto. It challenges us to make our case in a strong, focused, and effective manner. It requires research and analysis that demonstrates the impact of our work – to illustrate what will be lost if it is cut or eroded. It means strengthening existing relationships and building new ones.
To meet this challenge, we need all hands on deck. As a leader in the community sector, we are asking you to make a personal “commitment to community” over the next four years. One part of this is undertaking to perform ten “acts of community” – anything from emailing, calling, or writing your elected officials, being part of a deputation or attending a community meeting, to ensure that community voices are clearly heard. The other part is ensuring that we have the resources to do this work by making a financial contribution (either a one-time or on an ongoing basis) to the “Commitment to Community” campaign.
Our commitment back to you is to engage you every step of the way. We will do this by sending out a monthly report on our work, by holding periodic meetings to report back and get your input, and by establishing ward-by-ward teams that will ensure that you and your community know what your representatives say, and do, to support our community organizations, and what you can do to continue to inform and engage them.
Working together, we can have a real impact on the direction of our city and communities. Please join us in making this “Commitment to Community.” A modest contribution of time and money, sustained over time, and multiplied by friends and colleagues, has real potential to influence decisions and change realities, for our communities and our city.
1) Stop cuts to Community Grants:
a) We want to ensure that the City of Toronto does not cut vital programs that make this a fairer more equitable city for Torontonians. This means that we must work to prioritize stopping cuts to services that will disproportionately hurt Torontonians with low-incomes.
b) Ultimately we need to secure that we have 23 votes at Council to protect the $45 million in CPIP and the $1 billion worth of grants the city currently transfers to not for profits organizations. (More precisely, our campaign is focused on protecting the $20 million part of CPIP that excludes arts groups)
c) In the meantime, we need to raise awareness about the speed and severity of the City’s austerity agenda and work to publicly discredit the “consultation” process
2) Build a strong citywide network that can mobilize to defend public services across Toronto (beginning with the fight to save the CPIP grants).
a) We are working to establish resident groups in all 44 wards in Toronto
b) We will focus special attention in mobilizing in 10 key swing wards where we believe we have the potential to influence “swing” Councillors