Influencing council …

 In News

This article is circulating among neighbourhood advocates along the downtown waterfront and is one suggestion of what Torontonians should do to influence the  political centre on Toronto City council.

“Persistent, thoughtful public pressure, not on the mayor but on certain councillors, is the best and likely only way to change the trajectory of this administration.
“This is the short term remedy. There are a certain number of councillors the mayor can consistently count on to vote his way. There are a certain number of councillors the opposition can consistently count on.
“And there are a few councillors in the middle (the mushy middle, in City Hall jargon) whose policy commitments and voting patterns aren’t clear. They vote
sometime ”but not always”as the mayor wishes. For those residents who want to avoid, say, cuts to the TTC’s budget, theirs are the votes that matter.
“By all means, accept the mayor’s invitation to give a deputation on the budget reports Thursday & Friday. But when you do, realize that your audience€”if you are seeking to change outcomes and not just share your feelings.
”It isn’t the mayor, or his allies
in the room. It is the centrist/non- committal/ erratic councillors whose votes will decide the budget, and many other things besides. (A helpful guide to how councillors have been voting.)
“They all want to be re-elected, and they will be willing to vote against the administration in many cases if their constituents make it clear that the cost of loyalty to Ford is getting turfed from office.
“A substantial grass roots organisation effort is the best way of improving the tenor of discourse at City Hall. This is the long-term remedy.
“One of the realities Ford’s mayoralty has laid bare is that Toronto can fall prey to polarisation more easily than many would like to think. We are, apparently, either cyclists or drivers (but not both). We are suburbanites or downtowners,
patronise Tim Horton’s or the library. Of course, these dichotomies are utter
craps€”but that hasn’t stopped many people from using them.
“And so what we need is
to start talking to each other, often and in new ways, about our daily experiences of the city and the ways we would like it to develop and mature.
“Only 53 per cent of eligible voters went to the polls on October 25. “We need to
care more, and we need to meet each other more often. We need to start bridging
the divides which our current discourse is widening”
Full article here

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