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Activist Communique: Toronto Councillor Vaughan says: Stop Rob Ford

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Here is a text of Councillor Adam Vaughan's letter to Ward 20 residents on September 16, 2011.

*

Dear Ward Residents and Businesses,

Stop the Mayor!

Whether it's the reckless plans for the waterfront, the hopeless transit strategy or the horrendous budget cuts the Mayor is pushing -- one thing is very clear: Stop the Mayor and we stop the damage the Mayor is proposing to do to the city we love.

No ward in the city delivered fewer votes to Rob Ford than Ward 20. Our scepticism and outright distrust of his empty campaign promises however is not enough to halt his destructive behaviour. We must link up with communities and neighbourhoods across the city now to protect Toronto. The recent budget announcements make this vitally important.

Behind the headlines that scream budget crisis, a bigger crisis lurks. Critical components of this city's civic life are at risk. Beyond the tragedy of losing community-based daycare, social housing, public transit, a strong library system, arts funding and reductions in street sweeping, snow clearance and garbage pick-up -- beyond all of this, there is also an attack being mounted against our civic and civil rights.

The Mayor is proposing to shut down the planning department's ability to do proactive planning; politicians are being taken off City agencies, boards and public utilities. Citizen advisory groups are not just being shut down, but those that do survive are being de-staffed. Our partners in neighbourhood revitalization - Business Improvement Areas - are at risk of being defunded.

Deals done in the back rooms of City Hall are being heralded while the public's right to know and participate in decisions at City Hall are being curtailed. Fewer chances to depute to committees and less time for citizens (let alone their councillors) to talk at public meetings are all being pushed forward as cost cutting and efficiency strategies. Critical council work as fundamental as making budget decisions are being delegated to the Mayor's office where consultants and staff will make decisions in the shadows about the city we all live in. This is serious.

The good news is that organizations to protect the city and build a better Toronto are springing up faster than the Mayor's popularity is plummeting. Below are listed links to just a few of these citizen groups. Join up. It's time to link arms and tell Council to stop the Mayor.

The only thing you can do quickly in a city is break things. It has taken us years to build a beautiful city that is as fair as it is beautiful. Don't stand by as it's all taken away and cut to pieces, or sold off to the lowest bidder.

We can do better, we must do better.

Adam Vaughan

**********
Connect to your neighbours, connect to a movement!

These links will connect you with petitions, information and likeminded Torontonians working to protect our City:

Public Transit
http://www.ttcriders.ca/

Environmental Programs
http://www.torontoenvironment.org/servicereview/petition

Waterfront
http://codeblueto.com/

Riverdale Farm
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Riverdale-Farm-Toronto/101628989895157#!/S...
http://www.petitiononlinecanada.com/petition/residents-against-closing-r...

Public Libraries Petition
http://ourpubliclibrary.to/

Protect the Arts & Culture
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/friendsofthearts/

Connect with others, organizing and speaking out resources:
www.commitment2community.org

OneToronto
http://www.onetoronto.ca/

Women Against the Cuts
http://womenagainstcuts.tumblr.com/

Stop the Cuts
http://www.torontostopthecuts.com/

City Hall Blogs

There are a number of independent journalists covering City Hall on these blogs:
http://afuitbs.wordpress.com/
http://spacingtoronto.ca/
http://fordfortoronto.mattelliott.ca/
http://theclamshell.blogspot.com/2011/09/let-us-compare-mythologies.html
http://www.torontostandard.com/

Tell the Mayor to Stop!

If you haven't already done so, you can write to Mayor Ford and the members of the Executive Committee to ensure that they understand how important other city services are to you. Their contact information is listed below.

Mayor Ford
Mayor_ford@toronto.ca
416-397-3673

Paul Ainslie Councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca
416-392-4008

Michelle Berardinetti  Councillor_berardinetti@toronto.ca
416-392-0213

Mike Del Grande Councillor_delgrande@toronto.ca
416-392-1374

Doug Holyday Councillor_holyday@toronto.ca
416-392-4002

Norman Kelly Councillor_kelly@toronto.ca
416-392-4047

Giorgio Mammoliti Councillor_mammoliti@toronto.ca
416-395-6401

Peter Milczyn Councillor_milczyn@toronto.ca
416-392-4040

Denzil Minnan-Wong Councillor_minnan-wong@toronto.ca
416-397-9256

Cesar Palacio Councillor_palacio@toronto.ca
416-392-7011

Jaye Robinson Councillor_robinson@toronto.ca
416-395-6408

David Shiner Councillor_shiner@toronto.ca
416-395-6413

Michael Thompson Councillor_thompson@toronto.ca
416-397-9274

Of course, they all receive mail at City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2.
To find contact information for the rest of City Council, here is a link:
http://app.toronto.ca/im/council/councillors.jsp

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